Investment Back to Pre-Crisis Level: BKPM

Investment approvals have returned to those before the economic crisis of 1998, the head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), M. Lutfi, was quoted as saying by Dow Jones Newswires.

Lutfi said he expects total investment commitments by both foreign and local investors to reach $55 billion by the end of the year.

He said investment plans have been surging this year partly due to investors returning after holding off their investment plans last year because of the government's move to more-than-double fuel prices in late 2005.

Actual foreign and domestic direct investments in the country during the first eight months of the year rose 123% from a year earlier to $11.7 billion, BKPM data showed.

It said actual foreign direct investment (FDI) in the January-August period rose 106.9% from last year to $8.13 billion, while domestic investment surged 171.9% to $3.57 billion, Thomson Financial reported. Realized investment projects absorbed a workforce of 203,190 people.

The data also showed that total investment proposals approved by the board in the first eight months rose 144.5% to $47.55 billion.

The board said approved FDI proposals rose 156.8% to $31.33 billion while approved domestic investment proposals grew 51% to $16.22 billion.

The paper and printing industries were the most popular sectors for FDIs, with approved proposals worth $13.81 billion during the first eight months. The chemical and pharmaceutical industry came in second with approved proposals worth $6.9 billion.

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