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Thursday September 8, 2011

Indonesia sore with Blackberry smart mobile phone investment in M'sia

JAKARTA: The decision of Research In Motion (RIM), producer of the Blackberry smart mobile phone, to set up its Blackberry manufacturing factory in Malaysia for its Asian market, has hit a sore point with an Indonesian investment body.

The Capital Investment-Coordinating Board (BKPM) of Indonesia has expressed its opinion that the republic was a more suitable location for the cell production factory as it was among the largest markets for Blackberry.

BKPM also suggested that the Indonesian government take a stand on the matter, including removing incentives for RIM and imposing a tax tariff.

Its chief, Gita Wirjawan, said that next year, the sales of Blackberry in Indonesia was expected to reach four million units with a value of US$300 per unit, compared with the annual sales of 400,000 units in Malaysia.

“Why build a factory in Malaysia? They are obviously developing it there to sell it in Indonesia, right?,” he said, urging his government to take appropriate moves whether in the form of tariff or non-tariff measures to encourage RIM to develop its production capacity in Indonesia.

Gita, who was quoted as saying this by the newsportal, detik.com, yesterday explained that his unit had also proposed that Bosch from Germany be also denied its incentives for building its solar panel plant in Malaysia for the Indonesian market.

He said such measures were necessary considering that the companies had large markets in Indonesia but refused to build their factories in Indonesia. - Bernama

Meanwhile, Deputy President of Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (Kadin), Industrialisation, Research and Technology, Bambang Sujagad described the suggestion by the investment unit to attract investments from multinational companies into the country, with the threat of tax disincentives, as too late.

Instead the government should have taken measures to look into the investment potential of RIM even before it had made the decision, he said.“We are not all that aware that technology investments should be (attracted)

not only with tax holiday incentives but incentives like free land. It is the duty of BKPM to get information on what it can do,” he said.

Bambang also criticised the suggestion of tax disincentives such as imposing the luxury goods tax on Blackberry, saying that such a move would not benefit the people.

The Blackberry has already gained entry into the category of essential goods for the society and is no longer a luxury item, he added.BERNAMA

AFY SD 07/09/2011 19-12ST

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