Indonesia government to issue rules on exporters earnings in February


JAKARTA, Jan 31 (Reuters): Indonesia plans to issue a revised regulation on natural resource exporters' earnings in February, its finance minister said on Tuesday, adding that authorities were finalising details.

The resource rich country has been considering revising rules on export earnings to make exporters keep their funds for longer onshore amid a global liquidity tightening, including potentially setting a minimum three-month holding period, officials have said.

Sri Mulyani Indrawati said financial authorities were looking at determining a threshold for the portion of earnings that exporters must keep onshore, so not to disrupt shipments.

She also said the regulation must not contradict rules on free flow of capital.

"We will continue to maintain our guidelines so that on one side Indonesia can be assured that when our exports are high, the earnings can strengthen our foreign exchange (FX) reserves," she told a joint news conference with other financial regulators.

"On the other side Indonesia is committed to maintain a FX regime that does not discourage investment and exports," she added.

Exporters in sectors that process natural resources would also be subject to the new regulation, Sri Mulyani said.

Southeast Asia's largest economy has mandated exporters of natural resources receive earnings in a special account at domestic banks under a regulation issued in 2019.

But central bank governor Perry Warjiyo has said some exporters have quickly moved their U.S. dollar offshore due to more attractive interest rates being offered by foreign banks.

BI is also finalising a new instrument aimed at providing exporters with better returns for domestic FX deposits, Warjiyo told the same event.

Indonesia's exports reached a record high of $292 billion last year amid a global commodity boom.

The officials speaking at the event did not respond to a question on whether they would make it mandatory to convert some of the FX earnings into rupiah. - Reuters

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