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Indonesia to open up several economic sectors to foreign investment

[JAKARTA] Indonesia will ease foreign investment rules in several sectors of the economy, including the e-commerce, healthcare, and movie industries, President Joko Widodo said on Wednesday.

The move is aimed at attracting more foreign funds into Southeast Asia's economy, which has been growing at its slowest pace in six years because of falling commodity prices and cooling growth in major trading partner China. "We are seriously considering deregulation across the board, but focusing on e-commerce, healthcare, and creative industry," Mr Widodo said in an interview with Reuters at the presidential palace in central Jakarta.

"Our commitment is to increasing competition," he said.

Trade Minister Thomas Lembong told Reuters separately the retail sector is also among those to be opened up to foreign investment.

The last revision to the negative list - which names sectors to which foreign investment restrictions apply - was done in 2014 and was seen by many as less investor-friendly.

Mr Widodo's administration has rolled out several economic stimulus packages in recent months aimed at cutting red tape, boosting spending and improving investor sentiment.