Date
21 October 2017
Indonesian President Joko Widodo wants more market competition in Southeast Asia's biggest economy. Photo: Reuters
Indonesian President Joko Widodo wants more market competition in Southeast Asia's biggest economy. Photo: Reuters

Indonesia opens key sectors to full foreign ownership

Indonesia is opening dozens of businesses to full foreign ownership in an increased effort to attract more investment.

Southeast Asia’s biggest economy is opening up 35 business sectors to 100 percent foreign ownership, including toll roads, film production and distribution, tourism-related ventures such as restaurants, and nontoxic waste management, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Dozens of others in sectors such as healthcare and telecommunications will see an increase in allowable foreign stakes.

Online marketplaces — a budding business in the nation of 250 million people — will be fully opened to investments of more than 100 billion rupiah (US$7.4 million).

Darmin Nasution, coordinating minister for the economy, said the changes were meant to drive more investment.

Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said the changes would “encourage national companies to compete” and modernize in a global market.

Investors and analysts welcomed the news but some said the measures don’t go far enough, months after President Joko  Widodo caled for more market competition. 

“We think this is heading in the right direction,” said Lin Neumann, managing director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia.

“Now we wait to see the details and how this is all going to be implemented.”

Indonesia draws more than US$30 billion in foreign direct investment each year but foreigners have long complained about increasing restrictions on their operations in the US$800 billion economy.

In recent years, Indonesia has restricted foreign investment in sectors such as oil and gas services, rolled out non-tariff barriers to trade and forced foreign miners to divest to minority stakes in their companies.

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