The Bali administration has set an ambitious target of Rp 22.2 trillion (US$2.3 billion) in investment by the end of this year. If achieved, this would be 17.8 percent higher than total investment in 2012.
“In order to achieve economic growth of 7.01 percent, Bali needs a total of Rp 22 trillion in investments by the end of 2013,” said Gde Suarjana, head of the province’s economy and development agency recently. Bali booked economic growth of 6.5 percent in 2012.
In 2012, Bali obtained Rp 18.84 trillion in investment, higher than the Rp 16.23 trillion reached in 2011. The 2012 investment comprised Rp 3.02 trillion in government investment, Rp 9.44 trillion in private investment, and Rp 6.2 trillion in domestic and foreign investment.
“We already reached the investment target to meet the economic growth target last year. We are optimistic that that we will achieve this year’s target,” Suarjana added.
Tourism remains the favored sector for investment in Bali, which is unfortunately concentrated in the south, particularly in Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar. Suarjana said that the government had encouraged more investment to the north, east, and west of Bali. “But it is not easy for investors to invest their money in other parts of Bali,” he said.
However, the increasing number of investments on the resort island, Suarjana added, had had a positive impact on the island’s people. The flow of investment to the island has boosted its economic growth and the per capita income of the people.
The provincial administration recorded that the average income of people living in Bali in 2012 was Rp 19.86 million per year. “The provincial administration expects that per capita income should reach an average Rp 20 million per year in 2013. So we almost reached the target in 2012," Suarjana added.
Suarjana continued saying that the government was currently facing several problems related to the economy, including high unemployment and poverty. Data from the administration shows that there are 47,320 unemployed people on the island, equivalent to around 2.04 percent unemployment.
Meanwhile, the number of people living in poverty reached more than 160,000 people, or about 3.95 percent of the island’s total population.
"We have already worked hard to reduce unemployment and poverty rates. But it is not easy. There will be so much more work to accomplish that," he said.