Indonesia, Singapore to Meet Again on SEZ

The government looks set to develop Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the Batam, Bintan and Karimun islands, after issuing regulations relating to implementation of the SEZs early last week.

Coordinating Minister for the Economy Boediono said officials from Indonesia and Singapore will meet in Bali on August 29 to discuss progress of the SEZs and other pending issues.

"We will discuss training programs and joint investment promotion as agreed previously," Boediono said Wednesday (22/8/07), according to The Jakarta Post.

Indonesia and Singapore agreed in June last year to develop SEZs in the three islands of the Riau Islands province, which is a strategic location in the vicinity of Singapore; the region's trade hub.

In the latest follow-up, the government on August 20 issued regulations for each SEZ, which will consist of free-trade zones (FTZs) and ports.

Government regulations stipulate that the SEZ for Batam will cover Batam island, as well as the nearby smaller islands of Tonton, Setokok, Nipah, Rempang, Galang and Galang Baru.

The SEZ for Bintan will cover the Galang Batang, Maritim, Senggarang and Dompak Darat industrial zones, as well as Lobam Island. The SEZ for Karimun will affect most parts of Karimun Island and Karimun Anak Island.

The SEZs will be effective for 70 years, with their respective management agencies to be set up by next year at the latest.
Manpower and Transmigration Minister Erman Suparno, meanwhile, expects investment growth in the SEZs ahead to create some 30,000 jobs.

Boediono, said income tax breaks for industries in the SEZs would be considered differently to import duty exemptions, as they are in FTZs.
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