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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        3  March 2011

Mitsubishi to invest $20billion in Indonesia

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Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. is committed to expanding its business in Indonesia and will back up that commitment with capital, the Investment Coordinating Board chief said on Wednesday.

Gita Wirjawan, who heads the board, also known as the BKPM, said Mitsubishi would invest in projects in sectors ranging from automotives and energy to infrastructure.

“The total investment plan in the next five to 10 years ... is around $18 billion to $20 billion. It is not small at all,” Gita said after meeting Mitsubishi president and chief executive Ken Kobayashi and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the president’s office in Jakarta.

He also said Mitsubishi’s plan illustrated the continued strong interest in this country from foreign investors. Last month, South Korean, French and Indian investors all announced their intent to pour more money into the country.

Among the projects the Japanese firm plans to invest in is the Donggi Senoro liquefied natural gas plant in Sulawesi. It was reported on January 24 that Mitsubishi would take a 45 percent stake in the $2.8 billion joint venture.

It will also participate in a $4.6 billion nickel smelter project in Halmahera, North Maluku, along with Weda Bay Nickel, a unit of French mining and metallurgical group Eramet, and Indonesian nickel miner Aneka Tambang.

Mitsubishi will invest in a railway project for Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and the Metropolitan Priority Area project, which involves building infrastructure such as access roads and power plants in urban areas. It will also expand its existing automotive business in Indonesia.

Mitsubishi also plans to boost car sales to around two million units within four to five years, Gita said.

The company is already involved in the country’s petroleum, shipping, fertilizer and industrial machinery sectors.

“Indonesia has been courting Asian investors to increase their business here,” said Jongkie Sugiarto, president director of Hyundai and vice chairman of the Indonesian Automotive Industries Association (Gaikindo).

Toyota also announced its intention to invest last month. It plans to produce low-cost cars through its Daihatsu unit, Reuters reported.

It will invest 20 billion yen ($244 million) to build a factory, which is scheduled to begin operations in 2013, and produce 50,000 cars in its first year.

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04 January 2011
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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.

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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