Government Prioritizes Investment at Border Areas
Tuesday, 07 November, 2006 | 21:00 WIB

Tempo Interactive, Jakarta: The government prioritizes the increase of investment at border areas in Eastern Indonesia. This program is being carried out through sub-regional economic cooperation with Brunei Darussalam, the Philippines and Malaysia.

“This forum aims to increase investment in disadvantaged regions so that the regions can follow other development,” said Secretary General of Home Affairs Department, Progo Nurdjaman, during a coordination meeting of all-Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Papua and Maluku regional governments in Jakarta yesterday (6/11).

The factors of the disadvantaged condition includes remote locations that are difficult access, minimal education, health and welfare and communication, also information problems. Border areas economic contribution is still low, less than 0.1 percent of the national economy. However, Progo said border areas have a large potential as the country’s gate to the international market.

According to Progo, if the areas are not managed well, this can put the government at a loss. Areas can be claimed as other country’s property. The pattern of rural people must be improved. “If it is left , the social-economic gap will have a negative correlation with the development of nationalism,” he said.

To increase investment, according to Progo, there must be an investment security guarantee. “That will be interesting for investors,” said Progo. He said that this guarantee is crucial and the main factor for investors before entering border areas. Currently there are already international agreements with neighboring countries to broaden economic opportunity at border areas.

Progo believes that so far regional officers have not been effective in attracting investors. “They go abroad for comparative study more often, but the result is not clear and there are no follow-ups,” he said.

Eko Ari Wibowo
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