Indonesian government ministers and agency chief have welcomed their new roles as investment liaisons for specific countries, saying the initiative by President Joko Widodo will boost capital inflows into the country.
“The president’s idea to appoint each minister as a liaison to partner [countries] is a great call. That way, [foreign officials] will know who or which minister to call when problems occur,” Rizal Ramli, the coordinating minister for maritime affairs and natural resources, said in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Joko on Monday instructed 10 ministers and two state agency chairmen to liaise with foreign investors and government officials on doing business in Indonesia.
Rizal has been assigned to liaise with Malaysia, while Franky Sibarani, the head of the Investment Coordinating Board, or BKPM, is assigned to work with Taiwan and Hong Kong.
“The president knows our economic growth is bolstered by investment. He appointed his ministers to be in charge of this so-called economy diplomacy to be more effective in following up” on investment leads, Franky said.
He added that BKPM representatives overseas would support the ministers in their new roles while still reporting to the BKPM in Jakarta.
“For example, our delegate in Abu Dhabi will support [energy minister] Sudirman Said, but still coordinate with us. The BKPM will facilitate any cooperation or agreement made in the Middle East,” Franky said.
The BKPM targets foreign investment in Indonesia to reach Rp 519.5 trillion ($38 billion) this year and Rp 594.8 trillion next year.
The other agency head taking on a new role is Triawan Munaf, the chief of the Creative Economy Agency, who will work with investors and officials from South Korea.
Joko has also appointed National Development Planning Minister Sofyan Djalil to work with Japan, and State-Owned Companies Minister Rini Soemarno to work with China.
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti will work closely with Russia, while Trade Minister Thomas Lembong will build ties with the European Union and Australia.
Transportation Minister Ignatius Jonan will work with India, chief security minister Luhut Panjaitan with Singapore, Communication Minister Rudiantara with the Americas, including the United States, and Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman with Thailand, Vietnam and other Asian countries.