TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Although two of its subsidiaries have closed their factories, PT Cadbury Indonesia - the chocolates and sweets company, still remains in Indonesia.
“It’s not true that Cadbury is leaving. They’re still trading here. I’ve spoken with the president director. They regarded Indonesia as still being interesting and competitive,” Muhammad Lutfi, Head of Investment Coordination Agency (BKPM), told Tempo in Jakarta last week.
Lutfi went on to say that the reports about the England-originated food producer being closed down were not actually anything new.
Earlier, the news of Cadbury’s closing down was conveyed by General Chairman of Indonesia Food & Beverages Association, Thomas Darmawan.
According to him, the following day there would be an auction of ex-Cadbury’s factory assets at the Sahid Jaya Hotel, Jakarta.
The auction was a follow-up to the factory’s closure late last year, that resulted in 300 employees losing their jobs.
“Last year Cadbury’s regional management decided to move from Indonesia to Malaysia,” said Thomas.
Cadbury’s reason for leaving, according to Thomas, was that the investment climate had grown uncompetitive in Indonesia, including the implementation of an import duty of five percent on cacao product imports.
This is despite chocolate food producing countries like Malaysia and Thailand having exempted such tariffs.
“The incentive policy in the form of the government regulation was actually good, but unfortunately it was too late. The company had already decided to move,” said Thomas.
Three subsidiaries of Cadbury each ran business in chocolate production, sweets production and also sweets and chocolates trading.
In 2001, the chocolate factory was closed and moved to Malaysia.
This was followed by the sweets factory (after acquiring Trebor) last year.
The factories’ closing down, according to Thomas, was not because of the government’s policy at all.
“They closed the factories simply because they lost in competing with domestic companies. One of their heavy rivals was Mayora,” he said.