JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – It is a great time for investors to take advantage of great investment opportunities in Indonesia following its enticing financial climate. Located at the crossroad of the Asian and Australian continents and between the Indian and the Pacific Oceans, Indonesia has many advantages of investment opportunities.
Endowed with fertile soil and abundant natural resources, the country is offering investors wide opportunities in many sectors. Therefore, director of Quvat Management in Singapore Thomas T. Lembong has called on the government, business players and investors to optimally utilize the wide investment opportunities in Indonesia.
On the sidelines of World Economic Forum on East Asia (WEF-EA), Lembong said China and India have a great interest in investment in Asia, including Indonesia, and this trend should be used as best as possible.
“Asia is on the rise. Indonesia at present is a ’darling’ investor. The investors are aware that Indonesia has a very big potential,” Lembong said.
He said as coal, palm oil and consumer goods are now lucrative commodities in Indonesia they need to offer them to investors. But Lembong cautioned Indonesia not always has the attention of investors.
“Therefore we have to be realistic because the market and investors always have a trend. How much investment can be sustained, will depend on how we utilize it optimally,” said the recipient of World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.
He said that in terms of investment supporting facilities and infrastructure, Indonesia was not inferior to those of other developing countries as China and India, but compared with the developed countries, Indonesia was still lagging far behind.
“As learned from international investors, China and India are not the countries without problems because in the developing countries there facing many obstacles and difficulties, but Indonesia actually has many good facilities,” he said.
For that, Lembong said all parties including the government, business players, and investors need to be more patient because the important thing was not quantity but quality of investment.
“Ideally, all parties should be patient, and not be in a hurry so that the funds do not go to unnecessary projects,” he said, adding that the key to investment success in Indonesia was cooperation of all parties namely of the government, business players, and investors.
According to Lembong, Indonesia has very big investment opportunities as a developing country. Meanwhile, presidential special staff for foreign relations Teuku Faizasyah said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum said on Sunday that Singapore wished to make investment in development projects in Sumatra, especially in Batam.
“It was said earlier that Singapore can make investments in Sumatra,” Faizasya said, explaining that Singapore’s interest in investment in Sumatra’s projects was disclosed when President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono received a courtesy call of Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the sidelines of the WEF-EA.
Faizasyah said Singapore wanted explanations about development schemes in Indonesia, especially after the Indonesian government launched the Master Plan of Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesian Economic Development (MP3EI).
“Singapore wants Indonesia to explain it in detail the areas where the country can make an investment,” Faizasyah said.
According to him, President Yudhoyono and Lee Hsien Loong agreed to optimize again the cooperation agreement on Singapore-Johor-Riau (Sijori).
He said the partnership concept would be harmonized with the MP3EI which has been launched by Indonesia. In the WEF-EA, Indonesia also offered investment in the infrastructure sector through a public private partnership (PPP) scheme.
“The ability of the government’s fiscal is in a small balance and therefore we offer the investment in infrastructure sector to both foreign and private parties,” Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo said.
The forum among others discussed the failure in the monetary sector as a result of the impact of economic turmoil in Asia. Present as the speakers at the meeting were Michael Buchanan, Chief Asia-Pacific Economist at Goldman Sach; Stuart T Gulliver, Group Chief Executive HSBC Holding UK; Omar Lodhi, Chief Executive Officer Abraaj Capital Asia Singapore; and Bank Indonesia Deputy Governor Muliaman D Hadad.
Agus Martowardojo on the occasion said the provision of infrastructure was a challenge that Indonesia has to face in the next five years. The finance minister said around Rp1,400 trillion were needed in the next five years for infrastructure development in Indonesia.
But he added that the government was only able to provide around 20 to 30 percent of the funds and the rest should be obtained with the cooperation of private parties through a public private partnership schemes.
“In the past seven years such a scheme did not give a significant result but expected there will soon be a pilot infrastructure project,” Agus said.
He said an infrastructure pilot project with the PPP scheme in East Java would soon be realized and it was expected to be followed by other projects. Agus admitted that although a capital flight could occur any time, Indonesia would not implement a capital control policy.
“I am optimistic that there will be no capital control,” the finance minister said, adding that fiscal and monetary conditions in the real sector were good and could support capital inflows.
Investment opportunities in Indonesia help both residents and investors because the country has over 200 million residents who are actively competing in joining the work force.
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