Tue, 14 Apr 2009
ISTANBUL - Indonesia has set a goal to attract $358 billion of private investment by 2010 and hopes foreign investors, including Turkish businesses, will provide some of the capital, Muhammad Lutfi, chairman at Indonesia’s investment coordinating board, said in Istanbul yesterday.

"Several sectors in Indonesia, including crude palm oil and coil industries, offer notable opportunities. We see Turkey as a gate to the European Union," Lutfi told Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review yesterday.

Indonesia estimates each percent of growth in economy will create some 400,000 of the three million new jobs the country’s rapidly expanding population needs. Indonesia is currently the third-largest country in the world in terms of its 228.5 million population.

"The government’s growth plan requires an investment of $426 billion. The government is providing some $68.43 billion of this, whilst $358 will come from the private sector," Lutfi said. Priority areas of investment are located in Riau, Bengkulu and Central Java, among others, and include projects in industries including crude palm oil, pulp, aluminium, coal, tin, cocoa, and copper.

Emin Hitay, honorary consul of Indonesia in Istanbul, said bilateral trade between Turkey and Indonesia stood at some $2 billion in 2008. "Unfortunately the level of investments bilaterally has not reached the desired levels yet," he said. However, several Turkish firms from energy to consumer goods find the Indonesian market attractive and are considering expansion into Indonesia.

Among the Turkish firms operating in Indonesia is Çilek, a Turkish children’s furniture firm, which opened two sales outlets in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta last year. Gökhan Keskin, Middle & Far East Area manager at Çilek, noted the firm is now looking for further expansion in the country.



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