Foreign businesses may soon be allowed to take a bigger stake
Foreign businesses may soon be allowed to take a bigger stake in cold-storage facilities in Indonesia, under a government plan to attract more foreign direct investment into the maritime industry.
Under the Investment Coordinating Board's (BKPM) negative investment list, whose latest revision was released last year, foreign businesses may only own a stake of up to 33 percent in cold-storage facilities in Sumatra, Java and Bali, and up to 67 percent for facilities in Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, Maluku and Papua.
"We're currently discussing capping foreign ownership of cold-storage facilities at 65 percent, regardless of the location," BKPM chief FrankySibarani said after a meeting with Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti on Wednesday. "This is one of our suggestions in reviewing the negative investment list."
Businesses have long identified Indonesia's lack of cold-storage facilities as one of the biggest stumbling blocks to boosting the fisheries industry. Indonesia's prime fishing waters are in the east of the country, which also has the lowest electrification rate in the country.
In another bid to attract foreign investors, Franky highlighted the seaweed industry as a major opportunity, noting that nearly a million tons of the crop was harvested each year, yet only a tenth of that was processed locally. Much of the seaweed harvested in Indonesia is exported to countries with more advanced processing facilities, notably Thailand.
"The basic principle is that we will open investment in the downstream and inland investment to foreign investors who bring the newest technology in processing fishery products," Franky said.
There were 177 projects underway in the maritime industry in the first half of the year, with combined investment of Rp 1.6 trillion ($110 million), according to the BKPM.