Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Foreign investors will likely be in a wait-and-see mode leading up to the elections, and then go into full force once they get a better picture of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's successor, a recent study finds.
Hundreds of millions of Indonesians are set to cast their votes in the election on Feb. 14, 2024. And the presidential race has kept investors on the edge of their seats as they wish to know more about the next president's openness to business and reforms.
DBS Group Research recently launched a report on the 2024 elections and an outlook on the Indonesian economy, including the country's FDI flows. The study took into account the patterns in the past four election cycles: 2004. 2009. 2014, and 2019.
The DBS Group Research report wrote that fresh FDI commitments "slip into a neutral gear" in the run-up to the elections and a quarter later. According to the study, investors will also keep an eye on the direction of the reform processes, including Omnibus laws, and the next government's commitment towards the Nusantara capital city mega project.
"And once there is a much clearer idea on who is going to be on the scene, the FDI interests will come in full force," DBS Bank senior economist Radhika Rao told an online conference on Tuesday.
"Investors have told [the Indonesian government] that they would wait and see more, particularly in the second half of the year to get some clarity. They would come back to pursue their interests later on," Rao said.
Various opinion polls have shown Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, and Former Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan to be the frontrunners.
Pollster Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC) last week announced its latest survey results, with Ganjar taking the lead by scoring an electability rating of 39.2 percent. Followed by Prabowo (32.1 percent) and Anies (19.7 percent).
"While little is known on the specific economic ideologies or official manifesto, political observers view Ganjar and Prabowo as candidates of continuity, whilst Anies, a change from the current policy or economic setup," the DBS Group Research report reads.
Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia recently talked about how the elections had piqued many investors' curiosity.
"Honestly, the investors are wondering if the next president's way of handling investment would be the same as President Jokowi's," Bahlil told reporters on Monday, shortly after meeting with South Korean delegates in Jakarta.
The General Election Commission (KPU) last month revealed that about 205.85 million people would vote in the 2024 election.
Indonesia has set a goal to attract investments worth Rp 1,400 trillion ($94.4 million) throughout 2023. Chief Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto said earlier this year that the investment target for 2024 could reach around Rp 1,650 trillion.