Special Economic Zones (SEZs) have long been touted by the government as the solution to developing centres for economic growth outside of Kava and that bet is beginning to pay off.
Each zone will be established in a region in which a variety of industries are expected to grow and thrive due to prime resource potential which would benefit from investment.
The zones are designed to be investment-friendly with necessary infrastructure and business procedure to be tailored to the region. These changes include invest guarantee, legal certainties, integrated services and infrastructure development.
The tourism industry has been targeted under the plan, with the government hoping to boost national tourism.
“Out of ten tourism destinations that have been appointed by the government, four of them are located in Mandalika, Tanjung Lesung, Morotai and Tanjung Kelayang SEZs. Investors have high interest in these kind of business areas,” Hiramsyah Thaib, Chief of the Acceleration Team at the Priority Tourism Destination Development, said, as reported by Bisnis.
Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association Chairman Hariyadi Sukamdani said many investors are interested in the SEZs.
“There are a number of investors who are looking forward to invest in the hotel industry in Danau Toba, Tanjung Kelayang and Nusa Dua,” Sukamdani said.
He added that investors are also interested in developing hotels and restaurants in Morotai Island, North Maluku, although these plans are currently hampered by an insufficient local airport.
Sukamdani said five investors have already shown interest in developing hotels and a motoGP circuit in the Manalika SEZ. Like the Morotai SEZ, some investors have already put cash towards building a recreational park in the area.
Infrastructure development in the Tanjung Lesung SEZ is continuously boosted by the interest of investors looking to develop facilities and infrastructure in the area. The Serang-Panimbang toll road is an example of one major project on target to be finished within three years.
“Investors that are interested in such project in Tanjung Lesung come from China, Singapore, the US, Europe and the Middle East,” Thaib said.
The high profile visits of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and former US president Barack Obama is likely to have contributed to stimulating the attraction of Indonesia’s tourism industry.
The government hopes the transformation of authority bodies in several tourism destinations can lead to the strengthening of SEZs and in turn attract the interest of more investors. The Danau Toba Authority and Borobudur Authority are such bodies.
In the future, the government has planned to form more authorities dedicated to tourism destinations and the development of SEZs across the archipelago.
Image credits: Info Wisata Indonesia