President asks investors to focus on import substitution

"We are going to focus our investment on import-substitution commodities," President Jokowi said.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has asked that investment flowing into the country be focused on industries that produce import-substitution commodities.

"We are going to focus our investment on import-substitution commodities," President Jokowi said when delivering a keynote speech at a "100 Indonesian Economists Workshop" in Jakarta on Tuesday.

He noted that he has ordered his economic team, particularly the Capital Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), to target foreign investment in Indonesia worth Rp760 trillion in 2017.

"We should also make every effort to reach the 2018 investment target of Rp840 trillion. We want the investment to account for 45 percent of the gross domestic product to trigger economic development," President Jokowi remarked.

He cited the International Monetary Funds report, which suggested Indonesias economy is in good condition. "This is good news, but we should not become too happy too fast," he warned the audience.

The president said some of the countrys economic risks were linked to external factors, such as uncertainty over US economic policies, including its interest rates, and the weakening of Chinas economy.

According to Jokowi, it is important to attract as much investment as possible into the country.

"I have given the economic team a clear order to pursue investment targets in 2017 and 2018," he stated.

To attract investors, the government has adopted various policy reforms, according to the head of state.

"I am confident that investments will enter Indonesia in the petrochemical, steel, oil and gas, and electricity generator spaces, for example," he noted.

Jokowi, who is also a former Jakarta governor, said many investors would make financial closures in 2017, so a lot of money would flow into Indonesia.

Apart from investments, the government is also paying great attention to the tourism sector, which is expected to absorb a large number of workers.

In 2015, the government established 10 "new Bali" spots, which are being developed as tourist destinations. Bali, so far, is Indonesias most popular tourist resort province.

"The 10 tourist destinations have been prepared. What needs to be developed further are their infrastructure, supporting products, positioning, packaging, and large-scale promotions," he declared.

He said the government has been launching large-scale promotions internationally, such as in Europe and the United States.

"Of the 10 new Bali spots, 3-4 are ready to be visited by foreign tourists, while the remaining spots still need infrastructure support. We must achieve this target, no matter what kind of development methods are needed to make it a success," he stressed.

Indonesia should also focus on Chinese tourists as every year, some 150 million of them travel the world. Currently, Europe and the United States receive the most Chinese tourists.

"Why dont we attract them? We already have a cooperation agreement in place with China to attract them. What remains to be done is to open flight routes to that country to fly them to Indonesia," he added.(*)