Indonesia Encourages UK to Boost Investment

Jakarta - The Indonesian government has encouraged British investors to invest in priority sectors such as infrastructure and industry amid the country's solid foundation of macro economy despite the global economic slowdown.

Speaking during the closing session of the Indonesia-UK Business Forum here on Tuesday, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla stated that the rising number of British investors would lead to a significant contribution in trade and investment and boost the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

Trade and investment were two important elements in the partnership between the two countries, he informed the participants of the forum organized in connection with the British Prime Minister David Cameron's visit to Jakarta.

Indonesia and the United Kingdom have so far had sound cooperation in sectors such as energy as demonstrated in the Tangguh LNG project. A British company even owns majority of the shares of Astra International, whose main office is located in Indonesia, he noted.

Vice President Kalla also shed light on agriculture, fisheries, energy, industry, and tourism sectors, which the central government has been focusing on.

"The foundation of our macro economy remains strong," he remarked, adding that the economic development, which the central government has been carrying out, is aimed at improving the welfare of all Indonesians and maintaining regional stability.

Kalla further added that Indonesia is also serious about improving its interregional connectivity by building more seaports and airports, particularly in the eastern part of the archipelago.

In the past, it was largely perceived that the sea separated islands, but the ideology currently held by Indonesians is that the sea unifies the archipelago, he affirmed.

Meanwhile, Azhar Lubis of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) stated that Prime Minister Cameron's visit was expected to encourage more British investors to invest in Indonesia.

"The British investors have invested in the pharmaceutical industry. We hope that they will also be interested in investing in power plant projects, which are also part of our priorities," he noted.

British businesspersons have in fact expressed interest in investing in a drinking water company, but they might still await the revision of the government regulation on water resources, he affirmed.

According to the BPKM, as of the first semester of 2015, there have been 109 British direct investment projects in Indonesia worth US$424.93 million. (Source: Antara27072015)​