Indonesia must continue to closely engage the United States regardless of who wins the US presidential elections in November, diplomats and foreign policy experts say, as it seeks to rekindle its partnership with a superpower largely preoccupied with its rivalry with China.With the race to the White House picking up speed, Indonesia must decide on how to best anticipate two possible scenarios: preparing for a change in US leadership or bracing for more of the same.Americans are expected to head to the polls on Nov. 3 to vote in President Donald Trump for a second term or to let former vice president Joe Biden steer the US into a different direction. “If elected, Biden will be the most ‘foreign policy prepared’ president. But how bold and different his foreign policy will be depends on whether the Democrats could rule the Senate,” Dino said of the former member of the US Senate foreign affairs committee.The Foreign Ministry’s director for America (I) affairs, Zelda Kartika, said that if Biden was elected, more nonconventional security issues could be raised in discussions, such as human rights, democracy, immigration, environment and labor issues, in contrast to a Trumpian foreign policy that focuses more on trade and investment and sanctioning.Meanwhile, chief country representative of the US-ASEAN Business Council in Jakarta, Landry Haryo Subianto, said Indonesia must anticipate shared concerns with the US in the coming years, including on issues such as climate change, health, technology and trade and investment.Landry added that the US-China trade war under a Biden presidency would likely be more sophisticated and with less censuring toward China.Weary of its hefty trade deficit with Beijing, Washington declared a trade war in March 2018. It quickly escalated with tit-for-tat punitive duties on hundreds of billions of dollars of bilateral trade, disrupting global trade.Trump’s fixation on the trade war has other countries scrambling to benefit from the fallout from two superpowers, and Indonesia is no exception.The government has formed a special task force to attract companies leaving China. In June, seven foreign businesses, including US-based light product maker Alpan, confirmed their relocation plans to Indonesia.Indonesia must take the opportunity to persuade as many US companies seeking to move out of China and relocate their production facilities to Southeast Asian countries, said Siswo Pramono, the Foreign Ministry’s head of policy analysis and development.He said the trade war would continue regardless of who would be elected the new US president later this year.“Biden wants to boost domestic manufacturing while taking a hard line on China’s alleged steel dumping and intellectual property infringement. Meanwhile, Trump will continue to attack China, encourage US companies to avoid offshoring and slap tariffs on Chinese goods,” he said.Even though Trump has arguably dragged US leadership down by retreating from global forums, introducing policies deemed unfavorable to many nations including US allies and dismantling former president Barack Obama’s achievements, foreign views of the US remains generally favorable, according to a Pew Research poll in January.“Despite low confidence in Trump, there are still high expectations for US global leadership among the international community, including from Asia-Pacific,” said Syafiah Muhibat, head researcher on international relations at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).Also, many US voters still feel represented by Trump despite the lack of trust in him globally, said international law expert Hikmahanto Juwana of the University of Indonesia.As such, he said, Indonesia should prepare for both scenarios.“If Trump wins again, forget that bilateral trade will run smoothly before Trump manages to bring back US jobs. Besides, we must also think about how to reduce tension in [Southeast Asia] because under Trump, the escalated trade war might turn the region into a battleground,” he said.Syafiah of CSIS said the most important yet still unanswered question was what changes could either US presidential candidate offer to ASEAN.“Trump is known for his ‘tit for tat’ or transactional policy, which often undermines multilateral interests. The undecided policy toward ASEAN leaves a challenge to Indonesia, that is how to contribute in regions to uphold multilateral partnership,” said Shafiah.US ties with Indonesia and ASEAN has been lacking in recent years, with Washington focusing most of its resources on its rivalry with Beijing. The US ambassadorships to Indonesia and to ASEAN are currently vacant, with ad interim officials without much sway in policymaking left in charge of relations.Topics : Either way, experts agreed during a virtual discussion this week that the result of the election would affect Indonesia’s foreign policy stance vis-a-vis the US, as well as Washington’s relations in the Asia-Pacific in general.On the one hand, former Indonesian ambassador to the US Dino Patti Djalal was especially confident that Trump would lose on account of unanticipated job losses and other challenges wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.“Throughout history, US voters are known for being punitive toward leaders who govern when the state is in distress,” he said on Tuesday.Indonesia must start figuring out a partnership strategy beyond trade and investment to anticipate inevitable changes post-election, especially if candidate Biden outvotes Trump, said the founder of the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI).
