What is KADIN’s main agenda for 2016?
Our main agenda is to review the negative investment list with the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM). The final report will be given to them immediately, and this is regularly done by KADIN. Most of our key stakeholders include international chambers, businesses, and delegations, who have suggested opening the negative investment list. This is perceived as the primary agenda of KADIN in 2016, to coordinate such regulations with associated government bodies.
What are the biggest challenges that businesses expanding to Indonesia are facing? Over the past ten to fifteen years, there was significant growth on commodities, and the industry has expanded across Indonesia. The price of commodities has declined and has caused a lack of revenue and layoffs on related business and industries. Indeed, this is identified as the biggest challenge to be encountered by local and foreign businesses.
According to British Ambassador Moazzam Malik, dialogue is one of the most critical parts in generating a policy, especially with associated stakeholders. In your opinion, how should one cope with complex bureaucracy in Indonesia?
Yes, Indonesian bureaucracy is deemed as complex. We discuss our concerns with the President, Vice President, and Ministers prior to any regulation changes or new policies. We represent many business associations from a variety of sectors across Indonesia, both local and foreign. It is important for us to be involved in policy making with the government regarding business matters. In my view, the Indonesian government has been really open to KADIN, and it is a very positive start, whereas some of the government staff from the ministries are still having management issues. This is a huge obstacle in creating a positive business climate in Indonesia. The policy makers should be more open minded and proactive in dealing with issues, as well as to focus on similar purposes and encourage businesses with regards to its policy-making decision.
Are you optimistic regarding the latest regulation of BKPM’s 3-hour licensing?
It was very positive action from the Government. On the other hand, it is well acknowledged that ministries remain less coordinated amongst themselves. This is seen as a critical issue and has had an impact on the implementation. Consistency and sustainability are the most important things in which BKPM should execute when implementing the 3-hour licensing.
Which sectors hold the most potential to be developed in Indonesia?
Infrastructure, the creative industries, and also tourism. Although we are not as advanced as our neighbours, Singapore and Malaysia, we have lots of potential in the tourism industry. We should improve the transportation systems to encourage more foreign and local tourists to visit. Well-planned marketing strategies are vital in promoting Indonesia to the world.
What is the best strategy to promote Indonesian tourism across the globe?
The government should add more funding with regards to promotional strategy/activities. The service of locals should be improved, and the infrastructure should be developed sufficiently. Likewise, business licensing should be a priority of the government.
How is the progress with the Palupa fund? How many SMEs have you helped?
Currently, we have helped entrepreneurs across 28 provinces in Indonesia. There are 4-10 businesses in each province and we have given these entrepreneurs at total of IDR 500 Million. The Palapa Fund (Start-up initiative) will be launched around June 2016. Funding will be facilitated by KADIN, and we would like to invite foreign investors to be involved in future programmes.
Interview by Anka Juneanto