Indonesia’s construction industry value is expanding rapidly, a trend forecast to continue over our newly extended forecast period (2010-2020). This is being driven by investment into both transport and energy infrastructure, as well as industrial construction related to the country’s growing mining sector. In 2010 we are forecasting construction industry growth of 5.7%, and between 2011 and 2015 we are forecasting growth to average 7.2% per year. This quarter we have added a new section covering residential, commercial and industrial construction as well as social infrastructure.
Key factors facilitating growth:
• Indonesian government’s efforts to attract private investment into infrastructure. The government has employed a number of tools and enacted a variety of measures to facilitate investments and increase the number of public private partnerships (PPPs). Measures include the creation of the Indonesia Infrastructure Fund, designed to provide an alternative source of funding for infrastructure projects. Measures related to land issues are also being implemented, as land clearance is one of the major barriers to the country's investment climate.
• Strong and growing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). FDI in Indonesia has grown substantially over recent years, from US$6bn in 2006 to US$10.8bn in 2009, according to the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board. This trend looks set to continue in 2010, with first quarter figures rising by 41% year-on-year (y-o-y) to US$3.92bn. Strong sectors for investment continued to be the transport, storage and communications industry, which recorded US$941.5mn investment for 23 projects and the mining sector, which attracted US$711mn for 12 projects. Both of these sectors demand supporting infrastructure, and investment into the sectors has buoyed the construction sector.
• Substantial investment plan for the power sector by state owned utility PLN. PLN is enacting a two phase ‘crash programme’ to expand electricity generating capacity, with each phase adding 10,000MW of capacity. PLN was targeting investments of US$7.9bn in 2010 and a further US$9.8bn for 2011.
• Transport infrastructure is receiving substantial attention, specifically freight networks. With heavy investment into the mining sector, accompanying railways and ports are being developed to export coal. Billions of dollars of investments in railways have been pledged in 2010, driving transport infrastructure growth over the next five years.
Despite a strong outlook, a number of factors could undercut prospects for growth. The first is very high inflation in the construction sector, driven by rising construction materials prices. According to a recent study of 11 countries in Asia, Indonesia had the fourth highest cement price in the region. Indeed, a 50kg bag of cement in East Java costs almost double what it would in China, according to the Jakarta Post.
With cement costs accounting for around 30% of project costs, the impact is notable. The main reason for the higher prices has been blamed on transport and distribution costs, and the uncertain electricity supply in the country is bound to have an impact. There are also concerns of collusion between cement makers, limiting production to drive prices higher. High prices could erode real value creation and if costs run too high, projects could become unfeasible financially.
The other threat is the business environment. Although the Indonesian government is working hard to attract private investors, there is still an underlying threat of corruption and transparency in tendering infrastructure. This culminates in a score of just 54.6 out of 100 for infrastructure business environment and 35.8 out of 100 for project finance ratings.
Ref. © 2010 Business Monitor International: Indonesia Infrastructure Report Q1 2011