Wednesday, 18th October 2017

Indonesia not affected by US` inward-looking policy

19th November 2016 | 1.928 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia will not be too affected if the US President-Elect Donald Trump chose to follow an inward-looking foreign policy towards Asia, an observer from Padjadjaran University, Teuku Rezasyah, said here on Friday.

"Even if Trump adopts such a policy towards Asia, it would not have a big impact on Indonesia. We do not have to be afraid," Rezasyah stated.

Earlier, some policy analysts in the US had opined that under the leadership of Donald Trump, the United States would tend to be an inward-looking country not concerned with foreign relations.

"I think we will not hear the term closer to Asia from the US government as was the case with Obamas foreign policy over the years," an international relations observer of the World Policy Institute, Jonathan Cristol, added.

According to Cristol, with Trumps background as a businessman and someone inexperienced in politics and diplomacy, he may not pay more attention to foreign affairs.

"So, when it comes to the US foreign relations with Asia, including Indonesia, I think Trump does not have a long-term plan," he noted.

Rezasyah reminded that Trumps inward-looking attitude was a result of a more immediate urge to focus on improving the economic situation in the country.

"Donald seems to be more inward looking because he considers that a lot of US potential was being drained out," he reiterated.

Donald Trump had earlier vowed to adopt policies that would force US companies operating abroad to move back into the country.

However, Rezasyah believed that Indonesia does not have to worry about the US foreign policy if firms were to withdraw from Asia because basically Indonesia, particularly in economic terms, does not rely too heavily on the US.

"For example, the United States is not the biggest investor in Indonesia. The big investors are Singapore, Japan and China while the number of US companies in Indonesia was not large," he stressed.

Rezasyah reminded that most of the US companies in Indonesia were engaged in mining, energy, information and communication technology, and insurance.

"Neither the mining sector, such as Freeport, nor oil and gas concession would be affected by such a move by the US," Rezasyah noted.

He commented that in any case, the United States government would not possibly be able to withdraw from active involvement in a wide range of cooperation activities in the international arena.

"In theory, a state cannot truly change from outward looking into a truly inward looking one. Perhaps this attitude is only temporary. Such talk may be a sort of testing the water," Rezasyah underlined.(*)