US Investors Seek Greater Access to Indonesian Industry, BKPM Says

US Ambassador Robert Blake in this file photo. (JG Photo/Muhamad Al Azhari)

By : Nasori | on 5:39 PM November 25, 2015
Category : Business, Economy

Jakarta. The Indonesian government says it will consider allowing foreign ownership of businesses in the e-commerce, movie production and other restricted sectors, following a call for greater access into the local market by US Ambassador Robert O. Blake.

Blake, who visited the office of the Investment Coordinating Board, or BKPM, on Tuesday, suggested that the e-commerce, insurance, energy, movie production, cinema, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, logistics, cold storage and electronics retail sectors would all benefit from loosened foreign ownership caps, according to BKPM chief Franky Sibarani.

“[S]ome US companies are also interested in investing in those sectors, but they’ve stumbled on the current regulations,” Franky added.

The ambassador’s request comes as the Indonesian government revises its so-called negative investment list – which restricts foreign ownership in certain business sectors deemed of strategic importance to the economy – in a bid to draw in more investment from overseas.

In the e-commerce sector, US giant Amazon does not have a presence in Indonesia, while eBay has a minority stake in Blanja.com, its joint venture with state-owned Telkom.

The movie production and cinema businesses are closed for foreign investors, while logistics and cold storage are capped at 33 percent foreign shareholding.

Franky said the BKPM would discuss Ambassador Blake’s suggestion with other government officials and try to come up with an initial assessment by next month. The BKPM is targeting to complete revisions to the country’s negative investment list by April.

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