Mon, 22 Oct 2007
From: The Jakarta Post
By The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
The Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) will hold a regional investment promotion expo in Surabaya this week, the second such regional event this year in which all 33 provinces will showcase their respective business and investment potentials.

The expo, which will be held on Oct. 24-26, will give around 1,500 invited investors the chance to participate in round table discussions and forums, according to Darmawan Djajusman, BKPM deputy chairman for investment promotion.

This year's first regional expo was held last month in Batam.

"Invitations have not only been sent to local and overseas companies, but also to foreign business chambers as far away as Brazil -- who have by the way confirmed their participation," Darmawan told The Jakarta Post recently.

"Our representatives in foreign countries have also been actively involved in promoting this event," added Yuliot, BKPM director in charge of domestic promotion.

Yuliot said the agency organized the event in an effort to promote investment opportunities in the country. "Every year, we organize two major regional events and two others overseas."

Earlier in the year, the BKPM organized a promotion investment exhibition in Seoul, South Korea and plans to hold another one in Paris later in the year.

Since the monetary crisis, Indonesia has been boosting efforts to lure foreign investors in order to help fuel its consumption-driven economy.

By promoting investment opportunities in regions, the government is hoping to spark competition among the provinces in terms of ensuring a business-friendly climate.

All efforts, however, are often still riddled with classic problems, such as complicated licensing procedures and bureaucratic red-tape.

According to the latest survey from the World Bank and its private sector, the International Financial Corporation (IFC), Indonesia remains a tough place for investors.

The survey says 105 days are required for an investor to start up a business in the country, far longer than its main regional competitors like China, Malaysia and Vietnam, let alone Singapore.

Acknowledging this, Yuliot said many regional governments, and especially the BKPM itself, have continued to address such issues and have in some cases, made some improvements.

"With the BKPM, for instance, all procedures can now be completed within five working days. The target is actually 10 days.

"More and more regencies have set up a one-roof investment service. Around 200 regencies are now doing this, although most of them are located on the larger islands, such as Java and Kalimantan," Yuliot said.

He said the Surabaya event would also host a forum in which businesspeople from East Java could meet with relevant ministries and agencies to discuss the problems caused by the Lapindo mudflow disaster.



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