On May 18, 2016, the Indonesian government revised its Negative
Investment List (Daftar Negatif Investasi or DNI) through
Presidential Regulation No. 44 of 2016. The revised Negative
Investment List, which was part of a recent series of economic
stimulus packages, creates opportunities for foreign investors in a
range of areas including retail, tourism, entertainment, and
distribution, although other previously open areas have now been
restricted to protect local industry.
100 Percent Foreign Ownership Permitted in a Broad Range of New
Various industries that were previously completely or partially
closed to foreign investment are no longer included in the Negative
Investment List and therefore should be open to 100 percent foreign
investment. These industries include certain large-scale e-commerce
activities involving investments in excess of IDR100 billion
(approximately USD7.5 million), telecommunications equipment
testing, health care support services, manufacturing of raw
pharmaceutical materials, toll road management, nonhazardous waste
management, film production/distribution, cinemas,
restaurants/bars, cold storage, and distribution affiliated with
Relaxation of Foreign Ownership Limits
Foreign investment restrictions are also relaxed for a number of
industries. For example, foreign ownership of distribution
companies (not affiliated with production) and warehousing
companies, which has long been a major issue for foreign companies
operating in Indonesia, has been increased to 67 percent compared
to the previous cap of 33 percent, effectively allowing foreign
investors to go from being minority shareholder. Other industries
in which foreign investment caps have been increased to 67 percent
(and in some cases, 70 percent for ASEAN investors) include
catering services, meetings, incentives, conferences and
exhibitions services, professional training, golf courses, air
transport support services, telecommunication services, health care
services, consulting and construction services (where the contract
value exceeds IDR50 billion (approximately USD3.7 million), and
department stores with retail space of between 400m2 and
Some industries that were completely closed to foreign investment,
such as passenger land transportation and high-voltage electrical
installation testing, have also been opened up to foreign
investment of up to 49 percent.
Protectionist Policies May Discourage Investment
Along with the relaxation of foreign investment limitations that
has occurred in many areas, the revised Negative Investment List
has increased the number of industries reserved solely for
Indonesian Micro Small or Medium Enterprises ("MSMEs") or
that require foreign investors to establish a local partnership
arrangement (through a subcontract, agency, franchise, or other
partnership arrangement) with a local MSME or cooperative before
being able to operate in certain industries. For example,
construction and construction consultation services (involving low
to medium technology or risk, or with a contract value of up to
IDR50 billion (approximately USD3.6 million) for construction
services or below IDR10 billion (approximately USD750,000) for
construction consultation services), are reserved solely for MSMEs.
Retail trading via mail order or the internet requires a local
These changes reflect policies intended to encourage the
development of local businesses in these areas; however, they may
discourage foreign investors who are unwilling to relinquish
control or invest significant sums in Indonesia at this time.
The transitional provisions to the Negative Investment List provide
that the changes to the Negative Investment List do not apply to
foreign-owned companies (Penanaman Modal Asing) that are
already licensed with the Indonesian Investment Coordination Board
and operating in industries that have become either completely or
partially closed to foreign investment as a result of these
The revised Negative Investment List, partnered with
Indonesia's potential accession to the Trans-Pacific
Partnership Agreement, signals the Indonesian government's
acknowledgment of the significant role foreign direct investment
plays in boosting the Indonesian economy. While the Negative
Investment List does not go as far as was hoped by many in
expanding foreign investment, it does offer opportunities in key
areas previously closed for investment. In addition, the raising of
foreign investment caps in key areas such as distribution with
production may enable foreign investors to take a controlling
interest in an existing investment.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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