Newsmakers / March 2018

The Right Woman for the Job

As the Finance Minister and a long-time player in the economics profession, Sri Mulyani Indrawati has not lost a step in leading the nation's economic reform. With the wide success of the tax amnesty program she helped formulate and implement, her service as minister won praise from the beginning.

The former World Bank managing director was appointed to the position for the second time in her career as part of a cabinet reshuffle by President Joko Widodo, replacing Bambang Brodjonegoro. Apart from the immediate task of making the budget balance, she was tasked with managing the president’s economic reform agenda, including an overhaul of the tax system.

Her steadfast dedication to reforming the national economy to become the economic leader of the Southeast Asian region has been widely praised by the global community. She recently received the Best Minister Award, presented by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, at the World Government Summit in Dubai on February 11.

The award is given each year to a government official to recognize his or her efforts in implementing successful reforms in their home countries. Recipients are evaluated independently by global consulting firm Ernst & Young.

Sri Mulyani dedicated the award to all Indonesians and especially to the public servants of the Ministry of Finance, who she said had worked hard to manage the state's finances with integrity and a high commitment to equitable public welfare. In a video message posted online, she said the award recognized President Widodo's leadership in Indonesia's financial and economic reforms since he took office.

"Hopefully, this award will motivate the Indonesian government further, to conduct various reforms for the young generation facing a revolution in technology and a fast-changing world," she added.

Heading the reform of the economy, the Finance Ministry under her leadership was able to boost tax revenue last year, as well as introduce policy reforms that push for inclusive and sustainable development.

She stated recently that Indonesia will review its tax policy and look into incentives for investors to boost various industry sectors. She said that while Indonesia's e-commerce sector is booming, the government is struggling to boost revenue, requiring new regulations. "The basic principle is that we will create a level playing field, the tax approach for e-commerce and conventional players will be the same," especially for value-added taxation, she said.

President Jokowi congratulated Sri Mulyani on her achievements, stating that the Best Minister Award was due to her diligence in financial management and careful and effective state budgeting and implementation. He added that the award highlighted both his minister’s ability and the country's status on the global stage.

With another prestigious award now under her belt, Sri Mulyani's achievements and work ethic has earned the admiration of Indonesians as well as the global community. With this admiration comes the responsibility to retain their trust in the ministry under her leadership, and to keep the country's economy growing.