Indonesia is lifting limits on foreign investment by opening up at least five new business sectors.
This will include operating the country’s airports and seaports — once the exclusive domain of domestic investors.
The country is easing foreign access to boost investment.
Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa said he wants to show foreign investors that Indonesia has no intention to close its economy.
There is a perception among some foreign investors that approaching the 2014 election year, politicians tend to take a protective and nationalistic approach to the economy.
The move is also an attempt to persuade investors to dislodge the traditional belief that Indonesia is attractive as a market for imported goods.
Foreign investors will be allowed to manage and run ports, airports, land terminals and drydocks as long as the projects remain within the parameters of public private partnerships.
Businessmen see the move as a positive step and agree that improving the management of airports and seaports can help in the transport of goods and logistics for their companies.
Peter Gontha, deputy chairman of Indonesian Chamber of Commerce, said: “Small and medium enterprises, they will actually gain from this because once those airports, once those harbors are being constructed, once more ships are coming in, once more cargo is coming in, once more passengers are coming in, you will see that actually the economy around those infrastructure projects like airports and harbors will actually grow.
“And who will gain? It’s the SMEs. The small and medium enterprises. If you open a new airport, look how many people can open shops in those airports.”
Indonesia is planning to build 24 new airports by 2015, 16 of which will be opened this year alone.
Currently, PT Angkasa Pura owns and operates Indonesia’s airports, while PT Pelindo owns and runs seaports across the country.
Other sectors that will be open to foreign investors deal with motor vehicle inspection and film distribution.
Source : Channel News Asia | November 7, 2013