Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy, is among Asia's most attractive investment destination. (Antara Photo/Sigid Kurniawan)

Indonesia Among Asia's Top Destinations Attracting Investors: ECN Survey


JANUARY 17, 2017

Jakarta. Indonesia is among Asia's most attractive investment destinations, thanks to a robust private demand combined with expectation of improvements in its business climate, a survey from The Economist Corporate Network (ECN) showed.

Published on Tuesday (17/01), the survey — titled "Navigating Asia's Risks and Rewards: Asia Business Outlook Survey 2017" — asked 223 Asia-based business executives in November last year about how their business were performing and their expectation for the year ahead.

ECN is The Economist Group's global advisory service that offers business intelligence briefings, presentations and advice to its subscribers in the so-called "growth markets."

"Respondents viewed government responses to political and economic risks in Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam and India as most likely to positively impact business prospects in 2017," a report from the ECN that details the survey said.

The survey also said that "executives were most optimistic about Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam and India. These countries were ranked by around 50-60 percent of those surveyed as having responded to risks in ways that will result in some kind of improvements for business."

On Indonesia, the survey says about 53.7 percent of the respondents said they will increase their investment in Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy.

The archipelago nation also only falls behind China (71.6 percent) and India (55.7 percent) in the category of top destinations for attracting investors.

The ECN said Indonesia will comfortably remain Asean's largest economy next year, with a GDP in cash terms about two-and-a-half times that of Thailand, the bloc's next-largest economy.

Despite receiving positive notes from respondents, the ECN's report says it "remains skeptical" about the ability of President Joko Widodo "to enact significant business reforms."

On the positive side, "robust private demand" is expected to lift corporate revenue streams.

Overall, respondents were bullish about the prospects of their businesses within Asia this year amid political and economic headwinds.

This year's survey even showed the most improved sentiment among executives in the last five years.

About 53 percent of the Asia-based respondents at the end of 2016 said their companies' expectations for revenue growth in the coming year had improved. Compare it to 37 percent a year earlier.

"On the political front, nationalism and anti-globalism are gaining momentum while on the economic front, commodities, currencies and emerging markets are facing enormous strains," Rob Koepp, The Economist Corporate Network director, said in a statement.

Koepp said the survey's results will allow companies to counter these business threats by developing strategies that are "rooted in realities on the ground."