Japan`s investments up 110 pct in RI

Jakarta (Antara News) - Japan`s investments in Indonesia in the first half of 2006 jumped 110 percent to US$650 million from the same period last year but the figure still fell short of the pre-crisis level.

"Figures from Japanese investors suggest that they took a commanding lead in the January-June 2006 period but if compared to the pre-crisis level the Japanese investments have not recovered," Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said after chairing the fourth meeting of the Indonesia-Japan Forum here on Tuesday.

According to the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Japanese investments in the January-June 2006 period reached US$650 million in 62 projects against US$310 million in 67 projects in the same period last year.

Japanese Ambassador to Indonesia Ebihara said the Japanese investments had increased lately but still had not returned to the pre-crisis level.

"Admittedly, there has been a slight increase. Last year, they stood at US$1.2 billion but in 1997 they reached US$8 billion," he said.

Although Japan was the biggest investor in Indonesia over the period, Indonesia was not the main destination of Japanese investments, Mari said.

"Indonesia was not the main destination of Japanese investors. They preferred to invest in Vietnam, China and Thailand. That becomes cause for major concern to the two sides because before the crisis we had mutually beneficial relations," she said.(*)
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