President Joko Widodo explains investment potential to Chinese businessmen

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, currently in China for the G20 Summit, spoke about investment potential in the country with the Chinese businessmen at a forum in Shanghai.

“Three years ago, before I became president, China was the 13th biggest investor in Indonesia. After my visit to Beijing two years ago, I am glad to report that China has now become the third biggest in the country,” he told around 1,000 Chinese businessmen at Hotel Shangrilla here on Saturday.

At the “Indonesia Business Forum” organized by Indonesias Capital Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), President Joko Widodo said Indonesia has opened itself to investors in the countrys trade or infrastructure development.

He reminded that the current economic slowdown in the world has affected Indonesias economic growth since 2012. “To overcome it, after taking office, we immediately launched the biggest infrastructure development program in the history of our country.”

To lure investment, he explained, the Indonesian government carried out massive deregulation to reduce procedural red-tape and make investment licensing procedures easy.

“We have come up with 13 deregulation policy packages in various fields, from reducing the cost of energy for the industry to opening more sectors for international investors and cutting down the loading and unloading time at the main ports and others,” he elaborated.

Before President Joko Widodos speech, a panel discussion was held which was moderated by BKPM chief Thomas Lembong. The panelists included Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukito, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto and Minister of Communication and Informatics Rudiantara.

Luhut made a presentation on the investment potential in the maritime field and tourism sectors as well as several steps taken by the government to facilitate investors.

Enggartiasto talked about deregulation policies in the field of trade while Airlangga Hartarto dealt with the investment potential in the manufacturing field.

Rudiantara promoted the telecommunication network owned by Indonesia to support investors to develop businesses in Indonesia.

Several businessmen at the meeting complained of the difficulties in seeking business permits in Indonesia, including a work permit, and also about minimal availability of supporting infrastructure.

“We admit that licensing procedures are still complicated but we will continue improving them. If problems are at the ministries level, we will overhaul the ministries concerned in order to make (the procedures) simpler for investors,” President Joko Widodo emphasized while responding to a question from newsmen.

Regarding work permit, President Joko Widodo pledged he would improve the procedures to obtain it. “We have indeed received complaints but we cannot expect improvement at once. Once I return home (from G20 and ASEAN summits), I will discuss it,” he assured.

Source: Antara News