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Jakarta Post

Government revives talk on relaxing negative investment list

  • Marchio Irfan Gorbiano

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, July 18, 2019   /   04:18 pm
Government revives talk on relaxing negative investment list Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution (center) speaks to reporters. (ANTARA FOTO/Indrianto Eko Suwarso/ama) (Antara/Indrianto Eko Suwarso)

The Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister has revived a discussion about relaxing the negative investment list (DNI) following a recent speech in which President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo stressed the need to attract more investment to the country.

The list restricts or limits foreign investment in certain business sectors.

Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution held a meeting with Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) chairman Thomas Lembong, Communication and Information Minister Rudiantara and other officials on Wednesday to discuss the revision.

Darmin said the draft of the DNI regulation, which would revise the current list stipulated in Presidential Regulation (Perpres) 44/2016, was being finalized and would soon be presented to Jokowi.

“[We] want to finalize the regulation and then present it to the President,” Darmin said after the meeting in Jakarta.

The revision of Perpres 44/2016, primarily aimed at opening up more business sectors for foreign investment, is one of the key points in the government’s 16th economic policy package announced in November.

The government has expressed plans to open up 49 economic sectors by allowing foreigners to hold larger stakes or freeing investors from the obligation to obtain recommendation letters from relevant ministries.

This measure would also take into account demand from several business associations, including the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), to maintain investment restrictions for some sectors out of concern that liberalizing them would hurt local small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The DNI regulation was initially supposed to be revised shortly after the announcement of the economic policy package, but the move was postponed as Indonesia was preparing to hold presidential and legislative elections in April.

A regulation to relax the DNI is the last piece of legislation yet to be issued by the government in accordance with the 16th economic policy package. The government has already issued regulations pertaining other policies outlined in the package, namely the expansion of tax incentives and requirements for certain commodity exporters to store their export earnings in domestic banks.