It was reported in Investor Daily on Monday (03/03) that the Indonesian government intends to cut back some of the country's notorious bureaucracy regarding investment permits, thus speeding up the process for permit applications. Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa stated that, although Indonesia already has had significant success in reducing bureaucracy in recent years, investors are still put off by the lengthy application process. This is a particular problem in the country's oil and gas sector.
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Today's Headlines Regulatory Framework
The realization of infrastructure projects through the Indonesian government's public-private partnership (PPP) scheme is yet to bear fruit. Up to this day, PPP infrastructure projects in Indonesia are still constrained by the difficulty of land acquisition, regulatory uncertainties and lack of funding. These investments projects are not among the most popular investment projects of private investors because they usually involve expensive (and risky) investments as well as patience while waiting for return of investment.
Head of the Finance Ministry's fiscal agency Bambang Brodjonegoro said that the Indonesian government is preparing tax incentives to spur foreign investments. The new regulation will extend the previous expired one and also provides new incentives that make investing in Indonesia more attractive. One possible change concerns the minimum value of investments. Currently, investments between IDR 1 trillion - 20 trillion receive the same benefits. However, this may be revised in such a way that the bigger the investment, the better the incentives.
Latest Columns Regulatory Framework
One of the weak points of Indonesia, one that seriously hurts the country’s investment climate as well as foreign confidence, is regulatory uncertainty. In 2009 the government of Indonesia introduced Law No. 4/2009 on Mineral and Coal Mining (New Mining Law) which caused a shock in Indonesia’s natural resources sector as it includes several new policies that make investors think twice before investing in Indonesia as the consequences of these new policies are far-reaching. However, a possible new amendment to the law causes new concern.
An important change will be made to the ministerial regulation that deals with the franchise businesses and traditional markets in Indonesia. Indonesian Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi said that the government plans to adjust a retroactive clause formulated in Ministry of Trade Regulation No. 7 Year 2013 on Partnership Development in Franchise Business Services for Food and Beverages (Permendag Nomor 7). Initially this clause limited franchise ownership to a maximum of 250 outlets, forcing big franchisees to confirm to new requirement.
Apart from the five tax incentives that I have mentioned in a previous column, the Indonesian government also intends to ease two other tax rules in order to boost investments in Indonesia from 2014 onwards. These are the tax holiday and tax allowance. Relaxation of the tax holiday involves an alteration to the period as well as the size of the investment, and relaxation of procedural difficulties. Relaxation of the tax allowance involves the revision of the number of sectors that are eligible and a relaxation of procedures in the form of tax clearance.
With fertile soils and supportive climatic conditions, production of horticultural products (such as fruits, vegetables, or herbal medicines), should be thriving in Indonesia. In reality, however, Indonesia's horticultural production has not been able to meet domestic demand of Indonesia. Various factors lay behind this situation. But in essence it comes down to a lack of productive farmers, while demand has risen steadily. In this given situation, horticultural products should be imported. If not, prices will rise significantly.
Last February, the Indonesian government, through its Ministry of Trade, issued new rules with regard to Indonesia's franchise sector. This new regulatory framework - formulated in Ministry of Trade Regulation No. 7 Year 2013 on Partnership Development in Franchise Business Services for Food and Beverages (Permendag Nomor 7) - will have an impact on Indonesia's food and beverage services as limitations are set on the amount of outlets.
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