Bridge to new business in the economic history of Indonesia

Title: Bridge to new Business: The economic Decolonization of Indonesia
Author: J. Thomas Lindblad
Publisher: KITLV and NIOD, 2008
ISBN: 978-90-6718-

The bridge means link. By the civil engineering, bridge also means structure allowing passage across obstacle or by the music it means a connecting section in a musical work. I think that we can use those meanings for this book.
This book gives the first comprehensive history of the decolonization of the Indonesian economy, a process with a different momentum and timing from the achievement of political independence.
We can found how the writer traces the origins of economic decolonization to the late-colonial period. This book covers also developments during the Japanese occupation and the Indonesian Revolution as well as continued operations by Dutch enterprises in Indonesia during the 1950s. The account culminates with the take-over and nationalization of Dutch private enterprises in the late 1950s.
The book is based on research in a wide variety of primary sources. Themes discussed include economic policies, the changing position of Indonesian personnel inside Dutch-owned firms as well as the emergence of new Indonesian entrepreneurship.

This book begins with a stage-setting overview of major changes in the economic and political structure between the late colonial period and early independent Indonesia (Chapter II From colonial to national economy).
The emphasis is on the colonial economy and society as they had developed by the 1930s, while tracing the origins of Indonesianisasi. The chapter moves on to the shifting political constellation and main macroeconomic trends during the 1950s without, however, pretending to offer an exhaustive history of this period.

Rapid and violent change in the period 1942-1949 becomes the topic of the next chapter. It covers both the Japanese occupation and the Indonesian Revolution (Chapter III Occupation and revolution). This chapter demonstrates that more progress was made towards economic decolonization during these tumultuous years than has often been appreciated.

We will find also several chapters that devoted to various aspects of Indonesianisasi as describes above.  The development of new entrepreneurship in Indonesia is surveyed against the background of economic restructuring and efforts to achieve industrialization (Chapter IV A new dawn in business). A key question here is whether indigenous entrepreneurship fluorished despite or because of the economic policies pursued.

Nationalization of foreign-owned firms served as a major vehicle for the Indonesian government in its endeavors to secure control over vital sectors of the economy. Early nationalization was largely voluntary and differed markedly from the forced government take-over which hit Dutch firms in the late 1950s (Chapter V Voluntary nationalization).

Economic nationalism in Indonesia in the 1950s gained its most notorious expression in the policy of positive discrimination known as Benteng (literally ‘fortress’), aimed at accelerating participation by indigenous Indonesians in economic life (Chapter VI Economic nationalism). This chapter focuses on the 1950s and touches on the anti-Chinese sentiments re-emerging in the wake of economic nationalism.

Reactions of foreign –especially Dutch – business are portrayed in a separate chapter focusing on the Indonesianisasi in its narrow sense of replacing foreign personnel with Indonesians (Chapter VII Indonesianisasi).

The final phase of economic decolonization consisted of the take-over and nationalization of the remaining Dutch-owned enterprises.  We could find that on chapter VIII Take-over and nationalization.
Chapter VIII gives a full description of this dramatic even, including its prelude and aftermath while briefly outlining the take-over of British and American companies in the conflict with Malaysia during the early 1960s.

This book closed by the chapter IX, the writer returns to the issues addressed in this book and review the entire process of the economic decolonization.

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