Who is he?
Mr. Rachmat Gobel is the president and director of PT Gobel International, a global leader in electronic goods. As the head of several corporations under PT Gobel, Mr. Gobel’s leadership made him a natural choice for Chairman of Indonesia’s National Innovation Committee. He was appointed chairman on May 2010 by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Mr. Gobel has made significant improvements to Indonesia’s industry sector by demonstrating how private-sector leaders play a role in introducing sustainable development and green productivity. His efforts have won him a number of awards including the Asian Productivity Organization Regional Award in 2011. Mr. Gobel is also chairman of the Indonesian Renewable Energy Society (METI), and the Indonesian Electronic Association (Gabel).
Why is he in the news?
Gobel recognizes the precarious nature of an Indonesian economy overly reliant on fossil-based energy. His frequent contributions to the Jakarta Post often call for cooperation between government and the private sector to address this issue. As METI chairman, he has been a strong supporter of expanding research and development in green and renewable sources of energy.
On October 2 Gobel chaired a contest that recognized 33 exporters for their innovation in the non-oil sector. He will speak at CSIS during October 23 on Indonesia and climate change.
What can we expect from him?
Mr. Gobel will continue to play a leading role in Indonesia’s industrial sector, but his efforts to promote renewable energy will likely be constrained by the government’s limited willingness to incentivize investment in those sectors. His track record of partnering with international companies in Indonesia suggests that he will take advantage of potential investments in renewable energy as the government shows more commitment to alternative energy sources through tax holidays and reducing energy subsidies.