Canggu Is Ground Zero For Investors and Digital Nomads

Canggu, on Bali’s popular west coast, is attracting more investors than ever before keen to tap into opportunities created by being one of the best digital nomad spaces in the world.

Canggu is ground zero for investors and digital nomadsCanggu’s beach clubs are popular places for sunsets, cool vibes and a relaxed lifestyle. Image by Cassie Gallegos on Unsplash

Coworking, Digital Nomads and the Creative Economy have taken Bali by storm recently. According to there are 150 registered Coworking spaces across Indonesia, and Bali has become the proverbial Neodymium Magnet, attracting Millennials and digital entrepreneurs from around the world with dreams of paradise found.

Gapura Bali reported recently on this growing trend suggesting savvy investors were already driving the digital economy initiative in Bali because of four key aspects:

Creative Ecosystems

Creative Ecosystems in Bali support the establishment and development of startups, which are intrinsically connected to creativity and technological innovation.

Quality of life in Bali is conducive to those in creative industries. Image by Artem Bali on Pexels.

Location, Location, Location

Bali is physically well located and has great access to easily tap into markets and opportunities in the digital economies of Indonesia as well as the rest of Southeast Asia.

Quality of Life

The quality of life in Bali is good and conducive to those in creative industries. Housing is also relatively cheap when compared to other major Asian cities.

World’s Best Tourist Destination

Bali’s position as a world-class tourist destination attracts foreign investors and those interested in funding and raising home-grown startups.

And while the oldest and possibly most famous Coworking space (called Hubud) is based in the highlands of Bali’s cultural capital of Ubud, the hippest hangout is Canggu on Bali’s popular west coast, particularly in the area of Batu Bolong and Echo Beach.

Canggu’s Batu Bolong and Echo Beach are the hippest hangouts for good reason. Image by evaychen on Pixabay.

According to data collected by Exotiq Property and Harcourts Seven Stones, land prices in the area have risen substantially over the years from around IDR 80 million per Are (10 x 10 square metres) in 2013 to a dizzying IDR 1billion per Are in 2018.

Profound changes have taken place in Canggu since 2013. Restaurants, coffee shops, health food stores, trendy boutiques, yoga sanctuaries, surf hangouts and cool bars frequented by beautiful people have mushroomed, largely fueled by a wave of Digitalpreneurs enjoying a utopian alternative lifestyle in this laid back tropical paradise.

“It’s not just commercial opportunities that have taken off in Canggu,” says Terje Nilsen from Harcourts Seven Stones, “there are also some spectacular residential prospects out there. Who wouldn’t think twice about living in a luxury villa with rice field, ocean and mountain views just minutes from enjoying sundowners and spectacular sunsets with like-minded souls?”

Local government is also making Bali more digitally attractive and competitive with plans to give the entire island free WiFi in 2019 by increasing the number of WiFi access points from the current 300 to over 4,000.

Spectacular sunsets over rice fields in Canggu. Image by Catriona Ward on Flickr.

According to Gapura Bali, Google and worldwide investment company Tamasek ranked Indonesia #1 in Southeast Asia for e-Commerce transactions in Southeast Asia suggesting as much as 60 percent of ASEAN’s digital economy market is in Indonesia.

The potential this brings, combined with government initiatives in developing “Smart Cities” across Indonesia, of which Denpasar is one, and the most recent relaxations to the Negative Investment List (DNI) in the 16th Economic Package allowing majority foreign ownership in telecommunications networks, content services, call centres and fixed telecommunications networks is setting the groundwork for a seismic shift in the way the country does business and for the investment opportunities about to happen.

First published in Gapura Bali.

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Andrzej Barski

Director of Seven Stones Indonesia

Andrzej is Co-owner/ Founder and Director of Seven Stones Indonesia. He was born in the UK to Polish parents and has been living in Indonesia for more than 33-years. He is a skilled writer, trainer and marketer with a deep understanding of Indonesia and its many cultures after spending many years travelling across the archipelago from North Sumatra to Irian Jaya.

