The Indonesian government will open an office to boost investment from Singapore, although Indonesian offices with the same purpose have already existed in the neighbouring country.
Working Group IV economic development acceleration task force deputy head Purbaya Yudhi Sadewa said in Jakarta on Monday that Singapore contributed most investment to Indonesia in 2018, namely US$9.19 billion or 34.4 per cent of all foreign investment.
“However, it is only 10 per cent of the potential,” he said as quoted by kontan.co.id, adding that the representative office would be tasked with approaching potential investors who had expressed interest in investing in Indonesia last year but had failed to follow through.
According to the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) data, Rp 721.2 trillion (US$51.10 billion) was invested in Indonesia in 2018, up 4.1 per cent from 2017. At Rp 392.7 trillion, foreign investment accounted for more than half of the total but was down 8.8 per cent from the 430.5 trillion recorded in 2017.
Purbaya said many Singaporean companies and representatives of international corporations in the country had shown interest in investing in Indonesia; however, they failed to invest because of various issues, including business licensing procedures.
“Our people will follow up on projects pledged from Singapore. We will operate soon,” the official said, adding that Working Group IV had addressed 120 cases relating to investment and technology.
Purbaya said there were 139 investment cases in 2019 that should be resolved by the working group.
However, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) deputy chairwoman Shinta Widjaja Kamdani expressed doubt that the planned Singapore office would help resolve problems with investment realization.
She said the duties of such an office would overlap with the BKPM representation and the Indonesian Investment Promotion Centre (IIPC) in the country.
“The idea to help investors invest in Indonesia is good, but Indonesia has already formal governmental bodies, such as the 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.