Wakil Presiden M. Jusuf Kalla. (ANTARA/Saptono)
Vice President Jusuf Kalla, currently on a five-day visit to Japan, has encouraged Japanese companies to step up investment in Indonesia. (ANTARA/Saptono)

Jakarta, 26 Jumadil Awwal 1436/17 March 2015 (MINA) – Vice President Jusuf Kalla, currently on a five-day visit to Japan, has encouraged Japanese companies to step up investment in Indonesia.

“We discussed, among other things, opportunities to increase Japanese investment in Indonesia,” he told journalists, referring to his meeting with representatives of a number of Japanese companies in Tokyo on Monday.

Japanese companies whose officials Kalla met include Itochu, Marubeni, Mitsubishi, Nomura and Sumitomo. Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) representatives were also present at the meeting, The Jakarta Post quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

In 2014, a number of global media companies reported that Itochu had partnered with a Thai company, Charoen Pokphand (CP), to invest more than US$8 billion in a Chinese state-owned company, CITIC Group, the biggest investment a Japanese trading company had ever made. The transaction was also the biggest acquisition a Japanese company had ever made in China.

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The Indonesian Ambassador to Japan, Yusron Ihza Mahendra, said that during the meeting, the Japanese companies had expressed concern over a number of issues — such as land acquisition and work permits — that they deemed potentially detrimental to their business efforts.

Earlier, Kalla also reported a high level of interest among large Japanese companies to invest in Indonesia following the rupiah’s continued depreciation.

“ [Japanese companies] are interested in expanding their business in the region and they want a smooth bureaucratic process,” said Kalla, adding that company representatives had also expressed worries related to the supply of gas and electricity, as well as port infrastructure.

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Industry Minister Saleh Husin said that Japanese companies looking to step up investment in Indonesia were players in the automotive, gas and electricity sectors.

The Japanese Ambassador to Indonesia, Yasuaki Tanizaki, meanwhile, said his government was certain that Japan could boost its investment in a number of development sectors in Indonesia.

“We are optimistic about greater Japanese direct investment in Indonesia. We conducted a survey on attractive investment destination countries in 2014,” he said at the vice presidential office in Jakarta last week.

Tanizaki added that the survey had revealed that according to a number of Japanese companies, Indonesia was one of the most attractive countries for investment. (T/P010/P3)

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Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)