Indonesia to Name Lahadalia as New Investment Minister: Kompas

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Indonesian president Joko Widodo will appoint 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.

Indonesia to Name Lahadalia as New Investment Minister: Kompas

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.

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