UOB to help Jakarta draw investments

Mr Franky Sibarani (left), chairman of Indonesia's BKPM, with Mr Wee Ee Cheong, deputy chairman and chief executive officer of UOB. The two parties signed an agreement yesterday to boost investment in Indonesia.
Mr Franky Sibarani (left), chairman of Indonesia's BKPM, with Mr Wee Ee Cheong, deputy chairman and chief executive officer of UOB. The two parties signed an agreement yesterday to boost investment in Indonesia.PHOTO: UOB

United Overseas Bank (UOB) is linking up with an Indonesian government agency to encourage more foreign direct investment (FDI) into Indonesia.

Under an agreement signed yesterday, the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) will allow UOB clients to apply for what is called a Principle Licence here without having to travel to Indonesia.

A foreign company must obtain the licence as an initial step to incorporating an entity there.

BKPM, which is under the direct supervision of President Joko Widodo, supports foreign investment into the country and helps Indonesian companies venturing overseas.

UOB said it will support Indonesian investors looking to expand overseas through BKPM's Indonesia Investment Promotion Centre in Singapore.

BKPM will also help UOB clients take advantage of business opportunities in Indonesia.

Last year, Indonesia was the second-largest recipient of foreign direct investment inflows into Asean, receiving US$28.5 billion (S$40.2 billion), UOB noted.

China's FDI into Indonesia has increased more than fivefold over the past three years, growing from US$141 million in 2012 to US$800 million last year, UOB said.

Mr Sam Cheong, head of UOB Foreign Direct Investment Advisory, said opportunities in the region will be boosted by the upcoming Asean Economic Community.

Under China's "One Belt, One Road" initiatives, trade and investment between China and South-east Asia will likely continue growing, he added.

BKPM chairman Franky Sibarani said in a statement: "(The agreement) will help to promote investments in Indonesia across major sectors, such as the infrastructure, maritime, import substitution, export-oriented, agriculture, downstream mining, industrial estate and tourism industries."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2015, with the headline 'UOB to help Jakarta draw investments'. Print Edition | Subscribe