President denies govt obstructs improvement of investment climate

Jakarta (Antara News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono denied that the government has no commitment to improve the current investment climate in the country as certain circles claimed.

"I am fed up with those charges. Anybody saying that the government failed to support the business world, what government is he or she referring to?," the President said when addressing the 2007 National Leadership Meeting at the Jakarta Conventional Hall on Monday night.

According to Yudhoyono, there have always been accusations or assumptions of intentional obstructions to the business world, so that it is hight time for an openness and transparency between the government and the business world.

The President addressing about 200 members and executives of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) and members of Kadin regional offices representing a number of associations, tried to challenge the business world to transparently seek ways and means of solving various problems.

The Head of State also admitted that -- as Kadin general chairman MS Hidayat has complained -- all the regions in the country have a high investment commitment, but realisation has been significantly short of expectations.

"Therefore, something must have gone wrong. If the mistake was made by the central government, I will try to work day and night, but if investment in the regions had not been running smoothly, the heads of the regions in question must also be ready to work hard," he pointed out.

He also told businesspeople not to hestitate to report any ministry which had obstructed efforts at improving the investment climate.

On the occasion President Yudhoyono also said that in efforts at improving the investment climate, the business world should first revive the real sector by increasing the mediation of banks.

He said the existing banks also have an important role to play in activating the economy. The president hoped Bank Indonesia would continue lowering its interest rate to activate the real sector and micro, small and medium enterprises.

"Therefore, while actually we have the money, but it has not been adequately or effectively used. Like the saying goes `a rat dies in a rice barn`", he said.(*)
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