President calls for concerted efforts to overcome obstacles to investment

Jakarta (Antara News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called on government institutions, lawmakers, law enforcers, business people and the people at large to join hands in overcoming the various problems impeding the flow of investment into the country.

In a state-of-the-nation address marking the start of 2007 at the presidential palace here on Wednesday night, Yudhoyono admitted investment in the country over the past two years had been relatively low because of a number of serious problems.

"Together, we, the government as well as the House of Representatives (DPR)), law enforcers, business people and even the people at large, have to overcome these serious problems that hamper investment in the country," the president said.

On the occasion, the head of state was accompanied by his special aides Dino Patti Djalal, Andi Malarangeng, Heru Lelono and Cabinet Secretary Sudi Silalahi.

The president said there were at least seven factors that were inhibiting the entry of foreign investors into the country.

The seven factors were the exorbitant bank interest rates, limited access to bank credit, unfavorable taxation policies, inefficient licensing procedures, illegal levies, lack of legal certainty, security problems, political instability, and sluggish infrastructure development.

Referring to investment security in Indonesia, Yudhoyono said it was getting better but investors were constantly comparing it with that in other countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, China and India.

"Taking their cue from their own calculations of business risks in a given number of countries, investors will always prefer to do business in countries they think are really safe," Yudhoyono said.

On infrastructure development, the president said it should be done continuously across the country in order to attract investors.

"Infrastructure development we have carried out so far consisted of the building of roads, irrigation systems, airports, seaports, facilities for supply of clean water and energy ," the president said. (*)
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