Finance Minister of the year 2006: Dr Sri Mulyani Indrawati
Indonesia’s young finance minister has made some key decisions since her appointment, winning many friends abroad. Some tough challenges lie ahead; to meet them, Mulyani will need to win more friends at home. Chris Leahy reports.
Tough challenges, right choices
|MINISTER OF FINANCE of the year:
DR SRI MULYANI INDRAWATI, INDONESIA
Manning the financial helm of a far-flung country of 230 million people is no easy task, yet Indonesia’s finance minister, Dr Sri Mulyani Indrawati, is proving rather adept at the job. While the country’s future economic prosperity remains finely balanced, the signs are encouraging that the economic team assembled by president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) is getting to grips with the country’s issues. Mulyani is playing a pivotal role in that effort.
“She’s added a high degree of stability from the perspective of the international markets,” says the head of debt capital markets at an international investment bank. “She’s done a good job to tackle the issues facing the country.”
There is indeed much to applaud. The decision to raise fuel prices by abolishing fuel subsidies was brave. Although the move came before Mulyani’s appointment, it is she who has been left to fight the resulting inflation, a battle that she looks to be winning, with inflation having fallen to 15.5% in June from a peak of 18.4%