Aceh governor to visit Turkey to attract investors

Banda Aceh (Antara News) - Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) Governor Yusuf Irwandi is to lead an Aceh government and businessmen`s delegation on a visit to Turkey soon to promote Aceh among Turkish businessmen.

Irwandi disclosed the plan to visit Turkey after a special meeting with provincial councillors here on Tuesday.

He said the provincial administration would support the presence of investors from Turkey to accelerate the reconstruction process in the province after the armed conflict and devastating tsunami.

"There are many things Turkish investors can do to help reconstruct various infrastructure facilities which were destroyed by the tsunami," Irwandi said, adding that the investors could also invest in other sectors.

The governor said during his visit to Ankara on April 12 to meet the country`s prime minister, he would directly explain investment opportunities in Aceh to Turkish investors.

"A number of officials, businessmen and I will visit Ankara on April 12," Irwandi said.

He noted that after the December 26, 2004 devastating tsunami, the Turkish goverment and its people had actively channeled their relief aid to the people of Aceh.

If Turkey was able to channel relief assistance to the Aceh people after the tsumani, Turkish investors would also be ready to invest in Aceh in the future.

According to the governor, the peoples of Aceh and Turkey had long-standing historical relations.

"In the past, many Turks participated in the development of Aceh`s Iskandar Muda sultanate. There is even a Turkish cemetery in Bitai village in Jaya Baru sub district, Banda Aceh," Irwandi said.

The governor added that investors from Turkey were expected to invest in the construction of sea ports and airports, road construction, electricity, clean water, agriculture and plantations.

Meanwhile, National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) Chairman H Paskah Suzetta on Tuesday asked the government of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam province which is in the process of recovering from the Dec 26, 2004 tsunami to prioritize economic development in its 2008 development program.

"Encouraging the economy of the poor should top the list of the province`s development priorities," he said in a panel discussion here.

Such a policy would hopefully help lift the people out of poverty and lower the unemployment rate, he said. (*)
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