Jokowi Win to Boost Education, Healthcare Providers, Tycoon Says
(Bloomberg) -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s pledge to focus on human resources in his second term is set to benefit companies providing education, health care and entertainment services in the world’s fourth-most populous country, according to business tycoon Anindya Bakrie.
Widodo, known as Jokowi, will have a lot of fiscal space available in the second term as the country’s debt-to-gross domestic product ratio is low at about 30 percent, Bakrie, president commissioner of PT Bakrie & Bakrie Brothers, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. And that allows Jokowi to continue to invest in infrastructure and develop human resources, he said.
Jokowi is on course to be re-elected with a comfortable majority, according to about a dozen unofficial quick counts and a tally from the General Elections Commission. The president ordered his cabinet this week to make development of human resources as a “top priority” along with infrastructure after launching an ambitious $350 billion drive to build, roads, airports, dams and seaports in the first term.
“He’s going to focus on human resource, education, helping financial inclusion and small and medium enterprises and those will bring what I call smart social populism. But at the same time you bring good capitalism along with it,” Bakrie said on the sidelines on the Milken Institute global conference in Beverly Hills, California.
“And I believe that a lot of businesses that focuses on issues of entertainment, health and education that cater to a lot of these 265 million people will be quite an interesting business to be in,” Bakrie added.
The threat by Jokowi’s challenger Prabowo Subianto to legally challenge a loss to the president for a second time is not “going to be something disruptive for the economy and politics because we’ve seen that before,” said Bakrie, whose family controls businesses ranging from coal to media and infrastructure.
As Jokowi “will have no baggage” with parties supporting him poised to win about 66 percent of all the parliamentary seats, the president may revamp his cabinet before the start of the second term in October and include more professionals, Bakrie said.
A rebound in advertising spending after the elections and a stable currency may help Bakrie group’s PT Visi Media “reverse losses” this year, Bakrie said. Visi Media shares are up 3 percent this year after tumbling 60 percent last year.
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.