Breakfast Business Briefing

AmCham Services Committee reflects on Indonesia’s business climate

By AmCham Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

AmCham Indonesia’s Services Committee offers a window onto business reality, bringing participants together once every two months to share information and swap stories under the guidance of long-standing chair Peter Meyer. At a recent meeting, a full house of 26 members represented a cross section of regular participants.

The committee brings together professionals with the broadest possible backgrounds and expertise in areas including banking, insurance, IT, property management, hospitality, moving and freight forwarding, security, accounting, the legal sector, retail and consultants addressing a host of specialties.

In a casual around the table setting, everyone is expected to contribute their latest observations regarding the business climate, and the regular presence of members from the US Embassy as well as various NGO representatives, tends to enrich the experience.

While more detailed information can be learned by attending the breakfasts, here are a few comments noted during the latest session.

So far, some businesses are thrilled to be seeing more optimistic growth. IT is still flourishing, with ATM expansion and payment channels growing very strong. Despite the expected delays with the formation of the National Payment Gateway, this project is still pretty much on track.

In oil and gas, there is an expectation that there will be increased activities in the downstream area.

Reflecting on a recent PwC project on the outlook for the Indonesian banking sector, it is felt that the sector is probably the most attractive market in Southeast Asia because of the high margins.

In the real estate sector, retail businesses remain relatively strong, although vacancies are growing. But it is expected that things will pick up after Lebaran.

The government is showing greater commitment to creating a healthier business climate. USAID is conducting a special project on corruption prevention, in conjunction with the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), which is reaching out to the private sector.

March was the deadline for the tax amnesty, with the expectation that the target would be exceeded regarding understated assets, but redemption would fall short. Noncompliance with the tax amnesty can expect a severe follow up by the authorities, directed by the Minister of Finance, with the potential of criminal charges. Infrastructure might visibly benefit from the results of the tax amnesty.

Overall, a very informative meeting for all participants.


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