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Jakarta Post

BKPM boss fears decline in Chinese investment over coronavirus outbreak

  • Riska Rahman

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, February 24, 2020   /   06:46 pm
BKPM boss fears decline in Chinese investment over coronavirus outbreak Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) head Bahlil Lahadalia. (JP/Donny Fernando)

The Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) expects to see a decline in Chinese investment following the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

BKPM head Bahlil Lahadalia said on Monday that although the agency had yet to see any decline in investment realization from China and other countries, he projected a decline in foreign direct investment if the outbreak continued until March.

“This virus has caused a systemic, massive and structural impact [on the global economy]. So, if the outbreak continues until March, I think there will be an impact on our investment [realization],” he told media in Jakarta.

Read also: Coronavirus may shave 0.6 percentage points of GDP growth: Sri Mulyani

He also admitted to harboring concerns that direct investment from China would decline due to the virus outbreak. However, he said the agency could not predict how much the decline would impact investment realization figures.

“We will review the impact on our investment realization next month,” he said.

Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Panjaitan told the media last Thursday that several of the country’s downstream projects worth a total of US$500 million were facing delays due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Some of the projects include smelter developments by nickel miners such as PT Virtue Dragon Nickel Industry, Tsingshan Group and publicly listed PT Vale Indonesia.

“Most of these projects involve Chinese workers who can’t enter Indonesia as the government is still barring flights to and from China from entering Indonesia,” he explained, adding that the government continued to monitor the situation.

Foreign direct investment from China, the second-largest foreign investor in Indonesia, grew almost two fold last year to $4.7 billion from $2.4 billion in 2018, according to BKPM data.