Sanya, Hainan. More industrial countries are now getting more interested to invest in Indonesia due to its potential market, abundant resources, and relatively low-wage workers. Vice President Jusuf Kalla stated this when receiving CEOs of Virtue Dragon Nickel Industry Co. and China Fortune Development at MGM Grand Sanya Hotel, Hainan province, China on Wednesday (Mar. 23).

“Such investment must be supported with infrastructure facilities and a clear regulation,” said the Vice President.

Every investment, he added, is potential to give multiplier effects to other economic elements, such as the increasing export and tax revenue.

“We also want such an investment will establish a better connection between upstream industries and downstream industries to create more economic benefits.  That is why we are now not exporting raw materials any longer as what we did with our nickel in the past,” he said, adding that it is also government’s effort to preserve the environment.

Indonesia, Mr Kalla said, is also open for foreign direct investment as it would increase the foreign exchange.

However, the Vice President admitted that many investors face constraints particularly in land acquisition in the country.

For example, Mr Kalla said, Virtue Dragon Nickel Industry Co. (VDNI) has a problem with the completion of its nickel smelter in Kendari, South East Sulawesi province.

 “The company is lack in 5,500 hectares of land needed for the smelter since the land is intended for irrigation networks and embankment. As a result, VDNI just disbursed US$1 billion from the total of US$5 billion investment.

Government, according to the Vice President, through BKPM would try to find the best solution for this problem within a month.

“We are coordinating with the Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Agriculture to solve this,” said BKPM chief Franky Sibarani who accompanied the Vice President in the meeting.

Mr Zho Ming Dong of VDNI appreciated the Indonesian government’s commitment to support their investment in the country.

In the same vein, government is also supportive to the initiative by the China Fortune Land Development (CFLD) to put investment in Indonesia.

The company is specialized in building integrated industrial zones with an environmentally-friendly concept. CFLD is planning to build three new industrial zones in Indonesia within five years with total investment amounting to US$1.5 billion, US$500 million of which has been disbursed for the project.

“We are also planning to build an IT based industrial zone as in Silicon Valley in the U.S.,” said Mr Hong Jing.

In response, the Vice President recommended the company build such an industrial zone in Bandung or Yogyakarta as both regions are rich in IT experts and creative young people.

Also attending the meeting were Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. A.M. Fachir, Head of Vice President’s Secretariat Mr. Mohamad Oemar, Indonesian Ambassador to China Mr. Soegeng Raharjo, Vice President’s Deputy on Economic Affairs Mr. Tirta Hidayat, and Vice President’s expert staffs (Mr. Muhammad Abduh, Mr. Wijayanto, and Mr.Husain Abdullah).