Kedutaan Besar Republik Indonesia
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Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
Ambassade de la RÉpublique d'Indonésie

Australia to boost service sector investment in RI

Australia will boost its investment in Indonesia, particularly in the service sector and is expecting an improvement in bilateral relations, especially after the inauguration of Malcolm Turnbull as the country’s new prime minister.

“The next major growth opportunity for Australia is in services, and when we look at the next 30 years, the biggest contributor to growth in the region in all of the emerging economies is going to be the services,” said visiting Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb on Monday.

Robb said his country expected that there would be more Australian service providers willing to invest in Indonesia through joint partnerships with established local companies to take up opportunities in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

Share of service sector to gross domestic products (GDP) of developing economies in Asia has grown from around 44 percent in 1980 to over 50 percent at present, according to a report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

In Australia, services accounted for around 75 percent of the country’s GDP and created around 90 percent of all jobs in the country, Robb said.

“We [also] intend, as a government, to not only get back on track but to really grow the relationship in the most material way […],” he said.

Robb said that service sectors that Australian companies were targeting included healthcare, education, construction, architecture, water management and agriculture.

Australia’s total foreign direct investment (FDI) to Indonesia was US$71.7 million in the first six months of this year, the 14th largest FDI in Indonesia, according to data from the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).

However, as of the first half of this year, Australia’s total planned new investment was only around $38 million, a far cry from China’s $10 billion, according to the data.

Azhar Lubis, BKPM deputy director for investment monitoring and implementation, said the government welcomed Australia’s plan, but he said that they should ensure services match local needs.

“I think what we really need from Australia is consultation services for cattle industry development,” he told The Jakarta Post.

According to Azhar, most of Australia’s current investments in Indonesia were in mining and related-sectors.

Robb said that as many as 200 Australian business people would come to Indonesia in November, deemed as the largest ever Australian business delegation, to further discuss potential investment in the world’s fourth-most populous nation.

Earlier in May, Australia’s telecommunications giant Telstra formed a joint venture with Indonesia’s state-owned telecommunications operator PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) to take advantage of Indonesia’s growing network application and services market.

The joint venture is 51 percent owned by Telkom and 49 percent by Telstra, with Telkom investing around $4.9 million as initial capital.

Source: www.thejakartapost.com, Tuesday 22 September 2015