Thu, 15 Apr 2010

From: The Jakarta Globe

By Arti Ekawati
Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu has urged foreign investors to invest in Indonesia now or risk “missing the boat.”

Speaking at a forum held by the Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club on Wednesday, Mari said international investors should take advantage of the country’s growth prospects while they still can.

“If investors are not investing now, they’ll miss the boat,” Mari said, pointing out that Indonesia has one of the fastest-growing emerging economies in the world.

Indonesia’s economy expanded 4.5 percent last year, one of the strongest growth rates in the world, at a time when most economies contracted because of the global financial crisis.

The government last week projected the economy to grow by as much as 6 percent this year, up from a previous forecast of 5.5 percent, as a result of strong domestic consumption and a faster-than-expected recovery in exports.

Solid economic growth, coupled with stable macroeconomic and political conditions, has put the country back on the global investment radar.

Meanwhile, international rating agencies have raised the country’s sovereign credit ratings and global funds have bought local financial assets, sending the value of the rupiah to a 33-month high and the main stock index to a record high in the past two weeks.

Mari said the government was striving to implement reforms that will help create a better climate for investment and business activities. She pointed to the example of the government’s logistics blueprint for the development of roads, ports and transportation facilities.

Mari said the planned visit of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on April 23-24 was expected to further boost China’s investment in the country.

She said Chinese investors have expressed particular interest in the country’s infrastructure and tourism sectors.