Jero Wacik Named Indonesia’s New Energy Minister

By webadmin on 07:54 pm Oct 18, 2011
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Indonesia’s tourism minister Jero Wacik said he has been offered the job of energy minister, as part of a cabinet reshuffle expected to be announced by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono later on Tuesday.

But analysts said his appointment is unlikely to herald major changes in energy policy with the former OPEC member unable to meet annual output target.

“Given that Jero Wacik is coming from the tourism portfolio, I don’t expect there to be a major upheaval in energy policy … I think some inertia will remain,” said H.S. Yen, an analyst at FACTS Global Energy.

An official from Yudhoyono’s ruling party, Wacik, known more as a tourism promoter, has meagre experience in the energy portfolio.

The mechanical engineering graduate has authored some physics and mathematics books for high school students in the past.

But a friendly face and a good marketer, analysts say Wacik would likely maintain a pro-foreign investment stance, though investors still face policy flip-flops, red tape and rampant corruption in the resource sector.

He is also likely to favour maintaining fuel subsidies to keep voters happy in the world’s fourth most populous country.