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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     20 December 2011

Indonesia’s ranking falls in ease of doing business

Indonesia`s ease of doing business index in 2011 fell to 129 from 126 the year before, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Hatta Rajasa said.

"Based on a World Bank report our ease of doing business index fell in 2011 compared with 2010 when it reached 126," he said after opening an investment climate symposium here on Monday.

He said the decline in the index was closely related to the lengthy process of licensing investment and bureaucratic constraints.

"We hope the process of licensing investment in the country could be shortened and made more transparent to raise the index," he said.

Ease of doing business index ranks economies from 1 to 183, with first place being the best. A high ranking means that the regulatory environment is conducive to business operation.

The index ranks the simple average of the country`s percentile rankings on 10 topics covered in the World Bank`s Doing Business. The ranking on each topic is the simple average of the percentile rankings on its component indicators.

Commenting on Indonesia`s economic cooperation with the United States, Hatta said both nations had agreed to enhance the cooperation.

"In addition, we also continue to hold meetings and dialogs (with the US) like now to improve the method of doing business in Indonesia as well as other countries` way of looking at this country," he said.

He said the US investment in Indonesia increased all the time.

The US now ranked seventh among the top ten investors in Indonesia, he said.

"After all, Indonesia still records a high surplus in its trade with the US amid the economic crisis," he said.

Earlier, US Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco J Sanchez said the US and Indonesian governments had agreed to enhance economic cooperation for the two countries` better future.

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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