VP wants regional info centers to help investors
Linda Yulisman and Tama Salim
The Jakarta Post
Vice President Jusuf Kalla has asked the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) to prepare special desks that will provide comprehensive investment-related information at a regional level.
Speaking during his visit to the board's office on Tuesday, Kalla said such desks would be especially helpful for foreign investors, offering such basic information as potential locations to build facilities and find business partners; this would in turn ease the flow of direct investment into many untapped regions across the archipelago.
'The IT [information technology] system has worked well, but we must be better linked to [the eastern] regions,' he said.
Kalla also pointed out that greater access to information on the economic potential of specific regions would help diversify business partnerships between investors and regional businesspeople.
Spreading investment across the archipelago is one of the board's concerns as most investments are concentrated in the most densely populated island of Java, which is often times more attractive to investors as a result of the infrastructure and sheer number of laborers.
Java received 56.9 percent of overall direct investments, totaling to Rp 463.1 trillion (US$35.84 billion), last year.
The board wants investments to areas outside Java to increase to 45.64 percent from 43.1 percent last year.
Overall investments from both domestic and foreign investors are expected to hit Rp 519.5 trillion this year.
BKPM chief Franky Sibarani vowed to implement the vice president's request immediately, saying that he would soon discuss the move with regional leaders.
'In terms of infrastructure, we can be ready in just one month. But we have to ensure the preparedness of the leaders, as it will be related to personnel that will be assigned here,' he said.
According to Franky, the 'regional desks' will have a dual function ' promotion and coordination. With respect to promotion, the desks will provide some details needed by investors, such as feasible locations for investment, regional characteristics and available human resources. In the later phase, they are also expected to handle processes pertaining to business permit applications.
When executed, the establishment of the regional desks will add to a series of reforms that the board is currently carrying out to improve its services to lure investment, which is the second biggest contributor to economic growth in the country after domestic consumption.
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo has recently launched One-Stop Integrated Services (PTSP) for investment at the national level to ease investments coming into Indonesia. BKPM is now connecting the system with similar services at the regional level, with a target of full integration by 2016.
In terms of integrating the central PTSP with its regional counterparts this year, the investment authority aims to finalize 144 integrated service centers in 24 provinces, 94 regencies, 20 cities, five special economic zones (KEK) and one free trade zone and free port (KPBPB).
According to data from the investment board, there are currently 459 regencies and cities that have already established a PTSP, out of the 514 that exist in the country. At the provincial level, on the other hand, all 34 provinces have their own integrated services centers for investing.
In addition, BKPM has also planned to revive 99 stalled investment projects worth a total of Rp 477 trillion across 25 provinces.
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