Investment permits in Indonesia complicated : British envoy says

Makassar, South Sulawesi (Antara News) - British Ambassador to Indonesia Charles Humfrey CMG considered the process of obtaining foreign investment permits in Indonesia was still complicated with long bureaucracy.

Such a condition has caused only small flows of foreign capital from other countries especially Britain to Indonesia particularly to South Sulawesi, the ambassador said when meeting with South Sulawesi Governor HM Amin Syam here Wednesday.

He observed that foreign investors who wanted to invest their capital in Indonesia had to talk first to the finance minister, the central investment board, other relevant ministers, the governors or district heads of areas where they would run their businesses.

According to him, if the permits were issued only by the governors, more foreign investors would be attracted to enter Indonesia without complicated procedures.

The government in Jakarta should only serve as a facilitator or supervisor on foreign investors who would enter Indonesia while the governors who knew more about their respective provinces should issue foreign investment permits, he said.

The ambassador pointed out that he met with Governor Amin Syam to talk about investment permits in South Sulawesi as he saw the province has potential and promissing natural resources.

On the occasion, Humfrey also said that his embassy would make efforts to enhance the bilateral relations between Britain and Indonesia especially South Sulawesi in the sectors of education, economy and trade.

The ambassador said British investors had yet to make business plans in South Sulawesi now but he planned to talk to his country`s businesspersons about the promissing business opportunities in the province.

He noted that South Sulawesi has bright prospects in the sectors of mining and agriculture.

Meanwhile in response to the ambassador`s complaint, Governor Amin Syam said the process of issuing business permits for foreign investors should be simplified in order to draw more foreign capital to Indonesia, especially South Sulawesi.

"If possible, it is not the central government but the provincial administrations that issue permits for foreign businesspeople who want to invest in provinces," he said, adding that the central government should only serve as a mediator and supervisor of foreign investors who entered Indonesia.

The governor said his meeting with the British ambassador was expected to strengthen the bilateral relations and open new business opportunities both for investors from South Sulawesi and Britain.

The British ambassador who would be in the province for six days was also slated to visit Hasanuddin University in Makassar and continue his trip to Bone and Tanatoraja districts. (*)
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