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Making the Most of Natural Resources in Indonesia

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  • Richard Dutu

    (OECD)

Abstract

Indonesia abounds with natural resources. But the unique nature of its geography, coupled with the lack of transport infrastructure, makes their exploitation challenging. Moreover, a lack of investment, protectionism and an unwieldy regulatory environment are all inhibiting the sector from reaching its full potential. Agriculture has been held back by low productivity, under-investment, unclear property rights on land, ill-advised trade regulations, misplaced support for staples and restrictions on foreign ownership. By pursuing crop diversification, encouraging co-operation between smallholders and large estates and easing constraints on foreign investment, Indonesia could raise its farmers’ productivity. Fossil fuels have become central to Indonesia’s energy policy and its main source of export revenues. Growing environmental concerns, both domestically and internationally, combined with subsiding coal prices and the on-going shale gas revolution, call into question the sustainability of such a strategy. Indonesia should increase its energy efficiency and further develop gas to plug the gap until sufficient renewable energy, especially geothermal, comes on line. Government control over the oil industry via state-owned Pertamina should be gradually reduced. Clarifying, streamlining and publicising simple regulations in energy and minerals, especially regarding land rights and on-shore processing, and removing foreign-ownership restrictions will help bring much needed investment. The pressure on the environment that natural resource exploitation is creating should be addressed by increasing the share of gas and renewables in the energy mix, properly defining property rights and regulations regarding forest land, and implementing a positive implicit carbon price. More resources should be devoted to combating widespread illegal mining and deforestation. This Working Paper relates to the 2015 OECD Economic Survey of Indonesia (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/economic-survey-indonesia.htm) Exploiter au mieux les ressources naturelles en Indonésie L’Indonésie dispose de ressources naturelles abondantes, mais leur exploitation est rendue difficile par la géographique particulière du pays qui se conjugue au manque d’infrastructures de transport. De plus, l’absence d’investissement, le protectionnisme et la complexité de l’environnement réglementaire sont autant de facteurs qui empêchent ce secteur d’atteindre son plein potentiel. L’agriculture pâtit de la faiblesse de la productivité, du sous-investissement, des incertitudes entourant les droits de propriété des terres, de réglementations commerciales peu judicieuses, de mesures inadéquates de soutien aux produits de première nécessité et de restrictions sur les participations étrangères. La productivité des agriculteurs indonésiens pourrait être stimulée par différentes mesures visant à encourager la diversification des cultures, favoriser la coopération entre les petits propriétaires et les grandes exploitations et alléger les contraintes pesant sur l’investissement étranger. Les combustibles fossiles ont pris une place centrale dans la politique énergétique de l’Indonésie et représentent aujourd’hui sa principale source de revenus d’exportation. La montée des préoccupations environnementales, au plan intérieur comme international, qui vient s’ajouter à la diminution des prix du charbon et à la révolution en cours liée au gaz de schiste, appellent à s’interroger sur la viabilité d’une telle stratégie. L’Indonésie pourrait accroître son efficacité énergétique et continuer à développer le gaz pour combler le déficit jusqu’à pouvoir disposer de suffisamment d’énergies renouvelables, notamment géothermique. Le contrôle de l’industrie pétrolière exercé par l’État via l’entreprise publique Pertamina devrait être progressivement réduit. Clarifier, rationaliser et simplifier la réglementation dans les secteurs de l’énergie et des minéraux, en particulier du point de vue des droits fonciers et du traitement terrestre, et lever les restrictions pesant sur les participations étrangères contribueront à attirer les investissements si nécessaires. Les pressions exercées sur l’environnement par l’exploitation des ressources naturelles devraient être allégées par une augmentation de la part du gaz et des énergies renouvelables dans le bouquet énergétique, par une définition adéquate des droits de propriété et des réglementations relatives aux terrains boisés et par la mise en place d’un prix implicite du carbone positif. Il conviendrait de consacrer des ressources plus importantes à la lutte contre les exploitations minières et la déforestation illégales. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE de l’Indonésie, 2015 (www.oecd.org/fr/eco/etudes/etude-economique-indonesie.htm)

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Dutu, 2015. "Making the Most of Natural Resources in Indonesia," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1236, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1236-en
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1787/5js0cqqk42ls-en
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:tpr:adbadr:v:35:y:2018:i:2:p:85-112 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Arief A. Yusuf & Elizabeth L. Roos & Jonathan M. Horridge, 2018. "Indonesia's Moratorium on Palm Oil Expansion from Natural Forests: Economy-Wide Impacts and the Role of International Transfers," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 35(2), pages 85-112, September.
    3. repec:eee:enepol:v:126:y:2019:i:c:p:212-222 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    agriculture; agriculture; charbon; coal; energy; environment; environnement; gas; gaz; Indonesia; Indonésie; minerais; minerals; natural resources; oil; pétrole; ressources naturelles; énergie;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development

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