Indonesia to ask Japan to increase investment in electronic industry

Jakarta (Antara News) - Indonesia will ask Japan to increase its investment in petrochemical and electronic sparepart industries to strengthen the structure of the electronic industrial sector whose products had become major foreign exchange earners, Industry Minister Fahmi Idris said here Wednesday.

"Electronic gadgets are among our strategic export commodities although the relevant sparepart industries have yet to be developed," Fahmi said after a post-Idul Fitri gathering at his ministry.

Electronic gadget exports were contributing significantly to the country`s foreign exchange income besides textiles and textile products, he said.

According to official data on the Indonesian electronics industry, Indonesia`s dependence on imported spareparts for television sets, refrigerators, air conditioners and washing machines was still high.

Today, the ratio of imported components in TV sets was still recorded at 58 percent.

"We want to invite them (Japanese businessmen) not only to invest in the goods manufacturing sector but also in the electronic spareparts industry," Fahmi said.

Fahmi and Trade Minister Mari E Pangestu as well as Investment Coordinating Agency Chairman M. Lutfhi would visit Japan on Nov 7-9 and ask Japanese investors to increase investment in the petrochemical sector, notably in aromatic and olefin industries as well as in biodiesel production.

"There are Japanese companies which have already invested in the petrochemical sector in Indonesia like Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Marubeni and Sumitomo," Fahmi said.

He expressed hope that other Japanese investors could develop Banten province into an aromatics center and East Java into an olefin center.

He also said there were several Japanese firms that were interested in investing in the biodiesel industry after the Indonesian government had expressed its commitment to develop the biodiesel sector.

Fahmi said he would meet with Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Akira Namira to discuss many projects, including the Asahan project in Sumatra.

He said he was going to meet with Sony Corp officials as well to discuss the possibility of increasing investment in digital camera production in Indonesia as 90 percent of the country`s production of the gadgets was exported.

Fahmi also said he would meet with South Korean automotive and electronic companies, including Hyundai, Samsung and LG when he visits that country. (*)
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