Indonesia lures US to invest more

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - Indonesia revises regulations on tax incentives for investment to lure more foreign investors, including from the US.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration is revising regulations on tax incentives for investment and seeks to pass them by the end of this month.

Speaking to 41 US-based companies grouped under the US-ASEAN Business Council on Tuesday morning, the President underlined the significance of investment into Indonesia from the world’s top economy.

“American investment into Indonesia has been sizeable and plays an important role in the Indonesian economy,” Jokowi said during a meeting with the council at the Merdeka Palace.

Realized foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indonesia by US firms surged by 71.5 percent to US$1.99 billion last year, driven by 625 projects. That is significantly higher than the 30 percent growth to $1.16 billion seen in 2016, spread across 540 projects.

The US stood still as the sixth-largest foreign spender in the archipelago over the 2016-2017
period.

Jokowi also noted that the US brought high-quality investment into Indonesia through companies with powerful brands, state-of-the-art technology and a broad international network, including gold and copper miner Freeport-McMoRan, technology giants Google and Facebook and entertainment giant Walt Disney.

Consequently, he expected US companies to jack up their investment although he was also aware of the many challenges of doing business in Indonesia, from policies regarding digital payment and patents to complicated export-import procedures.

“Give me two months and I’ll bring you some positive [progress] on economic policy reforms,” Jokowi said.

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