Friday, July 31, 2015

Indonesia Leans on Singapore for Maritime Sector Investment

Indonesia Leans on Singapore for Maritime Sector Investment
Indonesia Leans on Singapore for Maritime Sector Investment. The Indonesian government is angling for greater investment in the country’s maritime sector from Singapore, its biggest source of FDI, as President Joko Widodo prepares to visit the city-state next week.

“There’s a lot of [interest] in the maritime industry from Singapore, especially in Batam, Bintan and Karimun [islands],” Azhar Lubis, the deputy chairman of Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), said after a bilateral meeting in Jakarta on Thursday.

He noted that 60 percent to 70 percent of Singapore’s investment in Indonesia went to those islands, about an hour’s boat ride from Singapore, and that the Indonesian government wanted to see more investment in other regions of the country.

“We invited them to invest outside Java, in Makassar and Manado,” he said.

Singapore was the biggest source of foreign direct investment in Indonesia last year, accounting for $1.2 billion of the overall $5.83 billion in FDI in the country last year.

Azhar said the BKPM would form a special team to guide Singaporean companies through the tangle of red tape that typically stymies investors here, and open up access to remote areas.

He said the meeting with Singaporean officials on Thursday was in preparation for President Joko Widodo’s state visit to Singapore next Tuesday. The president is scheduled to meet Singaporean leaders to discuss trade and investment opportunities and the various challenges between the two countries.

Indonesia was the fifth most favorite investment destination for Singaporean companies in 2013, after China, Britain, Australia and Hong Kong. Still, the city-state mostly invested in financial and insurance services abroad, while the maritime and infrastructure sectors accounted for a fraction of Singapore’s overseas investments.