Indonesian ambassador to Singapore, Ngurah Swajaya. (Photo courtesy of the Indonesian embassy in Singapore)

Indonesian Ambassador Reassures Singaporean Investors on Upcoming Elections

BY : SHEANY

DECEMBER 24, 2018

Jakarta. Indonesia's ambassador to Singapore, Ngurah Swajaya, assured foreign entrepreneurs and investors last week that the upcoming legislative and presidential elections would not affect the government's commitment to improve the business climate in the archipelago.

"There are many questions directed to me, especially on how entrepreneurs and investors must respond to the political year in Indonesia," Ngurah told a roomful of Singaporean investors and businesspeople on Tuesday last week, as quoted in an embassy statement.

"My advice to everyone is: keep investing, keep doing business in Indonesia, and continue visiting Indonesia. The political year will not reduce the government's commitment," he said.

Indonesians will head to the polls in April.

Trade between Indonesia and Singapore amounted to more than $25 billion between January and September, representing an increase of more than 18 percent from the corresponding period last year, the embassy said.

Total trade between the two countries stood at $29.6 billion for the full year in 2017.

Singaporeans invested $6.7 billion in Indonesia as of September this year, while 1.8 million Singaporean tourists visited the archipelago during the same period representing a nearly 10 percent increase.

Ngurah said Indonesia and Singapore can seize opportunities arising from the trade war between the United States and China. Indonesia's Batam, Bintan and Karimun special economic zone in Riau Islands Province for example, would likely see industries relocating from China, Taiwan and other East Asian countries, with gateways to Singapore.

It could also help pave the way for the special economic zone to become a regional production base for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), further supporting the expected finalization of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which involves 16 countries and contributes more than a third of the world's total gross domestic product.

"We now have to change the paradigm; not only sell potential, but have to sell concrete investment packages by facilitating both parties, business climate and supporting infrastructure," the ambassador said.

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