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Its richness in natural resources adds to its government’s wealth and makes it a profitable place for investment. Bolstered by its low wage rates, potential domestic market, and sustainable social stability, Indonesia offers opportunities for many consumer-oriented firms. Over the last three decades, the country’s economy has largely benefited from revenues of oil and gas resources. Despite the Asian economic crisis in 1997 followed by a major riot in Jakarta as of May 1998, Indonesian economy has begun to re-ascend since the mid 2004 when the present government initiated “warmer investment policy”. The outcome is growing public confidence, improved social and political stability and steady macro fundamentals.Indonesia’s economic performance has improved markedly over the last few years. The economy has recovered in earnest from the 1997-98 financial crisis, and GDP growth has been around 5,5 per cent per year since 2004. This rate is high enough to deliver broad based improvements in living standards. The contribution of private consumption has trended up, especially since 2004, on the back of robust credit creation. Investment also appears to be rebounding, although it remains lower than elsewhere in the region when measured in relation to GDP. Export growth has been supported by high commodity prices. The momentum of the current expansion is expected to be maintained in 2008-09, with GDP growth expectedly exceeding 6% per year. Responsible conduct of fiscal policy in an increasingly decentralised setting has delivered low budget deficits and falling public indebtedness in relation to GDP. The budget has therefore benefitted from an “interest dividend”, which has allowed the authorities to begin to reallocate scarce resources towards meritorious programmes in the social and infrastructure development areas. Indonesia's  economic performance reflects the strength of the two drivers of its growth: the population-based economy and the resource-based economy. In the population-based economy, strong growth in manufacturing, such as in automotive and consumer products; property development and construction are noted.

Key Policies and Program on Industry and Trade

To spur recovery in the real sector, the government has launched a comprehensive program for the short and medium terms to the long term namely the Industrial Revitalization Program and Industrial Development Program respectively. The Industrial Revitalization Program is focused upon the labor-intensive and export industries, while the Industrial Development Program focuses on industries, which have the potential to create jobs, generate foreign exchange and support the national industrial structure. The aims of the program are to:

  • Assist the recovery and improve performance of industries for export oriented and domestic raw materials
  • Increase investment
  • Maintain current jobs and create new job opportunities
  • Increase foreign currency revenues
  • Empower small and medium scale industries as supporting industry
  • To pave the way for more effective responses to the sustained improvement in economic conditions.

Presidential Decree No. 54/2002 is intended to allow the government to take integrated and coordinated steps to improve the flows and distribution of goods in order to increase competitiveness in the international market. The government in September 2002 also established The Business Solution Centre to handle complaints related to human resources, security, smuggle capital, illegal levies, etc. during the period 2003, the Business Solution Centre has been involved to help more than 90 cases. Following the establishment under the “Indonesia Unity Cabinet” on October 21, 2004, the former Ministry of Industry and Trade was divided into the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Trade, each headed by its own Minister.The Minister of Industry has six key tasks:

  • Develop structures for full range industrial sectors covering fromupstream to downstream industries.
  • Promote infrastructure development
  • Promote the growth of resource-based industries
  • Improve Indonesia's investment climate
  • Review the legal framework for industries
  • Promote equity through investment locations diversification in Indonesia

The Minister of Trade has five key tasks:

  • Review the policy for restrictive import trading schemes.
  • Apply an open trade policy
  • Establish Indonesia as a production center in East Asia.
  • Build competitiveness, efficiency and productivity.
  • Boost export performance within the near future to the level on par with the pre-1997/98 period of crisis.

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