Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, attempting to lure foreign investors and create jobs, has asked his ministers to cut governmental regulations. His inspiration for this request is none other than President Donald Trump.

Ten days after Trump assumed the office of president in 2017, he signed an executive order directing government agencies to revoke two regulations for every new regulation issued. The order specified that any new regulation had to be done at the same cost as the two revoked regulations.

The success or failure of the executive order is difficult to assess at the time. What cannot be argued is that unemployment in 2019 is at 3.6% which is near a 50-year low and the stock market seems to break record highs on a regular basis even as Trump’s economy is threatened by the ongoing trade war with China.

His supporters will say that cutting regulations has been a huge success while his naysayers will claim just the opposite citing potential doom and gloom over such issues as the environmental harm caused by fewer regulations on certain industries.

Jokowi_Indonesia_July19 Joko "Jokowi" Widodo smiles during an interview with Reuters in Jakarta on July 19, 2014. Photo: Reuters/Darren Whiteside

The Indonesian president said he was inspired by the information shared by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross about Trump’s deregulation agenda. Jokowi spoke in a Cabinet meeting on Monday on job creation and told his Indonesia Onward ministers to slash regulations thought to be slowing down job-creating investments.

From his presidential office, Jokowi said, “Recently, Secretary Ross told me that there [in the U.S.], if any minister wanted to issue a regulation, he/she needed to revoke two regulations. We should be able to do that as well. For every regulation issued by a minister, they need to annul 40 ministerial regulations because we have too many ministerial regulations.”

Wooing foreign investors is one of Jokowi’s priority agendas that he stressed in a victory speech after his election in 2014. During the speech, he said, “...no one should be allergic to investment…”, particularly those that create jobs in the country. The unemployment rate stood at 5.28% as of August this year, slightly lower than the 5.34% recorded over the same period last year, according to the latest available data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS).