Indonesia Spurns Investment in Burma over Rohingya Crisis

Indonesia’s state oil and gas giant Pertamina may have to wait before Jakarta gives it the green light to seek exploration tights in Burma. (PHOTO: Reuters)

Violence against Burma’s Rohingya people has prompted Indonesia to delay its efforts to encourage the archipelago’s state enterprises to seek business opportunities in the emerging Southeast Asian nation.

Indonesia earlier this year announced plans to establish an office in Burma [Myanmar] to assist Indonesian state-controlled companies, but State Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan on Wednesday revealed that proposal had been delayed.

“The staff had been prepared and the office was supposed to be opened last month, but we delayed due to the Rohingya situation. Hopefully it will open next month,” Dahlan said.

Burma has in the past two years made apparent progress toward democracy following the two-decade rule of a military junta. But in recent months, an outbreak of violence in the Rakhine region in which the local Muslim minority was apparently targeted by Buddhists, attracted international attention.

Many Indonesian companies have expressed interest in doing business in Burma, which is in the process of liberalizing its investment laws to rejuvenate its stagnant economy.

Among the state-controlled Indonesian companies eyeing opportunities are Bank Negara Indonesia, construction firm Wijaya Karya, cement firm Semen Gresik and energy company Pertamina.

Pertamina is keen to access Burma’s large untapped energy sources. Proven oil reserves stand at 3.2 billion barrels and gas reserves at 11.8 trillion cubic feet.

Salis Aprilian, president director of Pertamina subsidiary Pertamina Hulu Energi, said Burma offers an abundance of opportunities for Indonesian state enterprises because the country has little infrastructure. “Burma reminds me of Indonesia back in the ’60s,” he added, referring to the early period of Indonesia’s economic boom funded by oil and gas exports.

Salis said Indonesia could follow China’s approach to assisting state companies succeed abroad. “China used oil companies first, which were then followed by other sectors like infrastructure,” he added.

Pertamina president director Karen Agustiawan said her company was planning to expand in Burma, but was waiting for the United States to lift its economic sanctions on the Southeast Asia country.

Dahlan, however, stood by Indonesia’s state-enterprises push in Burma, noting that the United States has loosened its sanctions.

The US has left in place some of the sanctions it imposed.

10 Responses to Indonesia Spurns Investment in Burma over Rohingya Crisis

  1. Money buys everything. Humanity is always a feel good sideshow. Go Indo.

  2. Investment in Myanmar is both potential and risk, but for long run it is batter. So far as most of Indo State Enterprise should make JV with Myanmar Government entities.
    As a biggest Muslims country o the world and also Asean leading country, do not hesitate to go Burma ( Myanmar ) for mega investment, it is my good advice.

  3. We love to welcome all FDI for the interest of our country and her people… Again, becasue of Rohingya Issue, You Indonsia want to pull back your plan… We are happy for that… We have our resources, We don’t really need you…If you only stand for Rohingya….

  4. George Than Setkyar Heine

    What a JOKE folks!
    I would THANK ALLAH if Indonesia stays out of BURMA and until ETERNITY and a DAY as well.
    Of course Burma doesn’t need Indonesia’s oil or businesses as well.
    Indonesia’s entry into Burma would culminate in radical clerics and Islamic militants like the ones in prison in Indonesia today calling home in Burma only.
    And you can throw in ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS accompanying the Indonesian businesses and PEOPLE SMUGGLERS from Indonesia SNEAKING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS from mainly AFGHANISTAN, IRAN, IRAG and other war torn nations in the Middle East into Burma.
    Australia is a VIVID CASE in POINT/EVIDENCE today.
    The ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS from the Middle East countries mostly are SMUGGLED on board leaking and sinking ships and sent afloat toward Australian shores by the Indonesian people smugglers of course.
    Ships and boats carrying ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran amongst others from the Middle East are making their way to Australia’s shores in dozens, hundreds and more even on DAILY BASIS since the Labor government took office until today.
    And Australian Navy welcomed them on the high seas, rescuing the boat people on many occasions as well, and plucked them out of the sea when their leaking and creaking boats gave way and sank.
    They were given five star treatment on Christmas Island and other Australian territories as well.
    This STRAINED HEAVILY on Australia’s economy no doubt.
    And the Australian people are going to DUMP the GILLARD government at the next polls as well I heard for that matter.
    The Indonesian people smugglers caught in the act were sent back to Indonesia as well.
    That’s the way Indonesians work for their living while dumping radicals and would be terrorists on Australian soil and the Australian government is taking all what the Indonesians dish out and swallowing all – hook, line and sinker as well – in this game and matter no doubt.
    Today, Australia is already sinking with HUGE Chinese and Indian population mostly from the Middle East monopolizing businesses/economy and real estate in the country as they are LOADED with TONS of CASH/MONEY as well.
    And Australians are LOSING their JOBS by the day while the Chinese mostly are buying up property and businesses in the country today.
    Hence, house rent and prices are BALLOONING by the day and Australians are living in caravans and cars as a result today.
    And thousands if not tens of thousands illegal immigrants are waiting on Christmas Island and other Australian territories to make their homes in Australia as well.
    Burma would SPARE the FATE and ORDEAL the Australians are going through today if Indonesia stays out of our country folks.
    And let’s pray to Buddha and Allah as well the Indonesians don’t come to Burma either on business or as tourists least of all.

  5. We want to see Indonesia investing in Burma. But don’t forget Burma can go tick for tac, restricting investments from Muslim countries.

  6. Indonesia has taken a rightful decision.Congratulation to it`s leaders.Oust Burma from ASEAN.

  7. Indonesia’s decision will not affect Burma on any count. It is Indonesia which loses. Besides those Islamic countries who are trying to create disturbance in the name of Islam inside Burma should be taken care of and the recent relief for Rohingyas from Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia must be stopped, unless they also open up relief for the Rakhine and other nationalities of Burma who suffered at the hand of the fololowers of the extreme islamist elements. Here is a link in the Daily Star from Dhaka on Rohingya’s questionable activities.

    If Thein Sein government want to have a long term strategy for dealing with the islamists, it must do it right now before it turns out another Deep South of Thailand, or Indonesia’s Bali.

  8. Who’s care about Indonesian investment in Burma?
    There are many countries want to invest in Burma but Burmese Government needs to check carefully who should be investing in Burma and who should not be. If you accept investment from third world developing country and then their second hand technology will damage our environment and people’s health. You have to check it Indonesian Companies’ records in its own country. They damaged a lot of environment and hurting peoples’ lives and health. They never take responsible for what they have done because almost all of Indonesian Companies are own by family members of Government ministers or high rank politicians. Cronyism is still thriving strong in Indonesia even though Dictatorship era was gone in Indonesia.
    We need investment from country like Japan, Taiwan and western country. Otherwise, we can’t gain on modernizing technology in Burma.

  9. We believe that you are behind Rohingers. This is time to test you. Myanmar gov- is nothing against and Rohingers are not representing Myanmar. We don’t like to deal with people who are narrow minded and not realistic. There is no war yet based on Buddhism. There is no such extremists yet for being a Buddhist. Everybody has the right to defend themselves especially they are insulted by people who are backed by foreign bodies.

    Therefore, we are the one who must assess you to let us join rather than you.

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