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By Dan Adkins

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Sudibyo assumes his duties during a period of extended economic crises in Indonesia and across Southeast Asia.

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Nov. 5, 1999 – (Lexington, Ky.) – Bambang Sudibyo, appointed finance minister of Indonesia last week, earned his doctoral degree in accounting in 1985 at the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics. He had a minor in microeconomics.

Sudibyo, 47, was appointed to the post on Wednesday, Oct. 27, by newly elected President Abdurahman Wakhid. He assumes his duties during a period of extended economic crises in Indonesia and across Southeast Asia. The crises started in 1997 with a devaluation of the nation's currency, which led to a near collapse of the economic system.

"I think it reflects very favorably on the reputation in Indonesia of the doctoral degree program at the Gatton College," Michael Tearney, associate dean of the Gatton College and a professor of accountancy.

Tearney noted Sudibyo was in the first group of Indonesian students to seek postgraduate degrees in the Gatton College's accountancy program. Another graduate of the program, Zaki Baridwan (1989) is under consideration to head Indonesia's Securities and Exchange Commission, Tearney said.

Tearney said Gatton College officials currently have tentative plans for a seminar designed to encourage American investment in Indonesian enterprises. Subidyo will attend as will officials from Washington and Jakarta. The seminar would be conducted in Lexington next spring.

In remarks to the Indonesian press after his appointment, Subidyo said his priorities will be to secure the national budget, to continue banking recapitalization, and to maintain the nation's existing tax brackets while expanding the number of taxpayers to increase tax revenue.

Sudibyo comes to the Finance Ministry after serving on the board of directors for the Center for Strategy and Policy Studies in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, since 1993. He also served as vice chairman of the Indonesia Economist Association from 1993 to 1996, as vice chairman of the education and training department of the Indonesian Institute of Accountants from 1994 to 1998; as chairman of the research and development department in the institute from 1998 to the present; and as a member of the Public Policy Committee in the State Ministry for State Owned Enterprises from 1998 to this year.

He earned his bachelor's degree in accounting in 1977 from Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia and his master's degree in 1980 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

The University of Kentucky currently enrolls 1,500 international students representing more than 100 countries.

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