President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo recently said that throughout his presidency he had met with countless investors who had expressed an interest in investing in Indonesia. However, most of them disappeared as soon as they dealt with regional officials when applying for necessary permits, he added.
Jokowi hinted this might be the reason why many investors canceled their investment plans because they had to deal directly with the bureaucracy.
Speaking in front of 850 regional officials in charge of investment permits as quoted by The Jakarta Post, he expressed his confusion over the fact that there had always been a gap between the amount of investment commitments and realized ones
okowi emphasized the importance of local offices ensuring a smooth licensing process down to regional level because regions were the administrations investors dealt with first before realizing their investments.
He acknowledged that regional investment offices were slow when processing permits, even for simple ones, such as business and building permits.
“I am asking one-stop integrated services, regents, mayors and governors to just ‘close their eyes’ and provide permits to any industry [...] accompany those investors, show them that we want to provide them with land or anything,” said Jokowi at a national meeting held by the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) in Tangerang, Banten.
Investment, he added, was key to developing Indonesia’s economic growth in addition to export, and yet stakeholders could not manage the difficulties in boosting both aspects.
“We have huge power in our natural and human resources, but we have been far too comfortable in exporting raw materials. All this time, we have been too afraid to venture into downstreaming and industrialization.”
He pointed out that a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development survey for 2017 to 2019 had ranked Indonesia the fourth most prospective country in the world to invest in.
Indonesia had also received positive investment ratings from the world’s top agencies like Standard and Poor’s, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s last year despite global economic turbulences that had also affected Indonesia, said Jokowi.
(source: The Jakarta Post, The Jakarta Globe)