Indonesia to Offer Port Management to Foreign Investors

JAKARTA ~

State Enterprises Minis-ter Dahlan Iskan welcomed the government’s plan to offer airport and seaport management to foreign investors, confirming it would not affect state-owned companies’ performance in the sector.

“It would even be beneficial as it would promote healthy competition,” he said at a leadership meeting here on Thursday.

With the introduction of foreign investors in the business sector, he hoped airport and seaport management would improve as it would create competition in providing the best infrastructure and services for the public.

The Indonesian government is currently finalizing a revision of its Negative List of Businesses for Investment (DNI).

It hopes the revision, initially targeted to finish in the third quarter, will increase the value of investments while continuing to protect the interests of national businesses.

Dahlan pointed out that almost all airports and seaports managed by state-owned companies have been developed efficiently.

He noted that the airports in Palembang, South Sumatra and Sorong have been fully developed and are expected to be completed soon.

“The airport in Jambi, Sumatra, has not been developed, and so, any investor interested in it is welcome (to get involved),” he said.

Dahlan confirmed that airport and seaport infrastructure development in the country had been accelerated, and so, “We are already prepared to meet with foreign investors.”

Meanwhile, Coordinating Minister for Economy Hatta Rajasa said the revision of the DNI is for national interest, denying reports that Indonesia has become “very liberal.” DNI is a list of business areas close to new investment.

“We need more investment but we are not sacrificing the national interest,” Hatta said here on Monday.

He denied reports that DNI has been revised and become liberal to favor foreign investors.

“The reports as if Indonesia has become very liberal and that foreign investors are given wider room and had taken control of all strategic sectors are all false,” he said.

He said so far there has been no change in DNI, and decision has not been made on a number of proposals from the Investment Board (BKPM) and the business sector.

Amendment to DNI may not be based on pragmatical goal of attracting investors, he said.

He said the policy must protect the long term national interest, adding “don’t see everything from the economic point of view.” Earlier, head of BKPM Mahendra Siregar said there were five new sectors to be opened for foreign investors under the new DNI after revision now in process.

“This is yet to be finalized but at least five new sectors would be opened to foreign investors. Under the present DNI the five business areas are opened only to domestic investors,” Siregar said last Wednesday.

He said the five sectors include airport and seaport transport service management, motor vehicle fit test and management of nature tourism.

He said involvement of foreign investors in airport and other public facility operation would attract private investors to take part in development of infrastructure projects, which are included in the Government-Private Cooperation Scheme (PPP).

In addition, there are relaxations of regulations on ten other business areas or sectors, he said.

The sectors include pharmaceutical industry, financial service sector mainly venture capital and telecommunications in multimedia integration and cellular phones.

There are however, a number of regulations that would not be revised such as one on horticulture that remains close to foreign investment, he said.

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