Mon, 26 Jun 2006
RI, S'pore sign deal on economic zones

Tony Hotland, The Jakarta Post, Batam

Indonesia plans to transform three major islands in Riau Islands province into special economic zones (SEZs) in a bid to draw much-needed direct foreign investment.

With the assistance of neighboring Singapore, the development of Batam, Bintan and Karimun islands as special economic zones is hoped to turn them into centers of growth, with multiplier and spillover effects for the economies of both countries.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong were in Batam on Sunday to witness the signing of a framework agreement on economic cooperation on the three islands. Indonesian Coordinating Minister for the Economy Boediono and Singaporean Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang signed the deal.

Yudhoyono hopes the islands will become more investor-friendly, with more lenient regulations on finance and banking, taxation as well as customs and excise.

"A joint steering committee will report to me and Prime Minister Loong in four months on the challenges being faced and the solutions to them. We're aiming for a one-stop service to cut the high-cost economy so that more opportunities will open up," Yudhoyono said.

The cooperation is being viewed as a win-win proposal for both economies in the long run. Running out of space, Singapore, which has established similar free trade zones with China and India, wants to expand its economic activities on the three islands in the face of growing competition in the region.

Indonesia is expected to benefit from fresh foreign investment and the massive network and promotional skills of Singapore. Provided that the plan proceeds as envisioned, Yudhoyono said the model could be emulated in other areas of the country in cooperation with more countries.

Prime Minister Lee said Singapore would assist Indonesia with investment advice, promotion of the islands as manufacturing investment destinations and capacity building for Indonesian officials and workers.

The most immediate opportunities on the islands lie in shipyards and oil-related equipment, services and industries. Other industries that could be tapped are electronics, garment and tourism.

Investment Coordinating Board chairman M. Luthfie said the revitalization of the three islands could boost exports from the current US$5 billion to $16 billion over the course of five years.

He said the issue of the SEZs would be included in the revisions of the tax and investment laws at the House of Representatives.

Riau Islands Governor Ismeth Abdullah, meanwhile, expects the establishment of the special economic zones to create jobs for some one million workers.

Existing foreign direct investments in the province have provided jobs for only 300,000 workers, he said, with the bulk of those, or 250,000 workers, being employed on the industrial island of Batam.

Businessmen Rachmat Gobel and Angky Camaro, who were present at the signing ceremony, expressed optimism over the agreement. Both men stressed the need to deal with the bureaucracy and administrative hassles of doing business in the country.

The government plans to establish a total of eight SEZs throughout the country, as part of a fast-track scheme to boost foreign direct investment in strategically located regions with good investment climates and business prospects.

Besides Batam, Bintan and Karimun, other planned special economic zones include Bali, Makassar, East Java and North Sulawesi's Bitung island.