Ray White Surfers Paradise Group director Andrew Bell said the results confirmed the property market was on the up.He predicted suburbs surrounding Bundall and Carrara to benefit from their increased land values.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North10 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day ago“When property values go up in one location it means a lot of people can’t afford to buy there so they look for the next adjoining area so you get this cascading effect,” he said.REIQ Gold Coast zone chairman John Newlands predicted northern NSW buyers to look towards Coolangatta for affordability and said there was more growth predicted on the northern Gold Coast.“Nerang has always been a marketplace that’s had a median price and while I don’t predict it to change dramatically it will enjoy the growth,” Mr Newlands said.“The northern corridor including Hope Island and Coomera is also something to watch.” “Land values have generally increased since the last valuation, with some significant increases in some market sectors and localities,” Queensland’s valuer-general Neil Bray said.“Some localities such as Carrara reflected moderate increases in median value due to its central location with the median value of residential land in Carrara increasing from $270,000 to $325,000.”While no Gold Coast suburbs declined in land value, Coolangatta, Pacific Pines and South Stradbroke recorded no change. Carrara and Bundall have recorded the biggest increases in land valuation.Property valuation and advisory business Heron Todd Gold Coast director Tod Gillespie said while the valuations confirmed the property market on the Gold Coast had strengthened, they did not reflect market value.“There is still some disparity between market value and government site value and if you could buy land at some of the sites valued there would be a rush of buyers,” he said.“As an example Palm Beach is valued at $570,000. “Agents would be rushed with inquiry as cottages that are being knocked down there are going for above $700,000.”“Everyone knows the market has gone up and this is just confirmation.”Ray White Surfers Paradise Group director Andrew Bell shared a similar view.“It’s just further evidence that property values here are rising,” Mr Bell said.“It’s such a great statement for the city at large.” REIQ Gold Coast zone chairman John Newlands said the Coast’s “boom and bust” reputation was starting to diminish with the expansion of other industries. Picture Glenn HampsonOther suburbs Mr Newlands tipped included Burleigh Heads, Palm Beach and Tugun.He also said the Coast’s “boom and bust” reputation was starting to diminish with the expansion of other industries.“What happens on the Coast is the professionals go to major cities for jobs and we lose a lot of talent,” he said.“We are starting to see other industries apart from tourism and construction firing in their own capacity — film making, the medical and education industries are giving the Coast more depth and with the depth comes more jobs.” WINNERS Carrara, 20.4 per centBundall, 19.6 per centPalm Beach, 16.3 per centTallebudgera, 15.7 per centClear Island Waters, 15.1 per cent LOSERS Coolangatta, zero per centPacific Pines, zero per centSouth Stradbroke, zero per centBilinga, 1.8 per centOxenford, 2.3 per cent The Valuer-General’s 2017 Property Market Movement report shows the median price for residential land on the Gold Coast increased by 8.5 per cent over the past year to $320,000.LAND valuations have surged by 20 per cent in Carrara and Bundall off the back of a booming housing market.Property experts tip the effects to flow north to Hope Island, south to Coolangatta and across the M1 to Nerang with all three suburbs predicted to increase in land value over the next year.The Valuer-General’s 2017 Property Market Movement report shows the median price for residential land on the Gold Coast increased by 8.5 per cent over the past year to $320,000. SEE THE SUBURB-BY-SUBURB INTERATIVE MAP HERE