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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        19  April 2011

Indonesian president pushes for private investment

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President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called on investors and businessmen to deliver on their commitments to participate in Indonesia’s development while the government works to improve the investment climate.

“Give our people a real check,” Yudhoyono said before opening talks between the government and business figures at the Bogor State Palace.

“The government is obliged to provide a good climate and give adequate attention to the business world, so all of us are working.” Government and industry representatives met to discuss the master plan for Indonesia’s development in the next 15 years. Highlights of the plan will be released on May 20.

“This is the time to act. You have the commitment, but we need to implement it,” the president said.

Indonesia is busy courting investors to aid the country’s development as the government has said it can only provide one-third of the projected $200 billion needed to upgrade the nation’s ailing infrastructure.

State Enterprises Minister Mustafa Abubakar has pledged that state-owned firms will boost their investment in the government’s economic corridor scheme. He claimed the country could add 6.6 million new jobs in the next four years.

Mustafa said in February that his ministry had raised capital expenditure targets from this year through 2014 for state firms, raising it to Rp 836 trillion ($96.1 billion) from Rp 383 billion.

“We hope that new investment this year and next year will not be less than $ 100 billion, both from the government and the business world, including state-owned enterprises, private enterprises and partners from neighboring countries,” the minister said. “As [the state enterprises ministry] has pledged to invest $100 billion, we upgrade the target to $200 billion.”

Yudhoyono also warned government officials that complicated bureaucracy and overlapping regulations between the central and regional governments threatened to drive off investment. “It could be concerning licensing, infrastructure, climate, etc. Let us make sure we stop bottlenecks and prevent new ones,” he said.

“The first target is economic growth,” he said. “Second, when there is growth, there should be new fields of work and less unemployment. Third, the success of what we’re doing should affect all people, including reducing the poverty rate from year-to-year in all regions. The fourth target is that all this should be done without destroying our environment.”

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

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.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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