Indonesian laws requiring majority owners of shipping companies to be from Indonesia has stopped Danish company Maersk Line from investing US$3bn, according to government minister Rini Soemarno.
The Indonesian state-owned enterprise minister told Investor Daily that Maersk Line has expressed interest in investing in domestic Indonesian shipping but only if it was the majority owner.
A 2008 law states that only Indonesian-controlled companies can ship goods domestically, using Indonesian-registered ships and captains.
The government is now revising laws against foreign ownership but Soemarno did not say if shipping would be one of the industries liberalised.
A Maersk Line spokesperson told CM: “Having been in Indonesia for more than 50 years, we are definitely committed to facilitating trade for Indonesia, for example we are the first and only shipping line in Indonesia to start a direct service (last year) linking the Bitung port in Eastern Indonesia to the transhipment hub of Tanjung Pelepas in Johor, Malaysia.”
Referring to the US$3bn figure mentioned by Soemarno, Maersk told CM: “Actually we did not state a specific amount of investments.”
The President of Indonesia Joko Widodo has a strategy to create a “pendulum of the archipelago”, with a large ship travelling regularly between six domestic ports.