Indonesia Can Woo Foreign Investor, Says OZ Bank

07 Oktober, 2011 | Source: The Jakarta Post

Indonesia has an enormous opportunity to develop its energy resources and forge cooperation with foreign investors, one of the region’s largest bank executives said here Tuesday.

 

However, this huge potential has not been optimized, due to a lack of government support and the current world economic slowdown, Alex Thursby, CEO of ANZ Asia Pacific, Europe and America, said in a forum titled “Getting Down to Business; New Opportunities in Resources and Energy in Indonesia and Australia” in Melbourne on Tuesday.

The forum aimed to promote leading Indonesian state-owned enterprises to potential Australian investors and stakeholders and increase the possibility of investment from Australia, known for its energy resources and industry.

According to ANZ research released at the business forum, Indonesia will need to boost foreign direct investment in its energy and commodity sectors to support its rapid industrialization and urbanization, as well as meet robust export demand from China, India and emerging Asia.

“The country’s emerging middle class continues to grow. So, the electrical demand and gas is still there,” he said.

Alex praised the Indonesian energy policy of balancing the growing domestic market and increasing the export market. “It is a difficult line … to construct an economy that will have a greater export market, but also develop a substantial domestic market.”

He underlined the need for government to keep restructuring the economy and regulation, so that growth would continue, and attract more investors. More investors mean more jobs and more consumption that keeps the economy developing.

As part of G20, Indonesia has the responsibility to ensure that the world continues to experience free trade and free investment because that is how economic growth continues on a balance basis, he said.

He continued that support from central and local governments was important in facilitating foreign
investment.

Alex cited China as a big attractor of foreign capital. The whole infrastructure and city governments there came behind to activate and help foreign investment, he said.

“The laws are pretty clear. People know what they have to do. The end objective is to get foreign investment as quickly as possible.”

The second problem relates to the current world economy, he said. Foreign investors are very worried about a potential worldwide financial collapse. Enterprises are being very conservative about investment. It affects the domestic markets. Even the US corporations are not even investing in the US, he added.

Speaking at the forum, ANZ Indonesia CEO Joseph Abraham said that Indonesia’s GDP was growing at a rate of 6-7 percent per annum and would continue to accelerate, driving huge demand for energy and hard and soft commodities.

 

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