Indonesia Improves Foreign Investment Landscape with a Positive Investment List

Following the enactment of Indonesia’s Omnibus Bill, its Government has released an update of business sectors and lines (also commonly referred to as KBLI) that are now open to foreign investment in Indonesia. Although the revised Negative Investment List was drafted to attract more foreign investors and has been dubbed the “Positive Investment List”, this long awaited list may not carry the weight of its namesake. 

A further dive into the Presidential Regulation (Perpres) 10/2021 presented both business opportunities, benefits and challenges in different areas of doing business in Indonesia. In this article, we hope to simplify and provide you a broad and better understanding of Indonesia’s Positive Investment List. 

Understanding The Four Categories of Indonesia’s Positive Investment List

A key thing investors should note is the creation of a new category in the latest Positive Investment List. 

Positive Investment List CategoriesBusiness Lines open to foreign investments
Priority Sectors (NEW)245 
Business Fields With Specific Requirements Or Limitations46
Corporations with Cooperatives & local MSMEs 51
Closed Sectors112

Indonesia’s Priority Sectors – 100% Foreign Company Ownership in Indonesia

Under Presidential Regulation (Perpres) 10/2021, foreign companies (commonly referred to as PT PMA) interested in these business lines will need to meet a set of criteria including but not limited to; national projects, export-oriented, use of advanced technology, labor intensive and high capital investment. 

According to BKPM, the following table illustrates Indonesia’s Priority Sectors.

While the new regulation did not clearly define labour intensive, according to the Ministry of Industry, labour intensive is defined as businesses that employ at least 200 workers with a labor cost that accounts for 15% of total production costs. 

The government has set up ambitious criteria for its priority sectors, but foreign companies that find themselves in this category are set up for a range of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, including tax holiday. Capital intensive businesses over IDR 500 billion receive 100% cut in Corporate Income Tax for up to 20 years. Investments worth IDR 100 – 500 billion will be granted 50% reduction in Corporate Income Tax, based on Peraturan Menteri Keuangan Nomor: 130/2020 that regulates Indonesia tax holiday policy. In comparison, foreign companies that relocate their operations to Malaysia benefit from an income tax rate of 0 – 10% for a period of up to 10 years. 

In total, there are 245 business lines included under priority sector. 183 business lines are eligible to get tax allowances, while 18 can get tax holiday, and 44 can get investment allowances. Here’s some of the more noteworthy are:

Business LineProduct CoverageTax Incentives
Agriculture CornCorn seeds, Corn cultivationTax allowances
Coffee processing industryGround coffee, roasted coffee, coffee extract, instant coffeeTax allowances
Economic Infrastructures Power generation and renewable energy, low IRR toll road and port construction Tax Holiday
Vessel ComponentsIndustrial manufacture of combustion for marine useTax Holiday
Agriculture and Forestry MachineryTractors, rice milling machineInvestment allowances

Partnerships with Indonesia Cooperatives and MSME (Micro Small Medium Enterprise)

As the Indonesian government continues to transform and respond to the changes brought on by COVID-19, it is necessary for its Positive Investment List to consider how MSME, digitalization and new consumer demands will look like in a post-pandemic investment landscape.

There are 51 business lines under this category, the notable sectors are:

Foreign investors or foreign companies looking to enter these businesses will require a form of local business partnership arrangement, under the following forms of partnerships with Indonesian companies. 

Profit sharingSubcontractingOutsourcingDistribution

Asides from the four listed arrangements (above), the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs has created a climate that encourages medium-sized enterprises to list on Indonesia’s Stock Exchange in an attempt to aid its financing capabilities. 

Business Fields With Specific Requirements Or Limitations

The amendments to this category left a smaller mark, as they affected a handful of business sectors, namely media, broadcasting, aviation, sea transport, wood and coffee sectors.

There are a total of 46 business lines included in this category. Here’s some of them:

Business LineArrangementRequirement
Publishing for newspapers and magazinesMaximum foreign investment at 49%Through the capital market and in the framework of business expansion or development.
Domestic line for public serviceMaximum foreign investment at 49%
Overseas Liner and Tramper FreightMaximum foreign investment at 49%
Inter-Provinces’ Pioneer LineMaximum foreign investment at 49%

Indonesia Closed Sectors From Foreign Investment

A total of six sectors remain closed or restricted for investments from both domestic and foreign companies.

  • Class-I narcotics and cultivation;
  • All forms of gambling activities;
  • Fishing of endangered species;
  • Utilization of corals found in nature for the production of jewelry, souvenirs, building materials, etc.;
  • Chemical weapons production; and
  • Industrial ozone-depleting substances industries and industrial chemicals.

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