Special Team Needed to Improve Ease of Doing Business in Indonesia: Darmin

The Jakarta Globe – Jakarta. Indonesia needs a special team to monitor the progress of the country’s ease of doing business in order to attract more foreign investment, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution told reporters in Jakarta, on Wednesday (25/10).

“We will propose this to the president. [The team] should be under the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, monitoring the ease of doing business,” Darmin said.

Darmin’s comments came after the World Bank released a report “Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All” in which Indonesia ranks 91 out of 190 countries, up 15 places from the previous assessment. Higher rankings a low numerical value  indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights.

According to minister, this has been a tried and tested method in other countries. For example, the United Kingdom and Georgia both have special teams to monitor the ease of doing business and rank seven and 16 on the list respectively.

The list measures a number of factors associated with the ease of doing business including the ease of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering properly, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

The report also noted that Indonesia is among the 10 most improved countries.

“Overall, the improvement has been pretty good,” Darmin said, adding that there is always room for further improvement.

The World Bank’s report acknowledged that Indonesia had introduced reforms to make starting a business easier, such as by encouraging the use of online systems, scrapping the paid-in minimum capital requirement for small and medium-size enterprises, introducing simpler customs documents and a dedicated procedure for commercial litigation and small claims.

The government has so far released fiscal stimulus through 13 policy packages since September last year aimed at boosting investment. The 14th package, with a focus on e-commerce, is scheduled to be released on Wednesday.

Still, despite all of the improvements, the report said there are areas where improvements can still be made, including to further simplify procedures to reduce time and costs for starting a business.

“The Indonesian government has done a lot to enhance the quality of the business environment for the private sector, particularly in the last three years,” Rodrigo Chaves, World Bank country director for Indonesia, said in a statement attached to the report.

Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board, or BKPM, has set a target of attracting Rp 595 trillion ($46 billion) in total investment to Indonesia this year, up 9 percent from last year’s realization of Rp 545.4 trillion.

According to BKPM, foreign direct investment in Indonesia in the second quarter reached Rp 99.4 trillion, or a 7.9 percent increase, compared to the same period a year earlier.

BKPM is scheduled to release a report on foreign direct investment in Indonesia assessing the first nine months of this year on Thursday.