RI-Singapore cooperation in Batam economic zone in limbo
The new administration of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has not followed up on its cooperation with Singapore to develop Batam, Bintan and Karimun special economic zone (KEK BBK), an official said on Wednesday.
The cooperation, signed by former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and PM Lee Hsien Loong in 2006, was executed under a joint working group that met regularly. But since the government of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo entered the State Palace, no meetings have been held.
Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister’s deputy for infrastructure and regional development, Luky Eko Wuryanto, said that since the government of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo took office, the working group had yet to meet.
The last meeting was held during the presidency of Pak SBY [Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono],” Luky told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
According to Luky, so far the cooperation had not been fruitful, as Indonesia wanted Batam to be developed independently.
We need to work to advance Batam. Investors will automatically come by themselves [if Batam is developed],” he said.
Cooperation between the two countries in developing Batam was pioneered in the era of president Soeharto and Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew in the mid 1990s.
According to data from the Batam Free Trade Zone Management Agency, at present there are 488 foreign companies in Batam, mostly in the electronics manufacturing industry, including 410 from Singapore, 52 from Malaysia, 23 from Taiwan and 19 from South Korea.(+++)
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