RI to form investment policy committee

Canberra (Antara News)</b> - The Indonesian Government will set up a Committee of Investment Policy before the end of this year.

"The formation of the committee was proposed by the coordinating minister for economic affairs. We have discussed it and agreed that such a committee is needed to be formed," Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said after attending a business forum of Indonesian and Australian businessmen in Brisbane, on Wednesday.

The committee will be in charge of identifying sectors which are restricted or which are open with conditionality and tax incentives.

Minister Pangestu said members of the committee would consist of bureaucrats from various departments, including the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), which has been functioning as investment facilitators in Indonesia.

"So, our idea is to set up a permanent secretary which will be under the supervision of the coordinating minister for economic affairs. The permanent secretary will deal with problems concerning investment sector," she said.

The trade minister said that a new law on investment was also expected to be passed by the House of Representatives (DPR) before the end of 2006.

In the business forum, which was attended by 25 Australian businessmen and 16 Indonesian counterparts, the trade minister explained about the latest developments of business prospect and opportunities in Indonesia.

Minister Mari Pangestu also informed them that Indonesia was currently developing Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in Batam, Bintan, and Karimun.

The total trade balance between Indonesia and Australia reached US$5 billion in 2005, with an average growth of 7.2 percent from 2001 to 2005.

Australian investment in Indonesia during the January-June 2006 was recorded at US$16.6 million in 32 projects, which put the country in the 17th rank in Indonesia?s investor list.(*)
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