Jokowi Inaugurates Bahlil Lahadalia as Investment Minister

JAKARTA : President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has officially appointed the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Head Bahlil Lahadalia as Minister of Investment. The inauguration also marked the change in the BKPM’s nomenclature to be the Ministry of Investment.

The oath of office took place at the State Palace on Wednesday afternoon, April 28, 2021, which was broadcast virtually. The President has also sworn Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim as Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology.

“I solemnly swear to Allah that I will hold the 1945 Indonesian Constitution and carry out all the laws and regulations as straight as possible as my devotion to the nation and state,” said Bahlil following the oath read by the President.

“That while fulfilling my duties and obligations, I will uphold the work ethics in the best way with a full responsibility,” said Bahlil, taking the oath together with Nadiem.

Newly appointed Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia (center) delivers a speech after his inauguration ceremony in Jakarta on Wednesday.(Courtesy of BPMI Setpres/.)

Bahlil is the general chair of the Indonesian Young Entrepreneurs Association (Hipmi) for the 2015-2019 period. He joined the association in 2003. In October 2019, Jokowi announced Bahlil as the BKPM Head to replace Thomas Trikasih Lembong.

The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) deputy chairperson Shinta Widjaja Kamdani hoped the Investment Ministry led by Bahlil Lahadalia will provide legal certainty for investors. “We hope for legal certainty, transparency, policy coherence related to investment, bureaucratic efficiency, and ease of business licensing and investing in Indonesia,” she said.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo appointed Bahlil Lahadalia, the current chief of the investment board, as the new investment minister, Kompas reported on Wednesday.

The newly created ministry will not replace the existing Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, according to State Secretary Pratikno, as cited by Kompas. Lahadalia will remain head of the agency. Jokowi, as the president is known, will announce the appointment on Wednesday afternoon, the report said.

relates to Indonesia to Name Lahadalia as New Investment Minister: Kompas
Bahlil Lahadalia Source: Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board

Southeast Asia’s biggest economy is aiming to attract more direct investment to help boost growth to around 5% this year after its first contraction since the Asian Financial Crisis in 1998. Jokowi’s administration has prioritized luring overseas investors and overcoming the country’s reputation for onerous, overlapping and confusing regulations.

The investment ministry was approved by parliament on April 9 with the aim of increasing investment and expanding job creation.

Omnibus Law

Indonesia last year implemented an omnibus law that aims to cut red tape and reform the investment bureaucracy, with a goal of reaching 900 trillion rupiah ($62 billion) of total direct investment this year. Jokowi is also targeting $200 billion for a newly established wealth fund to finance long-term development.

The country managed to record 826 trillion rupiah in direct investment last year despite the pandemic, not including investments in upstream oil and gas, financial services and those made by the government.

Jokowi will also name Nadiem Makarim, co-founder of ride-hailing giant Gojek as minister for the newly merged Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology, Kompas reported. The previous Ministry of Research and Technology was led by Bambang Brodjonegoro.

Wednesday’s cabinet makeover would be Jokowi’s second in four months. In December, he replaced the country’s health minister amid criticism over the response to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as announcing new appointments for trade, social affairs and tourism posts.

Source : TEMPO / BLOOMBERG

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