In short, what surprised us was that (both foreign and domestic) direct investment in Indonesia managed to climb to record high levels in the period Q4-2019 to Q1-2021 while at the same time there was this severe COVID-19 pandemic and crisis that curbed economic activity (including direct investment realization) in an unprecedented manner. It was something we found difficult to understand.

And so, it was interesting to learn that the Audit Board of Indonesia (in Indonesian: Badan Pemeriksa Keuangan, BPK), a high state body responsible for the evaluation of the management and accountability of public finances conducted by Indonesia’s central government, local governments, Bank Indonesia, state-owned enterprises, the Public Service Board, and institutions or other entities that manage state funds, questions the accuracy of investment data that were reported by the BKPM in 2019-2020. This was one of the conclusions mentioned in a recent BPK audit report (called Ikhtisar Hasil Pemeriksaan Semester II Tahun 2020 which includes a section on direct investment) that was released in March 2021.

When investigating data and documents, BPK found an IDR 15.22 trillion (approx. USD $1.1 billion) discrepancy between the investment realization as recorded and published by BKPM, on the one hand, and investment realization calculated by BPK, on the other hand, for the year 2019 (when total direct investment realization in Indonesia reached IDR 809.6 trillion – or approx. USD $56.8 billion – according to BKPM).


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