Indonesia: Government revives talk on relaxing negative investment list

  • The Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister has revived a discussion about relaxing the negative investment list (DNI) following a recent speech in which President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo stressed the need to attract more investment to the country.
  • The list restricts or limits foreign investment in certain business sectors.
  • Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said the draft of the DNI regulation, which would revise the current list stipulated in Presidential Regulation (Perpres) 44/2016, was being finalized and would soon be presented to Jokowi.
  • The revision of Perpres 44/2016, primarily aimed at opening up more business sectors for foreign investment, is one of the key points in the government’s 16theconomic policy package announced in Nov 18.
  • The government has expressed plans to open up 49 economic sectors by allowing foreigners to hold larger stakes or freeing investors from the obligation to obtain recommendation letters from relevant ministries.
  • This measure would also take into account demand from several business associations, including the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), to maintain investment restrictions for some sectors out of concern that liberalizing them would hurt local small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
  • The DNI regulation was initially supposed to be revised shortly after the announcement of the economic policy package, but the move was postponed as Indonesia was preparing to hold presidential and legislative elections in Apr 19.

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