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Keep it Simple and Competitive

President Widodo Visits Bali to Call for Deregulation and Simplification of the Bureaucracy

(9/10/2017) During his most recent visit to Bali, Indonesian President Joko Widodo touched briefly on the highly divisive issue of the reclamation of Benoa Bay.

As reported by Balipost.com, while the President resisted calls from ForBALI to simply revoke Presidential Decree No. 51 of 2014 hurriedly issued by then President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono that changed large areas of Benoa Bay from a protected nature reserve to a commercial development area to be used by Indonesian businessman Tommy Winata in creating an entertainment and tourism complex on reclaimed land.

President Widodo, however, did give a signal on where stands, saying that investment must operate in harmony with the environment. The President said: “I know (about the reclamation of Benoa). I know all about it. Once again, the economy and the environment must be synchronized.”

The President was speaking at a National meeting of Notaries held at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center on Friday, September 8, 2017.

Pressed and asked if would revoke Presidential Decision Number 51, Joko Widodo chose to make no reply as he quickly left the Convention Center, pausing along the way to make photographs with delegates attending the Notarial Conference.

Reforming Indonesia's Bureacracy

Earlier, in comments addressed to the notaries, Joko Widodo underlined his commitment to undertake a major reformation of laws, regulations and administrative practice in order to enhance the ease of doing business in Indonesia. In the current year, Indonesia is placed at 91 in a World Bank report ranking the ease of doing business. This is a considerable improvement from a ranking at 120 in 2014; 114 in 2015; and 106 in 2016.

Not satisfied to be ranked at 91, President Widodo is targeting that Indonesia achieves a worldwide ranking of 40.

But, again, the President reminded that the environment and social aspects of development can't be ignored. Adding: “Everything must run in a balanced way. The economy advances, but the environment cannot be ignored. That’s the principle.”

Joko Widodo is determined that efficiency and the ease of doing business will be aided by reducing the processing time of permits and eliminating local regulations that impede investment.

It has been calculated that there are some 42,000 local regulations that are often confusing and contradictory, making investment problematic. The President wants to reform the system and eliminate regulations that are inimical to new investment. Without improvement, he warns, Indonesia will lose out to competing countries.