Jokowi asks ministers to escort private investment

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – President Joko Widodo has asked the ministers in the Working Cabinet to help attract and then handhold private investments in the infrastructure sector to develop the national economy.

“Infrastructure development shouldnt depend only on the State Budget or Regional Budget. We should open such opportunities for the private sector and for non-government investments,” the president said here on Wednesday.

According to the president, there are several areas in which such investments can support the development of infrastructure. Such an investment can be made by private sector players, State Enterprises or via Public-Private Partnership (PPP) route.

The government needs the private sector to contribute towards economic development as the State Budget is not sufficient to finance all infrastructure needs.

The country needs a budget of Rp4,900 trillion to develop the infrastructure required in the next five years. However, the government can only spend Rp1,500 trillion.

“We can offer the private sector to construct infrastructure facilities. If they are not interested, then we will offer the chance to the State Enterprises,” Jokowi pointed out.

The head of state said the State Budget should be the last option to fund infrastructure facilities.

The government, the president urged, can lend support in the form of incentives, ease of doing business and simplifying requirements.

He urged the ministries and state agencies to shore up their performance and provide better services.

The private sector needs a map of investment opportunities that is formulated through some mature calculation.

Jokowi also urged ministries and state agencies to support the investors by making licensing procedures easier to ensure business viability.

The government, Jokowi added, needed to provide land and power to the investors.

The World Bank released the ease of doing business rankings 2016 on Wednesday. Indonesia made a significant improvement, climbing to 91st position from 120.

However, Jokowi urged the ministries to further improve their services and simplify permits to achieve still higher ranking and make it even easier to invest.(*)