The president's second term, which started promisingly in 2019, is set to be consumed by COVID-19 response, and several policy missteps which have drained his political capital.

For the first time in his presidency, Widodo is facing a surge of public protests in response to labour reforms. Furthermore, an assertive parliament has threatened to undermine the independence of the central bank, raising concerns about political interference in monetary and fiscal policy.

While the president’s immediate priority is to deal with the virus, his ambition to be Indonesia’s most consequential leader in the democracy era is being tested.

The speakers will assess what action President Widodo needs to take to fulfil his promise of achieving strong inclusive growth, and what risk the virus poses to the policy agenda of his remaining term.


Ben Bland, Director, Southeast Asia Program, Lowy Institute
Dewi Fortuna Anwar, Research Professor, Research Centre for Politics - Indonesian Institute of Sciences (P2P-LIPI)
Chair: Vasuki Shastry, Associate Fellow, Asia Pacific Programme, Chatham House