Video Duration 25 minutes 15 seconds
From: Counting the Cost

Joko Widodo: High hopes, grim reality?

We look at the Indonesian president’s first year in power and his efforts to kick-start the country’s flagging economy.

One year after being sworn in to office, the approval rating for Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, has drastically fallen as disillusionment over his handling of the economy continues to grow.

Expected to signal a new chapter for Indonesia’s nascent democracy, the former furniture salesman has been blamed for several political mistakes since taking office last October, including a string of diplomatic disputes and the worst economic slowdown in six years.

Having predicted the economy to grow annually by 7 percent, GDP growth in the first quarter of 2015 was at 4.7 percent – the worst level since 2009.

Poverty rates have also risen, climbing to 11.25 percent, with more than 28 million people now living below the poverty line.

And with the currency down 12 percent since last year – Widodo’s efforts to stimulate the economy with an infrastructure kickstart have not been well received by economists.

So after one year in office, can the Indonesian president turn around his and his country’s fortunes?

Rajiv Biswas, the chief economist for Asia Pacific at IHS, joins Counting the Cost to discuss President Joko Widodo’s first year in power and plans to fix the country’s outmoded airports, dams, ports and roads.

Volkswagen’s legal nightmare

The scandal at German carmaker Volkswagen has failed to die down one month after the car giant admitted to having rigged its diesel vehicles with software capable of tricking emissions tests. 

Volkswagen admitted that 11 million of its cars were equipped with “defeat devices” that covertly turned off pollution controls when the car was being driven and back on when tests were being conducted.

In a massive loss of faith in the brand, millions of drivers could demand compensation over the cheating scandal.

Bozena Michalowska-Howells, a partner at Leigh Day, a legal firm representing thousands of Volkswagen car owners in the United Kingdom, joins the programme to discuss the crisis.

The economic effects of the fall of Kunduz

The Afghan city of Kunduz has witnessed heavy fighting since last month after Taliban fighters launched an audacious raid on the strategic city.

The group’s multi-pronged attack has raised fears that further attacks could happen elsewhere – even in the capital Kabul.

The country’s economy was only just beginning to recover after years of war and it cannot really afford another hit.

Al Jazeera’s Jennifer Glasse reports from Kabul, where shopkeepers says they fear investing in their businesses.