TEMPO Interactive, Batam: Riau Islands Governor, Ismeth Abdullah, said that foreign investment in ships is increasing, especially in special economic zones (SEZs), Batam, Bintan and Karimun.
So far the Riau Islands government recorded that investment was US$1 billion. In Karimun, the preparation for welcoming a Korean investor, who will invest US$500 million, is taking place. The company is a consortium which built the largest dockyard in Southeast Asia, able to absorb 40,000 workers.
Ismeth explained, Karimun will be transformed into a shipyard industry area, as it has an adequate sea depth as well as a competitive land lease.
According to Ismeth, in Bintan there are five ship industry companies investing, 15 in Karimun; Batam is for the industry development.
Batam Authority Chief, Mustofa Wijaya,, said there are 71 companies in the ship industry in his territory. Out of that number, 80 percent are located in Tanjung Uncang, and the remaining in Sekupang. As in Rempang and Galang Islands, it will be decided later as the areas are specific for tourism. “But the shipyard industry is still possible,” he said.
Mustofa acknowledged that the land for the shipyard industry in Batam is no longer available except for development. Out of 255,000 workers in Batam, 75,000 are working in the ship industry and the remaining in the electronics industry in 23 industrial zones.