Tue, 13 Apr 2010
From: Antara News
By Bustanuddin
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - In its first-ever effort to attract investment to develop its marine-resource-rich territory, Maluku`s provincial administration is to stage a "Maluku Investment Day."

The event will take place in Jakarta on April 15-16 and is expected to be attended by around 150 entrepreneurs.

Maluku Investment Day will be held as part of Maluku`s efforts to speed up economic development in the province that has nine districts and two city administrations, Maluku Governor Karel Albert Ralahalu said.

The governor made the statement at a meeting with Antara`s editorial board members here on Monday.

Ralahalu, who was on the occasion accompanied by head of the Maluku provincial Investment Coordinating Board, Rahman Soumena,

said the event was intended to introduce Maluku`s marine tourism potentials to the international community, and to convince them that the province was really safe for tourists and investors.

The Maluku provincial administration in cooperation with state-owned PT Bank Mandiri had made the necessary preparations for the Investment Day prior to the international marine event "Sail Banda" which will take place in Ambon city, Maluku`s provincial capital.

The Sail Banda, which will be participated in by some 200 foreign participants, will take place from July to August 2010, Governor Ralahalu said.

In addition, head of the Maluku Investment Coordinating Board (BKPMD), A Rachman Soumena said Maluku wished to raise its economic growth from the current 6.3 percent to 8.35 percent in 2013 if the province can earn about Rp1.8 trillion of income per year.

Speaking in Ambon last Feb 17, Soemena said entrepreneurs would be invited to attend an expose of Maluku`s economic potentials, especially its marine biodiversity, oil/gas and mineral resources.

The province`s potentials would be enumerated and elaborated on by the heads of Maluku`s 11 districts/cities , Soumena said, adding that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Vice President Boediono, several ministers, 30 Bank Mandiri customers, the chiefs of state-owned national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and Merpati and all ranking administration officials of Maluku and North Maluku were expected to attend the investment expose.

In addition, the ministers of finance, maritime resources and fisheries , culture and tourism , coordinating minister for economic affairs, the ministers of state enterprises (BUMN), national development planning would also be invited, Soumena said.

Academics from Pattimura University (Unpatti), Ambon, and Sultan Hairun University (Unhair), Ternate, North Maluku, officials of state oil and gas company PT Pertamina, representatives of state electricity company PT PLN, state telecommunications company PT Telkom, and airport operators (Angkasa Pura) in Maluku would also be invited.

"If any of the investors on the occasion wishes to invest in one of the districts in Maluku or North Maluku, they can immediately sign a deal with the district chief concerned," Soumena said.

The Investment Day would also be part of the central government`s policy to carry out Sail Banda, Maluku Vice Governor Said Assegaf disclosed, adding that the meeting and an exhibition was aimed to improve the relations between the provincial government, district and city administrations to promote the regional investment potentials.

In the meantime, head of Bank Mandiri`s regional office, Edhi Chrystanto, said his office had also organized Papua Investment Day in Jakarta some time ago, to expand its market segment in eastern Indonesia.

He expressed hope that the Maluku Investment Day can attract investors in the exploration and exploitation of natural resources particularly marine biodiversity as well as oil and minerals.

Maluku as one of the oldest provinces in Indonesia, is known to have socio-cultural diversity and abundant natural resources.

The province, located in eastern Indonesia, has 1,027 islands, thus it is popularly called the `Thousand Islands` province with its capital, Ambon.

The larger islands include Seram (1,862,500 Ha), Halmahera (1,800,000 Ha), Buru (900,00 Ha), Yamdena (805,800 Ha), Obi (370,000 Ha), Wetar (362,400 Ha) and Morotai (180,000 Ha).

Apart from the natural tourist attractions, visitors can also come to Fort Amsterdam, located on a beach.

In addition to the panoramic beauty of the beach, the fort was witness of the foreign occupation of Maluku.

Spokesman for the Ambon branch of Bank Indonesia (Central Bank)Totok Hermianto said in Ambon that Bank Indonesia and a number of other banks such as Bank BRI, Bank Central Asia (BCA), and Bank BNI will also provide services for financial transactions in Banda to support the event."

Totok said that he had discussed the event with the leaders of the banks operating in Ambon, and they agreed to open banking service counters in Banda.

"Foreign tourists visiting Banda, as well as the participants of Sail Banda 2010 will find it easy to make financial transactions following the opening of the banking service counters in Banda during the international event," Totok said.

Totok expressed hope that the promotion of Sail Banda would be intensified in order to have a good impact on Maluku`s economic development.

Meanwhile, Transportation Director General of the Ministry Air Transportation Herry Bakti said his office was ready to support the Sail Banda.

The most important thing is to prepare reliable telephone and Internet infrastructure, as this will facilitate communications and telecommunications so that people will not all have to gather in Ambon if they want to promote Banda," he said.

Meanwhile, General Manager of state-owned airport managing company, PT Angkasa Pura I of Pattimura airport branch office, Gerits Mailesun said that several airline companies such as Lion Air, Batavia Air, Sriwijaya and Wings have expressed readiness to provide excellent services to the participants of the international maritime events.

In an effort to attract more investors to invest in the province, Soumena said the provincial government would set up a so-called "One-Stop Service" for would-be investors. (*)



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