News Search/Filter
Transaction Rates
25 May 18
Buy
Sell
AED1
3,850.96
3,850.96
AFN1
196.95
196.95
ALL1
130.92
130.92
AMD1
29.32
29.32
ANG1
7,879.79
7,879.79
AOA1
60.26
60.26
ARS1
575.53
575.53
AUD1
10,708.97
10,708.97
AWG1
7,913.45
7,913.45
AZN1
8,308.55
8,308.55
BAM1
8,476.02
8,476.02
BBD1
7,072.65
7,072.65
BDT1
167.37
167.37
BGN1
8,477.62
8,477.62
BHD1
37,460.09
37,460.09
BIF1
7.99
7.99
BMD1
14,145.30
14,145.30
BND1
10,512.24
10,512.24
BOB1
2,046.94
2,046.94
BRL1
3,876.07
3,876.07
BSD1
14,145.30
14,145.30
BTC1
105,234,969
105,234,969
BTN1
207.19
207.19
BWP1
1,427.85
1,427.85
BYN1
7,086.24
7,086.24
BZD1
7,036.94
7,036.94
CAD1
10,976.83
10,976.83
CDF1
8.76
8.76
CHF1
14,268.93
14,268.93
CLF1
617,159.97
617,159.97
CLP1
22.56
22.56
CNH1
2,218.34
2,218.34
CNY1
2,217.96
2,217.96
COP1
4.87
4.87
CRC1
25.01
25.01
CUC1
14,145.30
14,145.30
CUP1
554.71
554.71
CVE1
149.98
149.98
CZK1
642.82
642.82
DJF1
79.49
79.49
DKK1
2,225.99
2,225.99
DOP1
285.56
285.56
DZD1
121.59
121.59
EGP1
789.46
789.46
ERN1
941.13
941.13
ETB1
513.99
513.99
EUR1
16,581.27
16,581.27
FJD1
6,857.51
6,857.51
FKP1
18,930.22
18,930.22
GBP1
18,930.22
18,930.22
GEL1
5,726.61
5,726.61
GGP1
18,930.22
18,930.22
GHS1
3,041.94
3,041.94
GIP1
18,930.22
18,930.22
GMD1
299.95
299.95
GNF1
1.57
1.57
GTQ1
1,896.70
1,896.70
GYD1
67.71
67.71
HKD1
1,802.47
1,802.47
HNL1
592.76
592.76
HRK1
2,242.51
2,242.51
HTG1
219.77
219.77
HUF1
51.92
51.92
IDR1
1.00
1.00
ILS1
3,966.63
3,966.63
IMP1
18,930.22
18,930.22
INR1
207.19
207.19
IQD1
11.88
11.88
IRR1
0.33
0.33
ISK1
133.90
133.90
JEP1
18,930.22
18,930.22
JMD1
112.08
112.08
JOD1
19,936.92
19,936.92
JPY1
129.39
129.39
KES1
139.92
139.92
KGS1
207.06
207.06
KHR1
3.47
3.47
KMF1
33.69
33.69
KPW1
15.71
15.71
KRW1
13.09
13.09
KWD1
46,848.22
46,848.22
KYD1
16,973.01
16,973.01
KZT1
43.36
43.36
LAK1
1.69
1.69
LBP1
9.33
9.33
LKR1
89.47
89.47
LRD1
103.18
103.18
LSL1
1,119.33
1,119.33
LYD1
10,394.52
10,394.52
MAD1
1,493.28
1,493.28
MDL1
841.35
841.35
MGA1
4.32
4.32
MKD1
269.18
269.18
MMK1
10.44
10.44
MNT1
5.87
5.87
MOP1
1,749.93
1,749.93
MRO1
39.73
39.73
MRU1
396.11
396.11
MUR1
408.27
408.27
MVR1
912.02
912.02
MWK1
19.65
19.65
MXN1
722.40
722.40
MYR1
3,554.57
3,554.57
MZN1
234.11
234.11
NAD1
1,116.88
1,116.88
NGN1
39.31
39.31
NIO1
450.43
450.43
NOK1
1,746.35
1,746.35
NPR1
129.48
129.48
NZD1
9,801.28
9,801.28
OMR1
36,743.25
36,743.25
PAB1
14,145.30
14,145.30
PEN1
4,327.14
4,327.14
PGK1
4,332.66
4,332.66
PHP1
269.32
269.32
PKR1
122.28
122.28
PLN1
3,847.33
3,847.33
PYG1
2.48
2.48
QAR1
3,885.00
3,885.00
RON1
3,581.60
3,581.60
RSD1
140.29
140.29
RUB1
229.77
229.77
RWF1
16.32
16.32
SAR1
3,771.88
3,771.88
SBD1
1,790.84
1,790.84
SCR1
1,051.30
1,051.30
SDG1
783.50
783.50
SEK1
1,613.75
1,613.75
SGD1
10,554.57
10,554.57
SHP1
18,930.22
18,930.22
SLL1
1.80
1.80
SOS1
24.56
24.56
SRD1
1,894.12
1,894.12
SSP1
108.59
108.59
STD1
0.67
0.67
STN1
676.16
676.16
SVC1
1,616.54
1,616.54
SYP1
27.46
27.46
SZL1
1,119.88
1,119.88
THB1
441.84
441.84
TJS1
1,574.14
1,574.14
TMT1
4,030.02
4,030.02
TND1
5,576.26
5,576.26
TOP1
6,206.88
6,206.88
TRY1
2,973.29
2,973.29
TTD1
2,098.57
2,098.57
TWD1
472.64
472.64
TZS1
6.19
6.19
UAH1
541.50
541.50
UGX1
3.76
3.76
USD1
14,145.30
14,145.30
UYU1
452.88
452.88
UZS1
1.76
1.76
VEF1
0.17
0.17
VND1
0.62
0.62
VUV1
132.14
132.14
WST1
5,503.79
5,503.79
XAF1
25.27
25.27
XAG1
235,660.45
235,660.45
XAU1
18,451,763.69
18,451,763.69
XCD1
5,234.05
5,234.05
XDR1
20,072.17
20,072.17
XOF1
25.27
25.27
XPD1
13,826,603.35
13,826,603.35
XPF1
138.95
138.95
XPT1
12,891,716.09
12,891,716.09
YER1
56.50
56.50
ZAR1
1,138.22
1,138.22
ZMW1
1,377.87
1,377.87
ZWL1
43.88
43.88
Taxation Exchange Rates
31 Aug 16 - 06 Sep 16
USD 1
13,232.00
AUD 1
10,043.30
CAD 1
10,213.70
DKK 1
1,999.40
HKD 1
1,706.22
MYR 1
3,283.28
NZD 1
9,623.63
NOK 1
1,605.23
GBP 1
17,433.70
SGD 1
9,757.68
SEK 1
1,569.45
CHF 1
13,631.10
JPY 100
13,101.00
MMK 1
11.01
INR 1
197.29
KWD 1
43,920.70
PKR 1
126.23
PHP 1
285.00
SAR 1
3,528.53
LKR 1
91.12
THB 1
382.08
BND 1
9,756.53
EUR 1
14,885.50
CNY 1
1,987.61

Okusi Associates: Indonesian Business & Management Services