TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:The target to make Batam, Bintan, Karimun (BBK) into special economic zones has not been achieved. “It should have been realized in 2009, but the plan failed due to the global crisis,” said Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu at the World Expo press conference at the Trade Ministry yesterday.
The goal to establish the BKK special economic zone was first initiated in 2006. The government had hoped exports from the area would rise from US$ 6 billion to US$ 10 billion by 2009. In fact, exports dropped to US$ 4,6 billion.
The government had projected that the special zone could attract US$ 1 billion in investments and that it would open job opportunities for 130.000 people.
To deal with the missed target, Mari said, the government is now making some improvements. One of the action programs that has been carried out is ensuring legal certainty and an institution to manage the zone.
Another effort made by the government is to collaborate with Singapore. “We are intensifying synergy with Singapore,” Mari said. One of both countries’ cooperation is a joint promotion to increase investments in the area. According to Mari, the government is aware that considerable investment that has relocated elsewhere, allowing other investment opportunities to enter. “We also see the prospects of potential investors from Japan, Korea, or other countries,” she said.