Hernando de Soto ready to serve as President Yudhoyono's consultant

Jakarta (Antara News) - Peruvian economic thinker Hernando de Soto has expressed preparedness to be President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono`s consultant on economic affairs if requested.

De Soto has been a consultant to more than 35 state/government leaders, including former US President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

"I will do it with pleasure if the Indonesian government wants me to," De Soto told Antara News here.

The Peruvian economic thinker said he felt challenged to help empower the Indonesian people in their efforts to overcome poverty with their own capital.

"Indonesia is the world`s most populous Muslim country and the world`s fourth largest democratic country with around 40 million poor people," he noted, adding this was the reason why he was ready to be Yudhoyono`s consultant.

De Soto is the author of a book titled "The Other Path" which completely reversed the prevailing public opinion that the world`s poverty was an excess of globalization and capitalism. He contended poverty existed because governments in developing countries in general had prevented their peoples from applying the capitalist system.

He said the regulations and laws made by the parliaments and governments of those countries had restricted the freedom of the majority of their peoples to become part of the networks of world capitalist activity.

Consequently, he said, the elites in the formal sectors were getting richer while those in the informal sectors were becoming poorer.

Asked what he would do in a meeting with President Yudhoyono next week, De Soto said he would emphasize the importance of codifying the laws in various fields and granting certificates to poor people and farmers. (*)
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