In April, Indonesian President Joko Widodo paid a visit to London, UK, as part of his presidential tour of Europe. His visit fostered a closer and more open dialogue between the corporate members of the British Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia (BritCham) and various Indonesian ministries.
In the first of a ministerial trio of briefings, Minister of Communication and Information Technology Rudiantara spoke of strategically focusing on expanding the Terrestrial Fibre Network, Palapa Ring Project, to enhance coordination between all ministries to ensure coordinated extension of broadband network. The second priority is to promote greater efficiencies on Spectrum utilisation by encouraging Active Spectrum coordination between operators. Finally, and of particular interest to foreign investors, was the assurance of continuous review of the Negative List (DNI) to further open up investment opportunities in technology and promote new technology development.
During the second briefing, State Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS) Sofyan Djalil confirmed his priority to review and abolish local regulations that hinder speedy decision-making at government level. He is also striving to create greater communications between private and public partnerships as a means to achieve government targets.
The largely international executive audience was pleased to learn of plans to further reduce the speed of license issuance from months to just days. Djalil explained that this will take time as this requires a comprehensive review of all licensing regulations. The Minister has committed to open his doors to businesses that have constructive ideas and solutions to assist the government to improve its performance. He is keen to learn from the UK’s Better Regulation Office that has vast recent experience and successes in simplifying the regulatory environment.
Yesterday, BritCham finally completed the trio of Ministerial briefings and welcomed Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya. Before a special breakfasting with BritCham members, the Minister jumped on Jokowi’s message in the UK that he wanted Indonesia to have ten more tourist islands like Bali. In a private pre-brief with BritCham Executive Director Chris Wren, Minister Yahya highlighted that his ministry had secured four of the nine designated Special Economic Zones (SEZs) which would be the conduit to deliver the new tourism projects.
In a statement, BritCham Chairman Adrian Short received the government’s initiative with great delight:
“The willingness of ministers to talk to the BritCham international business community is highly significant. It confirms a finding from our Business Confidence Index that foreign business is experiencing a more open approach form the Indonesian leadership. We welcome and applaud this.”
BritCham is known as the most active foreign Chamber in Indonesia with a large membership comprising almost 1,000 nominees from 250 corporations. For over 30 years, BritCham has maintained a positive relationship with the Indonesian government while also continuing to promote business opportunities in Indonesia to the UK and Southeast Asia.