If Prabowo Subianto becomes Indonesia’s next president, his government’s review of foreign investments – including the US$6 billion China-funded high-speed rail project – will not turn into a blame game, his pick for vice-president Sandiaga Uno has pledged.
Indonesia is hungry for more domestic and foreign investments, especially from China, which is already a “huge investor”, to create quality jobs that can boost incomes and prosperity.
“We would focus more on investments we can do together with our Chinese counterparts that create jobs for Indonesians,” the 49-year-old tycoon and investor told This Week in Asia, as he wrapped up a gruelling day on the campaign trail on Friday, ahead of Wednesday’s presidential and legislative election.
“We would not nitpick but we would say, this is basically what we want to achieve in five years. We need investments, in particular from China, and other countries.
“But let’s prioritise things that create immediate impact for Indonesians … that create quality jobs and bring about an affordable cost of living,” said Sandiaga, the former vice-governor of Jakarta.
About 2 million school-leavers enter the job market each year, and while the middle-class group is growing – with about 20 per cent of the 260 million population now falling into that category – about 1 in 10 Indonesians still lives in poverty.