From: Antara NewsJakarta (ANTARA News) - The government expects Indonesia to have at least five fully-developed special economic zones (KEK) by 2014, a minister said.
"Our priority is, up to 2014, there should be at least five (developed) special economic zones," Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Hatta Rajasa said at his office here Tuesday after chairing a coordinating meeting on special economic zones.
The government is currently evaluating five special economic zones, and has set their development strategies, main design, development framework.
However, Rajasa declined to name the five special economic zones, only saying that they were located across the country, including in eastern Indonesia.
"I will mention them later, but for sure they include areas in East Indonesia such as Papua," he said.
He explained that the country`s regional economic development is divided into economic corridors, within the corridors there are special economic zones (KEK), and within a KEK there are a number of clusters.
"So if we say Papua`s KEK, it includes clusters such as, of West Papua, Merauke, and Biak. We will encourage them to become fast growing areas," he said.
He said 48 regions had previously applied to become special economic zones but they had all been turned down.
The current five special economic zones do not include Batam, Bintan and Karimun.
The five KEKs would boost productions based on, among other things, marine, oilpalm, agriculture, mineral, coal, petrochemical.
"Eastern Indonesia such as Papua could set to be energy and food development hub, Java for manufacture, and Sumatra fro oil-chemical and minerals," the minister said.
The SEZ is a government-designated area in which companies enjoy various duty-free imports of raw materials and relaxed taxation.
Batam, Bintan and Karimun islands provide a one-stop investment program offering an integrated service for business permits, immigration issues and tax payments.(*)