Coronavirus spread, China's investment into Indonesia not yet affected

Coronavirus spread, China's investment into Indonesia not yet affected

Investment Coordination Board (BKPM) Head Bahlil Lahadalia. ANTARA/Ade Irma Junida

In terms of investment realization, China ranks second after Singapore. Therefore, we are conducting a thorough examination on necessary measures that we need to take to anticipate the impact of this new coronavirus
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The coronavirus outbreak has not any significant impact yet on the inflow of China's investments into Indonesia but the government is examining measures necessarily taken to anticipate any potential decrease, a government official said. "I said yesterday that this novel coronavirus outbreak was something that might affect not only Indonesia but also other countries," Investment Coordination Board (BKPM) Head Bahlil Lahadalia told journalists here Wednesday.

However, in the first month of the virus outbreak, he did not yet see significant impact regarding China's investment into Indonesia, he said after attending a plenary session with members of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD).

If these coronavirus cases could not be stopped within the next two months, he would be concerned with a larger scope of its impact that would also hit China's investments here, Lahadalia said.

"In terms of investment realization, China ranks second after Singapore. Therefore, we are conducting a thorough examination of necessary measures that we need to take to anticipate the impact of this new coronavirus," he said.

He seemed reluctant to elaborate on the measures the government would take. "Let us wait and see the investment realization in the first three months of 2020. Insya Allah (God Willing), there will be lots of ways," he said.

In 2019, with total investment worth US$4.7 billion, China ranked second after Singapore as the biggest contributor of foreign investment for Indonesia. Singapore's total investments were recorded at $6.5 billion.

Japan ranked third with a total investment of $4.3 billion while Hong Kong ranked fourth ($2.9 billion). It was followed by the Netherlands with investments of $2.6 billion.

The government would thoroughly calculate the coronavirus-related impacts on Indonesia's economy, including the trade, investment, and tourism sectors, he said.

In connection with the trade sector, China is Indonesia's primary export destination with a market share of 16.6 percent of its total exports, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said earlier. At the same time, China is Indonesia's biggest import source.

Considering this, Indonesia needs to be cautious with the impact of the coronavirus and slowdown of China's economy on Indonesia's exports, President Jokowi said.

President Jokowi also issued a reminder on the availability of potential markets for Indonesia's export products in certain countries which import similar products from China.

The novel coronavirus first struck the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei Province at the end of December 2019.

As of Tuesday, the death toll of this virus rose to 479 and the number of reported confirmed 2019-nCoV cases in Hubei Province had reached 16,678.

Considering the rising mortality rate and the number of those infected inside and outside mainland China, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared this 2019-nCoV as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

According to WHO's official website, as of February 3, 2020 there are 23 countries which have reported confirmed 2019-nCoV cases. Among them are Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Malaysia, the USA, and the Philippines. (INE)

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