Indonesia’s investment shows no sign of slowing down as the country has booked another record high of realized investments in the third quarter this year, thanks to its economic resilience that has provided incentives for both domestic and foreign investors to establish or expand their businesses.
Realized investments in Indonesia topped Rp 81.8 trillion (US$8.52 billion) in the third quarter, growing 25 percent compared to a year earlier, according to the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).
“The fact that India and China are slowing down pushes investments in Indonesia, the only country with stable growth. This is why we are called the least unattractive country in the middle of global slowdown,” BKPM chairman M. Chatib Basri told reporters recently in Jakarta.
Foreign investors still dominate Indonesia’s investment, with foreign direct investment (FDI) reaching Rp 56.6 trillion, or 69 percent of total realized investment. The figure grew 22 percent compared to a year earlier.
Singaporean companies accounted for the largest share, realizing $1.5 billion of investments, or 24 percent of total FDI realized in Indonesia, trailed by the UK ($0.7 billion), Japan ($0.7 billion), Taiwan ($0.6 billion) and Mauritius ($0.6 billion).
Foreign investors still opted for the natural resources and commodities sector, with realized investments in the mining industry topping $3.2 billion, or 17.3 percent of total FDI realization, followed by the chemical and pharmaceutical industry with $2.5 billion and the telecommunication industry with $1.9 billion.
“Looking at how our investment trend has progressed, I believe that our economic growth will be able to reach 6.3 to 6.4 percent this year. Investments can offset the decline in exports that has affected our trade sector,” the BKPM chairman said.
Analysts have expected investments to become the one of the major drivers of Indonesia’s economic growth, besides its strong domestic consumption stemming from the country’s population of 240 million.
Asian Development Bank released
This month, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released a report predicting investment to contribute approximately 40 percent of Indonesia’s economic growth next year — estimated by the Manila-based organization at 6.6 percent — as industries expand their business here to tap into the country’s strong purchasing power stemming from its growing middle-classes.
The sunny forecast on Indonesia’s investment sector was also attributed by the ADB to the fact that Indonesia successfully carried out many reform programs and investor-friendly policies that had helped improve its image among both foreign and domestic investors.
“Some observers claim that Indonesia’s economic reform programs are progressing slowly, but our reform programs in the investment sector are actually going in the right direction,” ADB senior country economist Edimon Ginting told.
“Just look at the numbers and you’ll see that investors actually have responded positively toward our reform programs,” he added.
Edimon argued that it was a matter of time before Indonesia’s credit rating was upgraded by Standard & Poor’s (S&P), the only member of the so-called “Big Three” rating agencies that is yet to give the country an investment grade status.
S&P said in a statement released last week that Indonesia still faced several policy constraints that hampered it in its efforts to earn a credit rating upgrade. The rating agency, however, argued that there was more upward than downward pressure on the country in receiving an investment-grade status, a situation that would guarantee more investment flocking into the country.
From January to September this year, Indonesia accumulated Rp 229.9 trillion of realized investments, slightly less than its annual target of Rp 283.5 trillion.
This year, Chatib believed that Southeast Asia’s largest economy was set for a historic achievement: recording more than Rp 300 trillion of realized investments in a year.
“Initially, people didn’t believe that such a figure could be achieved, but looking at our present development it’s [Rp 300 trillion of realized investments] very likely to be achieved.” (sat, The Jakarta Post)