Sat, 13 Feb 2016

Indonesia on Thursday (11/02) eased foreign investment restrictions for dozens of industries in what President Joko Widodo has described as a "Big Bang" liberalization of Southeast Asia's largest economy.

Indonesia relaxed rules for international firms in various sectors, including agriculture, healthcare facilities, restaurants and movie theaters.

This was the first revision since 2014 to the so-called Negative Investment List, which spells out the sectors to which foreign investment restrictions apply.

Thursday's announcement was not all about opening up Indonesia's industries, however. Twenty sectors, including low-tech construction, were added to the list of industries with foreign investment restrictions.

The following are changes to the Negative Investment List for major industries:

100 percent open to foreign investment

- Toll roads (previously only 95 percent open to foreign ownership).

- Restaurants, bars; previously capped at 51 percent open to foreign investment for restaurants and 49 percent for bars (if a company partners up with a local small, micro, medium business cooperative, then foreign control is capped at 51 percent).

- Film making (previously restricted for foreign investors).

- Film distribution (previously restricted for foreign investors).

- Cinemas (required to show Indonesian films at least 60 percent of their screen time and previously restricted for foreign investors).

- Cold storage (previously 33 percent open to foreign investors and limited to Sumatra, Jawa and Bali).

- Rubber industry; sheets and concentrated latex manufacturing (previously 95 percent open to foreign ownership).

- Non-toxic waste management (previously 95 percent open to foreign ownership).

Majority foreign stake

- Healthcare facilities such as medical instruments (67 percent); medical devises calibration and maintenance services (previously foreign investors could own up to 49 percent).

- Telecommunications networks and services (67 percent); telecommunication towers operators and providers (previously restricted to foreign ownership).

- Warehousing (67 percent, previously only up to 33 percent).

- Consulting services in construction (67 percent for projects valued at over Rp 10 billion, previously only 55 percent open to foreign ownership)

Sectors opened up for the first time

- Installation of high-voltage utility (49 percent )

- Land transport (49 percent)

- Healthcare facilities such as medical instruments (67 percent)

- Film industry including distribution (100 percent)