Infrastructure Conference ‘Positive’

The three-day infrastructure conference received a ‘positive response’ from international investors, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Boediono said Thursday (2/11/06), the second day of the conference.

Government officials said interest was strong and that while far less projects were offered than at the first conference early last year, they were far better prepared.

"With this conference we regain the momentum to boost the development of our infrastructure. We now see that we're on the right track toward reaching our goal," Boediono was quoted as saying by The Jakarta Post.

"We haven't yet reached any deals with foreign investors. But we've seen very strong interest from them during this conference. I'm optimistic that we'll win their commitments to develop the projects we're offering," he said, adding that he believes this year's meeting would prove to be more productive than the previous one.

The event drew about 1,200 executives of mostly foreign companies.

The strongest interest was in water projects, Public Works Minister Joko Kirmanto said. Three private firms had expressed a keen interest in investing in three water supply projects worth Rp1 trillion ($109 million) that were tabled by the government.
"Many investors are interested in our water projects. At least three of them have directly approached me today and stated their intention of tendering for piped-water projects," he said Thursday.

Kirmanto said the three companies were Tyco Water of the US, Ami Water from Singapore and a local firm from East Kalimantan.
Separately, daily Koran Tempo quoted Transportation Minister Hatta Radjasa as saying that the governments of Indonesia and Japan will sign an agreement on the construction of a Jakarta subway line by the end of this month.

Finance ministers of both countries will sign the agreement on the $800 million project, which is expected to get under way by the end of 2008, he said.

Radjasa said it had been agreed that 30% of the project's components will be from Japan, 30% from Indonesia and 40% will be opened for tender.

In the power sector, state electricity firm PT PLN signed a preliminary deal with US energy firm AES Corp, Japanese trading firm Sojitz, and local firm PT Triaryani to build a $1.5 billion 1,200-MW coal-fired power plant in South Sumatra, Mines and Energy Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said Wednesday.

On the macroeconomic front, inflation figures for October dropped to a year-on-year figure of 6.29%, sharply down from September’s 14.55%.

Government spokespersons said growth for this year would come in at around 5.6%. Bank Indonesia (BI) Deputy Governor Hartadi Sarwono noted, however, that economic recovery "appears to be gaining momentum" on the back of rising consumption and exports in the third quarter.

In the real sector, PT Telkom overshot analysts’ predictions, reporting an 82% rise in net profit for the third quarter, largely on improved receipts from its cellular unit, PT Telkomsel. PT Indofood Sukses Makmur turned in a net profit figure 10 times larger than the same period last year, when the company was saddled with one-off costs.

Sales were up around 25% at leading retailer PT Matahari Putra Prima to Rp5.6 trillion, Bakrie & Brothers nearly doubled its revenue figure, but leading car distributor PT Astra International saw revenue fall by a third, although company spokespersons said automotive and motorcycle sales had begun to pick up.
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