Indonesia backtracks on allowing alcoholic drinks investments for foreign cos

Jakarta, Indonesia. Photo: Bayu Syaits/unsplash

Indonesia‘s President Joko Widodo on Tuesday reinstated a ban on new foreign investment in the manufacturing of alcoholic drinks, just a few weeks after agreeing to relax restrictions as part of a broader effort to attract investors.

The world’s biggest predominantly Muslim country banned new foreign investment in alcoholic beverages in the 1990s, but the president issued a regulation last month that would have permitted it in provinces where Muslims are not the majority of the local population.

However, the regulations were still met with criticism from Islamic groups.

“After hearing input from ulemas … I hereby declare that the presidential regulation pertaining to opening new investments in the industry of alcoholic beverages revoked,” Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, said in remarks broadcast on television.

Indonesia allows sales of alcohol in bars and supermarkets in most parts of the country, with beer and wine accounting for the majority of the local revenue.

Aside from alcohol, the president did not refer to other parts of the regulation, which relaxes restrictions on foreign ownership.

The regulation replaced a so-called “negative investment list”, covering businesses restricted for foreign investors, with a new “priority list” offering incentives.

Sectors like land transportation, ship vessel traffic information systems and flight navigation are among those opened to foreign firms under the regulation.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.