Quite a surprise this morning, renowned tech blog TechInAsia apparently did some solid research that you might expect from a journalist, thumbs up! Well, at least for the effort. The headline is clear (and long): “Hold your horses: Indonesian government hasn’t approved any new regulation to halt foreign investments“. Raise the flags, we’re all saved! Honey, here’s my credit card, go shop whatever you want! Justice is done, we’re all gonna be rich.
Well, to quote TechInAsia: “HOLD YOUR HORSES”!! So, the source for this conclusion is Vichi Lestari, a lawyer working for Trias Consultant, who has handled numerous tech companies as her clients as well as being a legal consultant of Indonesia’s ministry of industry.
These are her findings and conclusions:
My associate has confirmed with the minister of trade (legal department) that that is just a proposal and has not yet come to pass and that is why that has not been confirmed and passed to other ministerial (ministry of industry).
So therefore, it is not regulated yet and not yet become a regulation.
Great news you would say. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not doubting any of the findings in the article as I have no reason for that. But the matter of the fact is that the BKPM is now declining any application for foreign investments in ecommerce based on this
regulation proposal regulation proposal regulation proposal regulation proposal regulation proposal regulation proposal regulation proposal regulation proposal regulation proposal regulation proposal regulation proposal regulation proposal regulation proposal.
Just a correction on the article, I’m not in possession of the letter written by the secretary general of the ministry of trade with the reference 689/SJ-DAG/SD/6/2013, I never said that. Besides, any communication between government bodies is at the discretion of those government bodies. In other words, the letter itself is not public, just the interpretation by the BKPM.
What I do have in my possession is a letter from the BKPM telling me that
ecommerce online retail is closed for foreign investments and in the letter they’re basing this policy on the letter from the secretary general of the ministry of trade.
Anyway, it’s great when someone in the government allegedly said this is all still a proposal, but when the BKPM says it’s closed, what can you do? Well, I’ve contacted Trias with the question what they can do for me in my particular case. Let’s put the whole thing to the test one more time and see if they have an appetite to handle my case.
But, as far as I know I’m the only one actually holding a document from the BKPM which clearly says online retail is closed for foreign investments. This is a document I can’t publish for reasons I explained earlier.
But enough is enough, I’ve decided to spend Rp. 3.5mln ($330) to get another copy of the letter of intent from the BKPM, a copy I can publish. So stay tuned for some written proof. In the meanwhile, let’s all “Call our lawyers” and make them extremely happy.