US-based transport app major Uber has got a big respite in southeast Asia’s largest market, Indonesia.
The Jakarta province has given a green light to US-based Uber. The taxi-hailing app has secured approval from Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) and now has legitimate operations in the country. Now, it also holds the foreign direct investment firm status.
The move comes after months of heated debate on its (Uber’s) legality in operations in the country.
Governor of Jakarta province Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok, said, “Based on my understanding, the main reason for Uber to operate in Jakarta is the to strong demand from the public for a transportation mode which is safe, trusted and affordable.”
Governor Ahok said a number of simple requirements have been met by the company – a clear legal entity; it pays tax (income and automotive car), it has insurance cover; and the car goes through a testing process.
The ride-sharing company is now waiting for final approval from the Transportation Office before it can begin its operations legally.
In addition, Governor Ahok asked the Jakarta Transportation Agency to overhaul the taxi quota permit as well as carry out inspection, car testing and insurance verification, which is also applied to other taxi companies.
Uber regional manager (Asia-Pacific) Mike Brown said, “As a company we have made some mistakes therefore, we apologise. But we are also ready to learn and understand the requirements set by the Governor. We are ready to cooperate with his office (DKI Jakarta), BKPM and the Jakarta Transportation Office.”
Earlier, the Jakarta Transportation Agency had prohibited Uber from operating because it had not been issued the required permit.
According to the agency, Uber’s service was categorised as public transportation and must have a permit from the city administration in order to legally operate.
Uber, established in 2009, currently operates in 170 cities. The company previously had similar trouble with local laws in Australia, Canada, Germany and the US. Meanwhile, in India, the UK, Taiwan and South Korea, local taxi operators have been protesting against Uber.