Indonesia warns multinationals not to be greedy over resources

Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:24am EDT
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By Dayan Candappa and Jonathan Thatcher

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Indonesia's president told major investors in his country's natural resources not to be greedy, comments that suggest he is in no mood to row back on policies that foreign mining and energy firms have called a deterrent.

But Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono sounded more accommodative in remarks over a long-delayed $7.2 billion bank takeover by Singapore's DBS Group and on the thorny issue of reducing state fuel subsidies, which are eating up a growing chunk of the government's budget.

"My criticism to the world is that many multinational corporations take too much and do not leave behind enough for the people of those countries," Yudhoyono told a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event in Singapore on Tuesday.

Indonesia has implemented a range of policies, especially in the mining sector, to try to force companies to invest more in downstream businesses as a way to increase the value of products before they are exported. The country is a major exporter of copper, nickel and gold, among other commodities.

The policies have led to criticism that Southeast Asia's biggest economy is growing increasingly nationalist. The former member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has also been criticized for doing too little to encourage investment in oil production.

"What we need is genuine partnership and cooperation. What I want is to continue to work closely with multinational corporations ... not just for (companies) ... to come and take it abroad," Yudhoyono said.

"Please understand, we too want to have a fair share. That's all we want."


Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono talks at a Reuters Newsmaker event in Singapore April 23, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su