Royal doulton to invest US$25 million more in RI industry

Jakarta (Antara News) - The Royal Boulton Company of Britain which has so far invested US$75 million in the ceramic industry sector in Indonesa plans to increase the amount by US$25 million, a spokesman said.

Anthony O`Reilly, the British company`s chairman, said here Saturday with the additional investment, the company would raise its ceramic wares production capacity in Indonesia from six million to 12 million pieces per year.

He said his company had decided to make the additional investment as it believed the Indonesian economy would undergo continuous development in the next five to 10 years. Besides, Indonesia as a ceramc ware producing country also had certain comparative advantages over other ceramic ware making countries, he said.

In terms of manpower absorption, the company was planning to increase the number of its workers from 1,350 at present to about 2,000.

Meanwhile, M Luthfi, chief of the Capital Investment Coordinating Agency (BKPM), said among the comparative advantages possessed by Indonesia`s ceramics industry was the relatively short time it required to complete a ceramic article.

For instance, he said, in Britain the time needed to complete a ceramic product could be as much as 15 months while in Indonesia the same product could be finished in only five months.

Other comparative advantages were the uniqueness of ceramic articles made in Indonesia, the creativity and skill of its ceramic craftsmen, he said.

Earlier in the day, O`Reilly and Narinder Arora, president director of PT Doulton Indonesia, accompanied by Achmad Widjaya, chairman of the Indonesian Ceramic Industries Association, met Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

According to Luthfi, the vice president at the meeting gave the assurance that the government would guarantee the availability of gas as the sole energy source used by the ceramic industry.

Achmad Widjaya on the occasion said Indonesia was now the world`s fifth biggest ceramic ware producer.

He said since the economic crisis in 1998, the ceramic industry had been one of the few economic activities in Indonesia that were able to attract foreign investment, yet had not become foreign dominated.

But he also asked the government to pay special attention to the problem of gas supply as without the fuel the ceramic industry would stagnate. (*)
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