Batam and Karimun to be fully included in the special economic zone

Batam (Antara News) - The government has decided to build Batam and Karimun into a full special economic zone, while Bintan will only be developed into an enclave, the head of the Capital Investment Coordinating Board, Muhammad Lutfi, said here on Tuesday.

"Bintan is a level-seven category enclave," he said after meeting with the chairman of the regional legislative assembly Soeryo Respationo and Batam mayor Ahmad Dahlan.

He said the explanation about the status would be put in a government regulation which would be arranged in cooperation with the regional administrations and regional chapters of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin).

He said the regulation was expected to be completed in the middle of this month.

"There are no more problems. The decision is aimed at increasing economic growth not only in the Riau Islands but in other parts of the country as well," he said.

The chief of the Riau Islands Kadin chapter, Johannes Kennedy, said he was relieved by the decision. "Our final hope, namely the total inclusion of Batam into the special economic zone, has been fulfilled," he said.

Regarding the enclave in Bintan he said it would not be a problem. "This is a good start for Bintan. Everything is to be done in stages," he said.

He said the inclusion of Bintan as an enclave was a progress and therefore should not have caused disappointment.(*)
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