Welcome to Control Risks’ inaugural quarterly newsletter. Our aim is to open the doors on aspects of the interesting work we do in Indonesia and shed light on some of the common challenges our clients face when they come to us for support.

Control Risks set up its Jakarta office in 1998. At that time, the focus of our work was on helping clients to evacuate personnel and secure assets in the wake of the economic crisis and socio-political upheaval. Much like Indonesia, our work has changed dramatically since then. We still receive requests for evacuation planning, crisis management and security support, but that forms a relatively small part of our work these days. Today, the bulk of requests come from companies seeking to understand potential business partners and the stakeholders ranged around them, to implement corporate anti-corruption programs in Indonesia, and to deal with complex regulatory problems. We have also seen a small but growing number of Indonesian companies coming to us for advice as they evaluate business opportunities overseas – primarily in South-east Asia, but also in the Middle East and Africa. Our points of contact have also broadened, from security directors to heads of compliance, investment managers and president directors.

Indonesia has bounced back as a country of interest for our clients, after a couple of years during which it was overtaken (in interest levels) by the likes of a newly accessible Myanmar and other South-east Asian bright stars like Vietnam. Despite a nagging feeling that Indonesia’s economy could perform a touch more impressively, it is hard for companies to ignore the allure of Indonesia’s compelling demographics and the dividends they are likely to yield over the next decade. This isn’t to say that the new administration won’t face a range of challenges on many fronts, as our senior advisor James Van Zorge considers in his analysis of the elections and their potential impact on businesses in Indonesia. Foreign companies, in particular, are under significant pressure to comply with international legislation and in-house compliance regimes, as Febiani Tedja, head of our Compliance, Integrity, Intelligence and Technology business, explores in her piece on top factors that businesses need to understand about a potential deal before signing.

We hope you find the newsletter interesting and welcome any feedback you might have.

Martin Brown, Country Manager