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After Luring Amazon, Indonesia Province Hunts for More Investors

(Bloomberg) — Indonesia’s most populous province is offering up a $60-billion portfolio of projects over the next five years for investors keen to follow the likes of Amazon.com Inc. and Hyundai Motor Co. in setting up shop there.



a bridge over a road: A highway runs next to an under construction section of elevated track for the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway (HSR) project in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Bank Indonesia lowered its key interest rate for a second straight month, aiming to help the economy recover from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.


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A highway runs next to an under construction section of elevated track for the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway (HSR) project in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Bank Indonesia lowered its key interest rate for a second straight month, aiming to help the economy recover from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

West Java, which has an economy nearly the size of Hungary, is asking potential investors to make deals with province-owned companies rather than asking them to go through the local government, Governor Ridwan Kamil said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg. That can cut the process to as little as six months, from the usual two-year period, with four investors already in talks, he said.

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Investments on offer:
Patimban City, set to house Indonesia’s largest sea port, offered to Japanese investorsKertajati, with its airport, offered to Chinese fundsPetrochemical town in Losarang offered to Taiwanese companiesHalal industry town near Subang offered to United Arab Emirates investorsPandemic has pushed province to focus on healthcareProvince seeks investments in food security, water, tourism, manufacturing and toll roads

“Combined with the omnibus law and my political will to push for faster business processes, West Java could be the most exciting place for investing in Indonesia,” Kamil said. “I sound like a salesman, but that’s my pitch.”

Here’s What to Know on Indonesia’s Investment Law Overhaul

West Java is central to President Joko Widodo’s bid to revive Southeast Asia’s largest economy by aggressively recruiting foreign investment. He has spearheaded an omnibus law that would ease labor rules and cut red tape, aiming to tamp down unemployment and turn around an economy that fell into a recession last quarter.

Higher Office

Some of the world’s biggest companies have pledged investments in West Java in recent months, including $8 billion from Taiwan’s CPC Corp. for a petrochemical plant, $2.8 billion from Amazon.com for a data center and $1.3 billion from Hyundai for an electric vehicle factory.

The province, which accounts for 13% of Indonesia’s gross domestic product, will seek parliamentary approval next year to issue municipal bonds to boost its budget, Kamil said, reviving a plan that’s been years in the making.

After leading a province with a population almost as large as South Korea’s, Kamil is setting his sights on a presidential bid in 2024. He is in talks with the Nasdem Party, which holds 10% of parliament’s seats as part of the ruling coalition. Presidential contenders must have the backing of at least 20% of sitting lawmakers to secure a nomination.

“If the door is open, then I will take the opportunity,” he said. “But if not, I have no regrets. Being a governor is already the highest achievement in my career.”

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