Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Aburizal Bakrie

Aburizal Bakrie (born 15 November 1946) is an Indonesian entrepreneur and politician.

Bakrie was born in Jakarta on November 15, 1946. He attended the Bandung Institute of Technology where he obtained a degree in electrical engineering in 1973. In 1972 he joined PT Bakrie & Brothers Tbk - the conglomerate founded by his father Ahmad Bakri - which had prospered during the Suharto regime. The Bakrie Group conducts business in agriculture, real estate, trade, shipping, banking, insurance, media, manufacturing, construction, and mining. Aburizal Bakrie, the eldest of four siblings, was the chairman of the family enterprise from 1999 to 2004. The Bakrie conglomerate went into deep debt after the 1998 Asian economic crisis and survived only after a refinancing process in 2000. The refinancing allowed the Bakrie family to maintain control over the conglomerate.

In 2004 Bakrie resigned his positions within the Bakrie companies prior to being named Chief Economic Minister of Indonesia. This appointment by a president who planned to fight corruption was viewed with some reservation. Subsequently Aburizal Bakrie has been blamed for poor economic development and business nepotism. After a reshuffling of the cabinet in 2005, he became the Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare.

Previous positions included the presidency of the ASEAN Business Forum for two consecutive terms from 1991 to 1995, and the chairmanship of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) for two consecutive terms from 1994 to 2004. As a member of the Golkar party Bakrie competed unsuccessfully to become Golkar's candidate for the presidency in 2004; eventually General Wiranto became the party's candidate.

He was elected as the chairman of Golkar party at 2009 Golkar Party Congress at Pekanbaru, Riau, Indonesia after defeating Surya Paloh, Yuddy Chrisnandi and Hutomo Mandala Putra. In May 2010, he successfully formed and was elected the leader of a majority parliamentary coalition with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's party.

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