May 1, 2006
A Semen Gresik worker in Indonesia unloads bags of cement.Mexican soap operas have gone over well in Indonesia. Some of its top businessmen have not. After years of wrangling with the local government, dealing with striking workers, broken promises and even executives being held hostage, Cemex the Latin American poster child for global expansion and the world's third-largest cement maker has finally been chased out of Indonesia.
Cemex's track record in countries as disparate as Egypt and the UK suggests that the problem may have been more Indonesian than Mexican. Even Exxon-Mobil, with decades of experience operating in hostile political environments, is in a
After years of hand wringing over its Indonesian investment, Mexican cement maker Cemex has finally signaled an exit from the country – hopefully with some lessons learned that it can apply elsewhere.