JAKARTA May 14 Indonesian presidential
front-runner Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has assured top fund managers
that he would cut fuel subsidies, improve infrastructure and
enact major bureaucratic reforms to attract investment if
elected in July.
In a private event on Tuesday attended by representatives of
the top 10 asset management funds in Indonesia, Jokowi offered a
rare glimpse of policies that he has yet to make public ahead of
a July 9 presidential election.
"His key election platform is market-friendly with a focus
on lifting workforce capability through education, bureaucratic
reform, infrastructure construction and encouraging energy
investment," investment firm CLSA, the organisers of the Jakarta
event, said in a research note.
CLSA officials declined to identify the other fund
management companies at the event.
Jokowi is governor of Jakarta. His populist style has won
him much support in the world's third biggest democracy, where
years of rapid growth have started to slow, threatening to widen
a gulf between the rich and the growing ranks of poor.
But the election is not yet won and one recent poll showed
Jokowi's lead had narrowed slightly, although he was still 15
points ahead of his closest rival.
The only major economic policy that Jokowi has announced has
been that he would reduce fuel subsidies within a four to
He provided more details of that policy to the fund
managers, saying ending wasteful fuel subsidies would save the
government $30 billion. Those funds would be reallocated to
building roads, ports and airports, CLSA said.
Jokowi, who is expected to announce his running mate by May
20, also said he would look to cut energy costs by $7 billion a
year by removing up to 90 percent of diesel-fired power plants.
If elected, Jokowi also promised to issue at least four
presidential decrees on bureaucratic reform within his first 100
days in office.
CLSA said the key beneficiaries of Jokowi's policies would
be highway operator PT Jasa Marga, cement firm PT
Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa, and construction firm PT
Energy firms PT Perusahaan Gas Negara, PT Elnusa
, and offshore service provider PT Wintermar Offshore
Marine also stood to benefit.
Many have called on Jokowi, who is a fresh face on the
national scene, to pick a running mate with business and
Media has tipped former vice president Jusuf Kalla, who is
an influential public figure and heads the Indonesian Red Cross.
The recent opinion poll showed a Jokowi-Kalla ticket would
win 46 percent of the vote, far ahead of the rival ticket formed
this week by ex-general Prabowo Subianto and former chief
economic minister Hatta Rajasa.
But many voters are undecided, the survey showed.
(Editing by Robert Birsel)