Jakarta to open another investment office in Singapore

JAKARTA • Indonesia will open a new office in Singapore to attract even more investment from its top source of foreign investment, senior official Purbaya Yudhi Sadewa has said.

Singapore accounted for US$9.19 billion (S$12.5 billion), or 34.4 per cent, of all foreign investment in Indonesia last year, said Dr Purbaya in Jakarta on Monday.

"It (the investment from Singapore) is only 10 per cent of the potential," he was quoted by financial news website kontan.co.id as saying.

Dr Purbaya is a deputy head of the Task Force for the Acceleration and Effective Implementation of Economic Policy formed by the Indonesian government in 2016.

The task force's main objectives, among others, is to streamline regulations and improve Indonesia's economic competitiveness.

It is chaired by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and comprises officials from ministries, agencies and the central bank.

The new representative office in Singapore, said Dr Purbaya, will be tasked with approaching potential investors who had expressed interest in Indonesia last year but had failed to follow through.

 
 

According to data from the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), 721.2 trillion rupiah (S$69.4 billion) was invested in Indonesia last year, up 4.1 per cent from 2017.

But while foreign investment contributed 392.7 trillion rupiah or more than half of that total, it was down by 8.8 per cent compared with 2017.

Dr Purbaya said many Singaporean companies and representatives of international corporations based in the Republic had shown interest in investing in Indonesia, but were deterred by issues like red tape.

"Our people will follow up on projects pledged from Singapore. We will operate soon," he said, adding that his working group had addressed 120 cases relating to investment and technology. He also said the group was working to resolve 139 investment cases this year.

However, Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry deputy chairman Shinta Widjaja Kamdani expressed doubt that the planned Singapore office would help resolve problems with investment realisation.

She said the duties of such an office would overlap with the BKPM office and the Indonesian Investment Promotion Centre (IIPC) in Singapore. "The idea to help investors invest in Indonesia is good, but Indonesia already has BKPM representation and an embassy in the country," she added.

The IIPC has representative offices in Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo, Seoul, Abu Dhabi, London and New York.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2019, with the headline 'Jakarta to open another investment office in S'pore'. Print Edition | Subscribe