Singapore’s booming economy will in turn benefit its near neighbors and act as a regional financial hub: at least Indonesia certainly hopes so, after a ministerial-level meeting in Jakarta this week. Indonesia expects foreign investment from Singapore to rise 50% in 2011.

Indonesia’s Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa met with Kim Hng Kiang, Singapore’s Minister of Trade & Industry to work out ways the two countries could increase the flow of investment. The usual suspects of infrastructure developments, customs regulations and the manufacturing sector were high on the agenda as Singaporeans look increasingly outside their own market for investment opportunities.

Freer trade, as always, plays a big part in boosting investment. Investment from Singapore increased 97% since 2009 when Indonesia declared a free trade zone in the nearby islands of Batam, Bintan and Karimun, according to Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).

Singapore direct investment in Indonesia is currently worth about US$5 billion and the two countries are in each other’s top five trading partners. Indonesia supplies Singapore’s highest number of foreign visitors each year, while Singapore invests heavily in Indonesian telecommunications, health care, agribusiness and other service industries.

source & article: The Jakarta Globe