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NEWS UPDATES 24 December 2009

Indonesia: Foreign businesses demand transparency in Century inquiry

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Foreign chambers of commerce in Indonesia have demanded transparency in the inquiry into Bank Century's bailout conducted by the House of Representatives to give business players confidence, the Jakarta Post reported.

"For businesses, transparency is very important. What we've heard is the [inquiry] process is not open. Many investors have cancelled their plan [to invest funds] here," James Castle, governor of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Indonesia, said in a press conference Wednesday after meeting Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati at her office.

Mulyani's decision to bail out Century (now rebranded as Bank Mutiara) has been criticized by lawmakers. They suspect the bailout was done to benefit several depositors, but Mulyani said she did it to protect the financial sector from a systemic threat amid the global financial crisis.

There were 15 representatives of 12 business organisations at the meeting with Mulyani. They were from the US, Japan, the UK, France, Germany, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

"We will remain [doing business] here regardless of what happens because we are accepted here. But we expect Indonesia to create stable policies," Castle said.


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