Sat, 17 Apr 2010

The Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) is seeking an extra budget of about Rp 100 billion (US$11 million) this year to finance programs aimed at improving the business climate.

BKPM deputy head Yus’an said in Jakarta on Wednesday that additional funds which would increase the agency’s total budget to Rp 465 billion from Rp 365 billion would be needed to help cope with negative impacts resulting from the full implementation of ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA).

Speaking during a hearing with the Commission VI of the House of Representatives, Yus’an said that the investment climate should be further improved so as to promote the realization of investment approvals in the country.

“We also plan to establish investment promotion centers in China and the United Arab Emirates in order to attract more investors from these two countries,” he said.

With an improvement in the business climate and an increase in promotional activities, BKPM expected that the realization of domestic and foreign investment, which last year dropped to Rp 135 trillion from
Rp 154.19 trillion in 2008, would increase by about 20 percent to Rp 161 trillion, this year.

Yus’an said that the realization of investment declined in 2009 due to the economic slowdown in the world as a result of the global financial and banking crisis.

“With signs of recovery in the global economy, the 20 percent increase target for investment realization is achievable,” he added.

The global economy had shown positive signs of recovery as indicated by the surge in economic growth indicators in a number of industrialized countries.

According to the agency’s data, the United States recorded 5.6 percent growth in its gross domestic product (GDP) during the last quarter of 2009.

Singapore’s GDP also grew 4 percent, Taiwan 3.2 percent and South Korea 3.2 percent in the same period.

The world economy which had suffered a contraction of 0.8 percent in 2009 is now projected to return to positive growth, with a predicted growth rate of 3.9 percent this year.