Hadi Soesastro

Executive Director
Center for Strategic and International Studies
Focus Area(s)
Civil Service
Andrew Schalkwyk
Country of Reform
Place (Building/Street)
Jakarta Post Building
Date of Interview
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Hadi Soesastro discusses economic deregulation and political and civil service reform in Indonesia since 1986. The 1986 plunge in oil prices affected Indonesia severely, and precipitated a number of deregulation policies, backed largely by academics and government technocrats, including tariff reductions, industrial reform and investment encouragement. Soesastro recalls resistance to reform from entrenched interests, and Suharto’s reform of several sectors in which his close associates or he himself were not involved. The second wave of reform came in the wake of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, which plunged Indonesia into a severe recession. Efforts by the International Monetary Fund to help recovery were stymied by Suharto's resistance to reform, especially in industries in which he had personal interest; this eventually led to his resignation. Major reforms were later achieved in the financial and political sectors. The leading result of political reform was decentralization, under populist pressure and fear of secession. Soesastro also discusses reforms in the Finance Ministry since 2004, including anti-corruption and personnel reform. He also speaks about the failure of judicial reform in Indonesia. Finally, he reflects on challenges faced by the Indonesian government at the time of the interview.

Full Interview

Hadi Soesastro Interview

Hadi Soesastro, an economist and public intellectual, was one of the founders of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and at the time of the interview he was the executive director of the center, with which he had been involved for 38 years. He was a member of the National Economic Council of Indonesia. He served as an adviser to late former President Abdurrahman Wahid, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. Soesastro held a doctoral degree in economics and had taught widely, including at Columbia University in New York. He died in May 2010. 

Donor Relations
Job descriptions
performance management
presidential appointees
Reform sequencing
technical assistance
international trade
financial sector reform
Asian Financial Crisis
Not specified