President pledges to follow up on Lhokseumawe economic zone

Banda Aceh (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has pledged to follow up on the proposal to develop Lhokseumawe special economic zone to promote economic growth in Indonesias westernmost province of Aceh.

"I have participated in the discussion with Aceh Governor Zaini Abdullah for transforming the Lhokseumawe industrial zone into a special economic zone," he noted at the provinces Sultan Iskandar airport here on Friday during a stopover on his way to state visits to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Qatar.

He revealed that the KEK (special economic zone) proposal would be followed up to boost economic growth in the province.

During the short visit, President Jokowi had discussed several issues including the KEK proposal and the plan to develop the Iskandar Muda airport in Blang Bintang into an international transit airport.

"We hope these programs will be implemented smoothly," he remarked in the company of Aceh Governor Abdullah.

President Jokowi and his entourage arrived at Sultan Iskandar Muda airport in West Aceh at around 12:35 p.m. local time aboard a presidential plane and were welcomed by Aceh Governor Abdullah, Head of State Wali Nangroe, Malik Mahmud, Chief Inspector of Aceh regional police General Husein Hamidi, and Iskandar Muda regional military commander Major General Agus Kriswanto.

While at the Sultan Iskandar Muda airport, the president and his entourage performed Friday prayers in the airport compound before meeting the Aceh governor.

Abdullah expressed hope that the Lhokseumawe KEK would be immediately realized and was awaiting the decision letter from the central government on the development program.

"We hope the decree will be issued immediately, and with the presidents presence here today, the program could be realized soon," he affirmed.

The presidential aircraft left Aceh for the Middle East at 1:45 p.m. local time. (*)