It is a country no doubt more commonly known for its PPP failings with dozens of collapsed PPP projects than one known for its successes.
However, Indonesia has embarked on an international roadshow hoping to revitalise its reputation, reinvigorate investors and last month a stop was made in London.
Trumpeting the benefits of investing and doing business in the island archipelago is perhaps one of the most well-known businessmen from the country, chairman of the Indonesian Investment Board (BKPM) and JP Morgan’s former head of Asia, Gita Wirjawan.
Wirjawan is a man with a plan.
At a lunchtime meeting in London, NCE joined investors and business people (including industry representatives Balfour Beatty and Mott MacDonald) to hear how he plans to reignite international interest in Indonesia’s infrastructure.
He says now that the BKPM will be the sole authority awarding PPP projects, the way forward will be to promote fewer, higher quality PPP projects.
“I’ve said to [Indonesian] president Yudhoyono, ‘we should not be coming out with 57 projects, we should be going out with one or two, because we have delivered nothing in the past two years’,” he says.
“We are in the process of weeding out the bad parts of the regulatory framework. We will have a minimum of three bidders for every infrastructure project. I am a huge advocate of quality, not quantity. We used to have something like 26 bidders who were all the nephews and cousins of the politicians and law makers awarding the projects.
“The president is convinced and we are now at the tail end of revising the decree and this should be done in two months.”
There are two key projects that Wirjawan says will start this year: a 2GW coal fired plant on Java due to be awarded this month and a water treatment plant on East Java.
Already they have had 28 EOIs on this project with some UK players.
With the fifth biggest population in the world, and its GDP set more than quadruple over the next eight years, could Indonesia be the next huge emerging market to watch?