The North Maluku province has become a target for foreign investors, after intensive promotion during the international marine event of Sail Morotai, which ended in September 2012.
The event was the right moment for North Maluku to promote its investment and rich tourism potentials and now, many foreign investors have expressed their interest to invest in the province.
Morotai and Halmahera Islands, in the province, are rich in marine and natural resources, for both domestic and foreign investors, and thus, they have the potential to be developed into industrial centres in East Indonesia.
According to the provincial Capital Investment Coordinating Board`s spokesperson, Sri Iriani, investors from South Korea, South Africa, China, Malaysia and Singapore are keen on investing in marine and fisheries sector in the North Maluku province.
"Investors from these five countries will come to North Maluku early next year to explore investment opportunities in the marine and fisheries sector," Iriani said in Ternate, the capital of North Maluku.
According to her, investors conveyed their interest to invest, during an international expo held in Busang, South Korea, recently.
"They expressed their profound interest to invest in North Maluku, after seeing the profile of investment potentials in the province, at the international exhibition in Busang," Iriani noted.
Furthermore, she added that the North Maluku investment promotion team was supported by the central Capital Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), to participate in the Busang Expo, to promote the province`s investment potentials.
Iriani noted that the local Investment Coordinating Board will fully support investors from the five countries, by providing easier licensing services and coordinating with the governments of the districts they will be investing in.
Therefore, she urged the district governments to support the investors in districts and cities, selected for foreign investments.
She said that investors from the five countries will probably invest in the Morotai Islands and South Halmahera because the two districts in North Maluku have huge marine and fisheries potentials.
"The presence of investors in the two districts will certainly improve the regional revenue and increase job opportunities. Hence, district governments should facilitate their investment activities," Iriani said.
Meanwhile, North Maluku provincial government's spokesman, Madjid Husen, said that the government will support investments in marine and fisheries sector.
He also said that many investors have expressed their intention of investing in marine and fisheries sector in the province.
"Therefore, people in the province should welcome investors, who would like to develop various potentials to improve the economy," Majid noted.
He urged local intellectuals to have an entrepreneurial spirit, with the capability of supporting economic development in North Maluku, where the largest tuna processing factory will soon be built.
To support the project, Majid said that the local government, together with intellectuals with entrepreneurial spirit, will develop existing potentials, by involving investors from various countries.
According to him, investors from South Korea, China, Japan and Taiwan have expressed their interest to invest in the Morotai Islands.
"Therefore, local business makers should continue to develop the aquaculture potential, with the help of investors, to improve the economy and the living standard of living," he noted.
It has been a dream of the North Maluku Governor, Thaib Armaiyn, that the international marine event of Sail Morotai will be a success, in order to promote the province`s investment and tourism potentials.
Governor Armaiyin said that the success of the event will attract a greater number of domestic and foreign tourists and investors.
"We hope that more domestic and foreign investors invest in various sectors such as fisheries, mining, agriculture, plantations and tourism in North Maluku," said the governor, before the event.
And now, it seems that his dream has come true, with the presence of several investors and more who will follow shortly.
Investors are attracted because Halmahera has underground high-grade gold mines and abundant natural resources, while Morotai has a vast amount of fishery resources.
Therefore, the provincial government is planning to develop the two islands into industrial centres in eastern Indonesia.
Provincial administration`s spokesman, Abubakar Abdullah, said that the Halmahera Island could be the centre for agriculture and mining industry and Morotai Island could be the centre for fishery processing industries.
Abubakar said that mining companies such as PT Aneka Tambang and PT Nusa Halmahera Minieral have been operating in Halmahera for a long time.
As for the Morotai Island, he noted that the development of the industrial centre there, would be integrated with the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry`s program to create a tuna processing centre.
The waters around the Morotai Island contain 160 species of fish with significant economic value and they add up to 148,473.8 tonnes every year.
The abundant fishery resources in Morotai have increased the potential for foreign investments.
Morotai is a well-known island throughout the world, and if its potential natural resources can be promoted with supporting data, it is quite possible that even more foreign investors will be interested in doing business there. (Antara)