Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Opening of 2023 National Investment Coordination Meeting, at Rafflesia Grand Ballroom of Kartini Hall, Special Capital Region of Jakarta, December 7, 2023
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May peace be upon us all,
Greetings of Virtue,
Honorable Ministers, Governors, Regents, and Mayors,
Honorable Heads of Regional Offices, Heads of One Stop Services, Heads of Special Economic Zone Administrators,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Earlier in the waiting room, the Minister whispered to me regarding performance allowances. And I said, “Yes, I’ll take care of it.” But I disagreed. Why must such matter be discussed openly? But that is okay so everyone here knows that we also take care of matters related to welfare.
Let us get to the core. Let me reiterate that all countries currently need investment since this is the key to a country’s economic growth nowadays. It is very difficult to increase public consumption. That is not an easy matter. Increasing exports is also not an easy matter. Even increasing it a little is challenging. But all countries are currently hunting for one thing, investment.
We are the same. We want to open as many job opportunities as possible for the people. Therefore, once again, investment must continue to grow for the investment will bring in income, whether to the state or regional revenues. Many people ask me, what does investment provide besides job opportunities? State revenues. Because we will get tax from corporate, employment, export duties, and non-tax state revenue, and if we have shares, it means we also get dividends every year.
For this reason, I often emphasize that we need to encourage investors to partner with national and regional entrepreneurs. Even though the shares are small, the most important thing is that there are regional or national entrepreneurs.
Second, related to investment for export. We must pay special attention pay special attention to investment in export products, because this is what we need.
Fourth, related to equitable development. Earlier the Minister said that currently investment outside Java is 52 percent and 48 percent inside. Means, investment outside the island is greater than on the inside. This is on the right track, since we have 17,000 islands. If the investment on Java alone is 48 percent, how come the other 16,999 islands only get 52 percent of investment? It could have been bigger. Nevertheless, this is your job—ladies and gentlemen—to boost it. This is the job for governors, regents, mayors, and heads of one-stop integrated service offices to boost greater investment outside Java. It is also the Government’s job to prepare the infrastructure for the regions outside Java Island that also needs it.
Therefore, once again, we must focus on investments that drive economic growth, provide job opportunities, and provide high added value. Why industrial downstreaming? Because it provides high added value. We noted that in 2017 our nickel exports were at US$3.3 billion and once we started to industrial downstreaming it, our export value reached US$33.8 billion last year. How is the leap? It leaps very high. That is just one or two derivative products. If there are more and more derivative products, especially if we produce EV batteries, the leap will be higher. Moreover, if we produce electric vehicles, it will be even higher. This is what I have repeatedly said, we must concentrate on added value.
Furthermore, all countries currently are encouraging environmentally friendly and other sustainable investment. Therefore, we must seize the opportunities in the investment of green and blue economy since the environmentally unfriendly products will be rejected in several countries in the future so we have to prepare environmentally friendly industries. Blue economy, green economy, nowadays everyone is looking for ones that use green energy. For example, those related to geothermal. Geothermal has just, maybe, a month or two leapt. Shares on our stock exchange that associated with green energy leapt seven to ten times. Many investors are pursuing this: geothermal, solar panel power plants, and hydro power. These are very promising investments in the future.
And Alhamdulillah, we noted that in the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking in 2023, Indonesia leapt from 44th to 34th. I think we really must straighten out more so that our ranking gets better. If we compare, for example, with the Philippines which is in 52nd place, we still superior, but if we compare it with Thailand, we lose since Thailand is in 30th place. If we compare it with Malaysia, we also lose because Malaysia is in 27th place. When compared with Singapore, it is even worse for they are in 4th place. We are already good, but we still must work hard to catch up so that our ranking gets better.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Who are here today, including those from Ministry of Investment/Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), governors/regents/mayors, heads of regional offices, heads of Special Economic Zone administrators, are all the vanguards of investment services in our country. So, I order you to continue to improve the investment climate in the country and in the regions as well as to increase investment realization.
In the past, we were marketing-oriented and said that Indonesian investment climate was good. Once investors arrived but land acquisition failed, they withdraw their investment. Other investors come but business permits processing was too complicated then they returned to their countries and cancelled their investment. So, we now must concentrate not on marketing but on investment process solutions within our own country. For example, Land acquisition for Lotte in Banten. It has not been finished for years. I ordered Minister Bahlil that land acquisition must be resolved within a maximum of three months. You know what? It only takes two weeks to be resolved.
We need things like this. Work in focus, detailed manner and complete it. It is useless for us to do marketing even though we travel around the globe and many investors come, as land acquisitions are not yet resolved, processing business permits are difficult and takes years to complete. The marketing that we have done is useless.
Also, our economic growth target for the next year is 5.1 to 5.7 and investment realization of Rp1,650 trillion. Of course, this will be difficult in the current global situation. However, I am sure that all our hard work will be able to complete our investment target, Rp1,650 trillion. I note that we can use the experiences in 2022-2023 as lessons to boost investment in our country. Without that, it will be very difficult to increase our economic growth as it really depends on investment. And, the thing is, it will be difficult since we must compete, catching up with other countries that are also seeking investment.
But above all, our service to investors must continue to be improved. If there is a complaint or problem, please resolve it immediately. They will feel helped and without us doing marketing, they will definitely talk to their peers as we can count global investors by our fingers, and they say, “Wow, if we invest in Indonesia, we will definitely receive help with licensing and land acquisition process.”
That concludes my speech on this auspicious occasion.
By saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim, I hereby officially open the 2023 National Investment Coordination Meeting.
I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.