Indonesia wants to lower its reliance on natural resources and President Joko Widodo is turning the spotlight on films, fashion and handicrafts.
Lotte Cinema has acquired land to build theaters in more than 60 locations, while CJ CGV Co., through its Indonesian unit PT Graha Layar Prima, is already present in 13 Indonesian cities. Cinema 21 is Indonesia’s largest operator of movie theaters with nearly 1,000 screens and has exclusive distribution rights to Motion Pictures Association of America studio films in the archipelago.
Southeast Asia’s largest economy has climbed 45 places in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking since Jokowi took office in 2014. He wants the country to improve its position to 40 in the next two years from 72 now. The World Bank has called for easier terms for foreign manufacturers and fewer restrictions on ownership in some sectors to lure more foreign direct investment.
The agency is also pushing for exports of Indonesian designer goods such as batik clothes and handicrafts by aggressively marketing at global exhibitions, Munaf said. The government is working with e-commerce platforms like Bukalapak.com and other start-ups to find buyers for Indonesian designers and artisans, he said.
“Fresh graduates are increasingly choosing informal work like developing games and applications and culinary business,” said Josua Pardede, an economist at PT Bank Permata in Jakarta. “If they get support from the government to promote their products in the global market, it will contribute to foreign investment and foreign reserves.”
Jokowi has taken steps to wean the country off commodities and push investment in value-added manufacturing and services to generate more jobs and to finance hundreds of billions of dollars needed for infrastructure. Indonesia’s economy has expanded at an average of about 5 percent, below the 7 percent targeted by the president.