President Joko Widodo’s early months in office have been anything but uneventful. At home, he has had to confront a series of political challenges from the opposition coalition, the police, his own party, and even his mentor, former president Megawati Sukarnoputri. Abroad, he has come under fire for his determination to proceed with the execution of foreign nationals convicted under Indonesia’s tough drug laws. 

James Castle described how Widodo has dealt with these challenges and what it portends for the rest of his five-year term in office. Carnegie’s Vikram Nehru moderated.

James Castle

James Castle is founder and CEO of CastleAsia, the largest CEO forum in Indonesia. In over thirty years of work in Southeast Asia, Castle has advised in the establishment of numerous foreign direct investment projects and has acted as a consultant to regional governments and many of the world’s largest corporations.

Vikram Nehru

Vikram Nehru is a senior associate in the Carnegie Asia Program. An expert on development economics, growth, poverty reduction, debt sustainability, governance, and the performance and prospects of East Asia, his research focuses on the economic, political, and strategic issues confronting Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.