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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        20  April 2011

Private investment in billions for Indo plan

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The chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Tuesday that the nation’s private sector stood ready to invest $150 billion in the Indonesian government’s master plan for growth.

“Based on good momentum and a conducive investment climate, Kadin [the chamber], supported by regional offices, will work hard to ensure investors participate in the government’s master plan for development,” Suryo Bambang Sulisto, Kadin chairman, said on Tuesday, the closing day of a conference between the government and businesspeople.

“We have secured commitments to invest in total Rp 1,350 trillion, which is more or less US$150 billion,” he added.

The Master Plan for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesia’s Economic Development (MP3EI) through 2025 designates six regions as main economic corridors.

Total investment of Rp 3,348 trillion is needed to develop infrastructure and economic activity. According to the plan, 44 percent of the funding is expected to come from the private sector.

As far as state commitments, the State Enterprises Ministry had pledged $100 billion, but Yudhoyono doubled the target to $200 billion on Monday.

Hatta Rajasa, coordinating minister for the economy, said the government and entrepreneurs had agreed on the need for Rp 1,993 trillion in investment through 2014 in four sectors: agriculture; industry and tourism; mining and energy; and 881 regional infrastructure projects.

Aside from the $150 billion in investment pledges, Suryo said the private-sector sum could be much larger with contributions from small and medium enterprises, “if bureaucratic problems and regulatory bottlenecks can be resolved.”

But Sofyan Wanandi, the chairman of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo), said on Tuesday that entrepreneurs expected concrete implementation of the master plan and for the government to accept their input.

“We need to rebuild trust because there are many times that businessmen are confused whether the plans will be implemented or not,” he said.

He added that much time had been wasted due to problems securing permits from the government and urged the state to complete regulatory reforms needed for infrastructure project such as land laws and ensuring power supplies.

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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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