Mulyani, Asia's best finance
minister two years in a

The Emerging Markets newspaper has selected Indonesia's Sri Mulyani Indrawati as Asia's Finance Minister of The Year for two years in a row, the ministry's office reported on Tuesday.

The reception for the award was held Oct. 10 at the sidelines of the annual meeting between the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington. Representing Mulyani at the reception was Director General for Debt Management Rahmat Waluyanto.

The newspaper, which focuses on international finance, economy and investment, annually chooses the best finance minister and central bank governor in Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia.

It said that Mulyani had been chosen for three reasons: Her accomplishment in improving Indonesia's economic performance so that it managed to expand 6 percent in spite of inflation; her success in reorganizing the working environment in the ministry and the platform she laid for a focused and controlled bureaucracy reform; and for her role in helping Indonesia gain a reputation as Outstanding Borrower of The Year for the Asia region.

Mulyani was praised for her success in controlling inflation without interfering with economic growth and for being able to create a synergy with the central bank.

On that she commented in a statement, "Compared to other countries in Southeast Asia that rely on exports, we have a strategic policy of optimizing Indonesia's economy through developing the domestic resources."

"(Central Bank) Governor Boediono and I speak the same language and can trust each other," Mulyani said.

The newspaper highly praised Indonesia's success in raising the fuel prices in May, saying it was an amazing political compromise, considering the potential public unrest behind the decision.

"We studied every available scenario and asked the politicians what they expected. Of course we wanted to reduce poverty and unemployment but at the same time an external shock and inflation had translated into an increase in the deficit, so did they want us to reduce it or keep it," Mulyani said. (and)

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