Thursday, 7 November 2013


The Government of RI was urged to watch on the era of single community in the ASEAN Community/AEC to be effective by 2015. For that matter, the Government must set up a masterplan to face the free trade era so Indonesia could be truly competitive. Chairman of the Indonesian businesspeople Asociation [APINDO] Sofjan Wnandi stated in Jakarta on Monday [2/10] unless Indonesia prepared hard since now, this country would not have the strength to compete in ASEAN Free Market 2015.

Sofjan also asked the Government to be realistic about the present condition of business in Indonesia, where investors’ trust was fading, prices of nearly all manufacturing products increasing, bank interest not performing well, and sloe economic growth. This was not to mention the present uncondusive global economy to national growth. “Let’s stop making promises, the execution of economy package policy would not show result unless seriously exercised” Sofjan was quoted as saying.

According to Sofjan, there were only a few sectors which were ready to meet the competitive era which was only 2 years a head. Sofyan saw that the potential sectors were the labor-intensive sector and vast natural resources. But even natural resources would run out soon or late. The logistic sector was way behind. Therefore he said, Indonesia still had to work hard to prepare. Upon embarking on the Asean Free Market, Sofjan believed it was necessary for the Government to scheme up a sound strategy and masterplan which would be applicable for the next three or four years to face the Asean Free Trade market in order to be truly competitive.

Sofjan was even pessimistic Indonesia would be ready to join the Asean Economic Community 2015. According to Sofjan, many things had to be reformed in Indonesia like bureaucracy, the contradicting central Government vs local Government law, national productivity, human resources, and infra structure. Sofjan also reminded that very frequently the Law made thing difficult for businesspeople so investors choosed to go to another country to invest.

Sofjan believed investors would seek for safe havens where things were secure and there was legal certainty. The Law in Indonesia was frequently overlapping due to regional autonomy which made it hard to reduce burreucracy expenses. He showed as an example when a company wished to buy machineries for textile factory they had to employ up to 1,000 workers. Sofjan also expected the Government would control imported goods and to develop human resources, train more competent engineers and technicians.

According to Sofjan, not just industry but the banking sector must also prepare themselves. Although the banking industry would not enter before 2020, banks must take measures to push up other industries. According to Sofjan, BI must firmly make policies to make national banks ready to join AEC 2015. Such was readiness of banking industry to face the free market era.

Sofjan further remarked that to bolster up competitiveness in facing the AEC, it was necessary for the banking sector to take strategic steps in the development process of national banking. Only a few Indonesian banks opened branches in another Asean states even if they were any, they open branches only in Malaysia and Singapore. Furthermore Sofjan remarked that the aim of AEC was to make Asean a single market and a single production base, which would allow free flow of goods, services, production, investment and capital and elimination of tariff for inter-Asean trading. 

Business News - October 25, 2013

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