Source: PM Lee Hsien Loong Facebook page.

Singapore and Indonesia signs bilateral investment treaty to promote stronger economic ties

Singapore and Indonesia has signed an Agreement on the Promotion and Protection of Investments, also known as the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), at the Singapore-Indonesia Leaders’ Retreat in Bali, Indonesia on Thursday (11 October).

In a press release on Thursday, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) shared that the Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing, who is attending the Leaders’ Retreat as part of the Singapore delegation, signed the agreement with Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi. The signing was witnessed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

According to the ministry, the BIT will protect investors’ interests and reinforce the strong economic ties and cooperation between Singapore and Indonesia, which is especially significant as Singapore has been the top investor in Indonesia since 2014, with realised investments reaching US$8.4 billion in 2017.

The BIT also establishes rules on how Indonesia should treat investments and investors from Singapore and vice-versa. Singapore companies operating in Indonesia will enjoy protection and have access to international arbitration in the event of investment disputes. Indonesian companies operating in Singapore will similarly enjoy investment protection.

According to the ministry, the BIT will complement the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA) to promote greater investment flows between Singapore and Indonesia by giving investors certainty and confidence.

Mr Chan said, “Singapore has robust and long-standing economic ties with Indonesia and I’m glad that both countries remain committed to strengthening our economic relations. The signing of this BIT can boost the confidence of investors venturing into Indonesia, leading to greater trade and investment flows between our two countries.”

Singapore’s trade with Indonesia totalled S$59.4 billion in 2017, making Singapore Indonesia’s third largest trading partner after China and Japan. Indonesia is Singapore’s sixth largest trading partner after China, Malaysia, the United States, Hong Kong and Taiwan.