His experience covers Marketing, Branding, Advertising, Publishing, Real Estate and Training for 5-Star Hotels and Resorts in Bali and Jakarta, which has given him a passion for the customer experience. He’s a published author and a regular contributor to local and regional publications. His interests include conservation, eco-conscious initiatives, spirituality and motorcycles. Andrzej speaks English and Indonesian.

Terje H. Nilsen

Director of Seven Stones Indonesia

Terje is from Norway and has been living in Indonesia for over 20-years. He first came to Indonesia as a child and after earning his degree in Business Administration from the University of Agder in Norway, he moved to Indonesia in 1993, where he has worked in leading positions in education and the fitness/ wellness industries all over Indonesia including Jakarta, Banjarmasin, Medan and Bali.

He was Co-owner and CEO of the Paradise Property Group for 10-years and led the company to great success. He is now Co-owner/ Founder and Director of Seven Stones Indonesia offering market entry services for foreign investors, legal advice, sourcing of investments and in particular real estate investments. He has a soft spot for eco-friendly and socially sustainable projects and investments, while his personal business strengths are in property law, tourism trends, macroeconomics, Indonesian government and regulations. His personal interests are in sport, adventure, history and spiritual experiences.

Terje’s leadership, drive and knowledge are recognised across many industries and his unrivalled network of high level contacts in government and business spans the globe. He believes you do good and do well but always in that order. Terje speaks English, Indonesian and Norwegian.

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Ridwan Jasin Zachrie

CFO of Seven Stones Indonesia, Jakarta

Ridwan is one of Indonesia’s top executives with a long and illustrious career in the financial world. He holds several professional certifications including being a Certified Business Valuer (CBV) issued by the Australian Academy of Finance and Management; Broker-Dealer Representative (WPPE); and The Directorship Certification for Directors and Commissioners, issued by the Indonesian Institute of Commissioners and Directors.

His experience includes being the Managing Director at one of the top investment banking groups in the region, the Recapital Group, the CFO at State-owned enterprises in fishery industry and the CEO at Tanri Abeng & Son Holding. He’s also been an Independent Commissioner in several Financial Service companies and on the Audit and Risk Committee at Bank BTPN Tbk, Berau Coal Energy Tbk, Aetra Air Jakarta as well as working for Citibank, Bank Mandiri and HSBC. His last position was as CFO at PT Citra Putra Mandiri – OSO Group.

Ridwan has won a number of prestigious awards including the Best CFO Awards 2019 (Institute of Certified Management Accountant Australia-Indonesia); Asia Pacific Young Business Leader awarded by Asia 21 Network New York USA (Tokyo 2008); UK Alumni Business Awards 2008 awarded by the British Council; and The Most Inspiring Human Resources Practitioners’ version of Human Capital Magazine 2010.

He’s a member of the Board of Trustees of the Alumni Association of the Faculty of Law, Trisakti University, Co-Founder of the Paramadina Public Policy Institute and actively writes books, publications and articles in the mass media. He co-authored “Korupsi Mengorupsi Indonesia” in 2009, which helps those with an interest in understanding governance in Indonesia and the critical issue of corruption. Ridwan speaks Indonesian and English.

Per Fredrik Ecker

Managing Director of Seven Stones Indonesia, Jakarta

Per is the Managing Director of the Seven Stones Indonesia (SSI) Jakarta office and has more than 25-years’ experience in Indonesia, China, and Western Europe. He previously worked in senior management positions with Q-Free ASA, Siemens AG, and other companies in the telecom sector. Over the last six years, he has been the Chairman of the Indonesia-Norway Business Council (INBC) and recently become elected to be on the board of EuroCham Indonesia.

His most recent experience is within Intelligent Transport Solutions (ITS), Telecom, and other sectors within the Indonesian market. He is today through his position in SSI and by representing Norway Connect, promoting Nordic and European companies that would like to explore business opportunities in the Indonesian market. He’s also playing an active role to help create the Nordic House concept in Jakarta that will provide an excellent platform for Nordic companies entering Indonesia, where they’ll find a community that can offer support with trusted information and affordable services to enter this market.