Indon official calls for foreign investment in towers

Nicole McCormick
26 Feb 2010
Daily News

The Indonesian government plans to allow foreign investment in the mobile tower space.

Chairman of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Gita Wirjawan told the Jakarta Post that the local industry requires up to $8 billion on infrastructure investment each year.

That investment cannot be met solely by local funding, Gita said.

“When I was with Exelcomindo, we faced difficulty in finding local partners to manage and build towers at a pace we wanted,” he said.

“Unless we open up this sector to foreign investment, I’m afraid our telecommunications industry would not be able to grow as much as we expect.”

Foreign investment in the tower sector is banned currently by a ministerial decree.

“What we need is to revoke the decree, and automatically, it would open up this sector to foreign participation,” Gita said.

Opening up additional sectors to foreign funding could increase Indonesia’s foreign investment to $25 billion-$30 billion per year.

In contrast, the BKPM current foreign investment goal is between $10 billion-$22 billion a year.

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