President Jokowi Inaugurates 3 SEZs in North Sulawesi
President Joko Jokowi Widodo accompanied by First Lady Ibu Iriana Joko Widodo inaugurated three Special Economic Zones (SEZs), namely Maloy Batuta Trans Kalimantan SEZ, Morotai SEZ, and Bitung SEZ, at Sam Ratulangi Airport, Manado, North Sulawesi, Monday (1/4).
With the inauguration of the SEZs, President Jokowi expressed hope that processing industries, other industries, as well as factories will soon be opened in these areas that will increase job opportunities.
It starts leading to that direction. Governor of North Sulawesi has confirmed that Bitung SEZ already attracted new investors. Governor of North Maluku also stated similar condition about Morotai SEZ and has asked to extend the airport runaway. The same condition also applied to Maloy Batuta SEZ, the President said.
The Head of State went on to say that the Government must develop infrastructures and facilities to support the SEZ so it can enhance competitiveness of our products. For example, toll roads connecting Bitung and Manado are now being constructed for Bitung SEZ. The construction progress is already 80 percent. God willing, Insha Allah, it can be fully operational in September or October at the latest, he said.
President Jokowi also expected the SEZs will contribute to the equitable development of Eastern Indonesia, including North Maluku and North Sulawesi. We used to export raw materials from the SEZs, but now, processing industries are expected to be established in the near future, be it for fisheries, palm oil, or other industries.
By exporting processed products, the President further said, added value will be generated. We also expected it can create as many jobs as possible to the community.
Also on that occasion, he simbolically inaugurated low-cost apartment buildings of State Institute of Islamic Studies (IAIN) Manado and the Tomohon Christian University.
In addition, President Jokowi said that North Sulawesi in general, and Manado City in particular, have changed a lot. The roads are wider, urban structure is improved, particularly in Manado. I also noticed that the economic development is rapid, the President explained.
President Jokowi also expressed hope to return to the city and inaugurate Manado-Bitung Toll Road in September/October. (RAH/ES)
Translated by : Rany Anjany Subachrum
Edited by : Muhardi/Mia Medyana