ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Govt hopes to seduce Chinese investors
The government is set to cut corporate income tax from 25 percent to 18 percent, as well as provide a tax amnesty, as part of a raft of incentives to draw in more investors, according to a senior minister.
“We have decided. We are going to announce it [...] next week,” Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said at the opening of the 13th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention (WCEC) at Bali Nusa Dua Convention Centre on Saturday
Incentives were needed, Luhut said, to attract more investors to help boost national economic growth over the next five years.
“The government of Indonesia offers plenty of opportunities to foreign companies to invest in Indonesia,” Luhut said in front of around 3,000 Chinese business players from 30 countries.
Held every two years, the convention unites the global Chinese business elite. This year, the event’s theme is “Uniting Chinese Entrepreneurs, Accomplishing Mutual Success in Indonesia”.
Luhut, representing President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as he opened the convention, used his speech to invite Chinese entrepreneurs to invest in the government’s development programs.
Indonesia’s drive to transform its economy from reliance on commodities to a focus on manufacturing was a golden opportunity for investors, he said.
“The transformation is very important. Before, we relied on commodities. Today, we rely on added value. Added value and manufacturing. This is, I think, an opportunity for all of you to invest in Indonesia,” the minister said.
Luhut also highlighted the government’s program to boost downstream industries, and invited attendees to invest in infrastructure projects encompassing toll roads, seaports, airports, electricity and many more.
Citing an example, Luhut pointed to the construction of toll roads from West Java to East Java, with completion expected in 2018. Meanwhile, the government will also develop 2,700 kilometers of toll roads in Sumatra over eight years.
“We would be delighted if you can participate in these projects,” he said.
Investors were also invited to participate in the government’s project for the construction of power plants producing 35,000 megawatts.
“I would also like to invite you to participate in this project, especially in areas outside of Java,” he said, adding that the Indonesian economy remained fairly strong despite the global economic turmoil.
The government has estimated it will need US$545 billion for its infrastructure projects for the next five years.
“So we need around US$120 billion from foreign direct investment. You will play a very important role if you can help provide US$120 billion for the next five years,” Luhut said.
Former president and Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chair Megawati Soekarnoputri, who also attended the convention, said that she had strived to strengthen the relationship between China and Indonesia when she was in power.
“Indonesia welcomes anyone wanting to invest in the republic. The Indonesian archipelago is vast, and we cannot build the country alone,” Megawati said.
WCEC chair Kiki Barki, meanwhile, said that the time was ripe for investment in Indonesia. “Now is the best moment, a golden moment, to invest in Indonesia, as all commodities are cheap nowadays,” said Kiki, who also chairs the Association of Chinese-Indonesian Businesspeople.
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