Tue, 31 May 2011

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - A Chinese company, PT Guandong Agribusiness, will invest in plantations in transmigration areas in Indonesia to create jobs for up to 28,000 workers.

Indonesian manpower and transmigration minister Muhaimin Iskandar witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding for it in Guangzhou, China, on Saturday, along with the Guandong governor representing the Chinese government.

"The cooperation and the Chinese and Indonesia joint venture in transmigration areas is very prospective. Workers to be involved in it could reach 28,300. Therefore the government will give its full support to it especially with regard to license and basic infrastructure," Muhaimin said in a press statement received here.

The signing of the MOU was carried out by Lei Yong Juan from PT Guandong Agribusiness and Soedomo Margonoto from PT Pulau Sumbawa Agro as his Indonesian partner.

Muhaimin said the Indonesian government welcomed the signing of the MOU because it involves reputable Chinese and Indonesian companies.

"Every year the interest to invest in transmigration areas keeps increasing. Investment does not only come from domestic but also international investors," he said.

The manpower and transmigration ministry has already issued a license for transmigration implementation to the joint venture company to develop sisal (agave sisalana) plantations at the transmigration areas.

"Initially sisal plantations will be developed in a 4,050 hectare area in Sumbawa along with a processing industry that will produce carpets, medical materials and others," Muhaimin said.

The initial investment is expected to absorb around 3,300 workers from transmigrants and local villagers living around the Tongo transmigration area in West Sumbawa.

The transmigrants spread in five resettlement areas totalling 1,475 families which were resettled there from 1994 to 2010.

The minister said he was optimistic the project would run as planned and would be able to increase the welfare of the transmigrants and people living around it and would also be supported by the local community and governments.

"We also hope investment in the transmigration area would speed up the process of development in the area," he said.

For the next cooperation a oil palm plantation will also be developed in North and Central Halmahera in the North Maluku province and a sugarcane plantation in Bener Meriah in the Aceh province.

For the oil palm plantation development project in North Maluku the district government has allocated a total of 21,500 hectares of land.

The proposal for project is still being assessed. Based on it the investment would reach around Rp200 billion (US$22,727) and could absorb around 15,000 workers.

For the sugar cane plantation project and its processing industry in Bener Meriah the district administration has permitted 37,000 hectares of land. A feasibility study for the project is now still being done by Kapal Api Group.

The 22,000 hectare sugar cane plantation development and its processing industry will absorb an investment of around US$136.362 and 10,000 workers.

The Bener Meriah project will cover transmigration areas in Pintu Rime Gayo with a population of 3,243 families (12,322) who would support the growth of a new production center and a new economic center.

The projects are integrated projects to complete the cooperation made earlier in the provision of sugar from the Bener Meriah project for coffee industry and provision of cooking oil and corn from the Halmahera project.

PT Guandong Agribusiness is a Chinese state-owned company established since 1951 and owns rubber, sugarcane, sisal and fruit plantations, plantatiions products and fisheries with a turnover at around 15 billion yuan or Rp21 trillion a year.

PT Sumbawa Agro meanwhile is the subsidiary of Kapal Api Group that will prepare the management and domestic market.