November 21, 2017, 4:01 am
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Indonesia seeks PH investments

JAKARTA. -- The Indonesian government is urging Philippine companies to invest in the country’s infrastructure projects particularly in geothermal power plants, said Bambang Brodjonegoro, minister of National Development Planning of Indonesia.

“We would like to invite more Philippine investors in geothermal,actually in other sectors as well, but we know in Indonesia that you (Philippines) are quite advance in geothermal. So we hope some investors from the Philippines will be participating,” Brodjonegoro said at the sidelinesof the recent briefing for the investment partnership between PT Nusantara Infrastructure Tbk and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC).

Aside from MPIC,Brodjonegoro disclosed that a Philippine-based company with expertise in geothermal power has expressed interest to invest in Indonesia, but refused to name the firm. 

“We are welcoming investors both domestic as well as international and of course including in the Philippines, we are very welcoming. We know the Philippine investors have a lot of experience in geothermal,” he added. 

MPIC, which has investments in Indonesia through its unit Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., is open to invest in other sectors such as energy, water and telecom, apart from tollways. The company currently has strategic a partnership with PT Nusantara Infrastructure Tbk for the toll business. 

As of 2016, Department of Energy data showed 24.2 percent of the Philippines’ power generation was sourced from renewable energy, of which bulk or 12.2 percent was from geothermal energy, 8.9 percent from hydroelectric power plants, 1.2 percent from biomass, 1.2 percent from solar and 1.1 percent from wind. 

Indonesia also learned the public-private partnership (PPP) program from the Philippines. PPP, the flagship program of the Aquino administration, saw four projects completed and operational, while seven projects are still under construction and several more subject for feasibilities studies and approval. 

“When I was still at the Finance Ministry, we first learned PPP from the Philippines, because we have to admit the Philippines is already ahead in terms of implementing PPP in Indonesia, in their country and of course we would like to be the same,” Brodjonegoro said.

Similar to the Philippines, the Indonesian government has infused huge investments in its infrastructure sector to spur economic growth. Infrastructure funding for the 2015-2019 National Midterm Development Plan (RPJMN) has a total budget allocation of Rp 6,780 trillion ($500 billion). 

Brodjonegoro said there is a financial gap which needs other source of financing in order to accelerate the infrastructure development in Indonesia.

The financial gap stands at about Rp4,000 trillion ($296 billion).
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