The Jakarta Post , Jakarta
Dubai-based real estate giant Emaar Properties plans to build a landmark tower in Jakarta, which would be the tallest skyscraper in Southeast Asia, a presidential envoy says.
Special envoy for the Middle East Alwi Shihab said Monday the Chairman of Emaar, Mohamed Ali Alabbar, had proposed the project to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during an informal meeting on Saturday.
"At the moment, we're still looking for the right location in Jakarta for the site of the project... we are ready to build the tower, our homework is to find the right location, " Alwi told The Jakarta Post.
Emaar, the largest land and real estate developer in the Gulf, is famed for its ongoing construction of Burj Dubai in Dubai, which would be the highest skyscraper in the world. The 718 meter-tall building is scheduled to be fully constructed by the end of this year.
Alwi said the Jakarta project was part of the company's commitment to invest in Indonesia.
In March, Emaar signed a joint venture agreement with the state-owned Bali Tourism Development Corporation to build an integrated tourism project in southern Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, with a total investment of US$600 million. During the initial stage, they would build four luxury hotels, including Ritz Carlton and Giorgio Armani hotels, along with related tourist facilities.
"Emaar has started building its offices in Lombok and is carrying out trainings in conjunction with the tourism ministry for locals to assist in its projects," Alwi said, adding that up until now, the Indonesian government had received investments worth almost $5 billion from the Middle East and that it was targeting to attract $10 billion by 2009.
He said among those committed to invest in the country was Ras Al-Khaimah of the United Arab Emirates, which would bring a total investment worth $1.5 billion to construct an integrated port at Tanjung Api-Api, and a railway line from Palembang to Tanjung Api-Api.
Another company, Dubai Drydock, is ready to invest up to US$1 billion for the construction of a shipyard and an industrial city in Batam.
The envoy said the company had opened its office in Indonesia and had paid for the project's land, while adding that conglomerate company Pacific Inter-Link planned to invest US$500 million in a palm oil refinery plant in Dumai, Riau.
Dubai-based Al Ghurair Group also showed its commitment to invest around $500 million in the renovation and improvement of old refinery plants.
Previously, Saudi Telecom Company's Axis invested US$1 billion in the telecommunication industry. Alwi said the investors hoped to fully realize their commitments soon.
"Some of them complained that bureaucracy in our country has been too slow in responding to their proposals. While it only takes a few months to manage permits in Malaysia, for example, it could take years in Indonesia," Alwi said.
This had caused many of them to invest in Malaysia and Singapore instead, he added. (dia)