Economic policy packages make Indonesia favorite investment destination

The Indonesian government has issued 11 economic policy packages over the past several months marked with massive deregulation.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - A series of economic policy packages issued by the government have made Indonesia a favorite place for investment, Trade Minister Thomas Lembong has said.

"The policy packages have made Indonesia more interesting to foreign investors," Thomas said in a statement received here on Thursday.

He said the policy packages have strengthened trade cooperation between Indonesia and Europe especially Britain.

The Indonesian government has issued 11 economic policy packages over the past several months marked with massive deregulation.

Thomas, who is in Europe accompanying President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on a tour of a number of European countries, said he had held meetings with counterparts and business leaders in Europe such as in an Indonesia-UK Business Forum in London.

At the forum, Thomas was a panelist together with Richard Graham, an envoy of the British Prime Minister and Rosan Roeslani, the general chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin).

More than 300 representatives of big British corporations attended the forum such Jardin Matheson, British Petroleum, HSBC, and Glaxo Smith Kline.

A number of other British giants including Unilever, GSK, and British American Tobacco (BAT) Plc signed a memorandum of understanding to invest 10 billion pounds in Indonesia .

"We will coordinate with the British Chamber of Commerce in seeking immediate implementation of the investment commitment," Rosan said.

Thomas took the opportunity to explain the economic principles adopted by the Indonesian government stressing that international trade relations no longer relies on tariff war and standardization.

"The principle adopted by the Indonesian government under President Jokowi is transparency and fair competition. Now is the time for comprehensive trade relations," he said.

Based on data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) bilateral trade between Indonesia and Britain dropped 5.8 percent per year in the period of 2011-2015. The trade, however, continued in favor of Indonesia with surplus growing 14.6 percent per year.

Indonesias exports to Britain have been dominated by footwear, timber products , coffee, machines and shrimp, while imports from that country include pharmaceuticals, pipes, aircraft components and perfumes.

British investments in Indonesia has fluctuated in value from year to year . In 2015, British in the country was valued at US$503.2 million down from US$1.6 billion in 2014.

Thomas also acted as moderator at a financial meeting attended by 24 leading British finance companies such as Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Assets, TheCityUK and Schroders.

At the meeting the Indonesian Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro and Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo spoke about Indonesian fiscal and monetary policy.

Thomas also accompanied President Jokowi in other meetings such as the session of Marine Environment Protection Committee attended by around 400 delegates from 171 member countries of the International Maritime Organization.(*)