Tue, 21 Dec 2010

TEMPO Interactive, DUMAI:Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa said the government will designate areas to be made special economic zones by March next year. While he did not mention the areas in detail, Hatta confirmed that Riau was included on the list.

Many areas are competing to be made special zones as the government will provide the stimulus and various incentives needed to attract investment in those areas. The funding will be drawn from the state budget in collaboration with private companies and there will be no change to regional governance in the special economic zones.

The government also has plans for an economic corridor connecting Java with Sumatra. In the economic corridor, there will be several industrial clusters and special economic zones that will be included in the long-term plan in the 2011 to 2025 period.

The planned Sumatra-Java corridor will also encourage the construction of the Sunda Strait Bridge. However, with the first stage of the economic corridor expected to cost $US60 billion, there are doubts about whether the project will go ahead. “The government does not have the budget for it, including for the infrastructure,” said Hatta, adding the government would offer public-private partnerships to fund its construction.

Dumai Mayor Khairul Anwar said Dumai had five strategic industrial zones, namely Pelintung, Lubuk Gaung, Dockyard, Bukit Kapur, and Bukit Timah. He said the city had the most complete facilities and infrastructure in Riau, making it strategic enough to be named a special economic zone.

“Dumai has ports, good transportation terminals, land road network, airports and abattoirs,” Khairul said. Dumai’s revenue this year has totaled more than Rp54 trillion.