"Increased investments in the border region is very important as it can help to improve the welfare of the local population. We are now studying the regions investment potential," said Lippo Group President Theo L Sambuaga on Saturday (Jan. 21).
He added that explorations to see if the region had any investment potential would be done in the districts of Timor Tengah Utara, Belu and Malaka.
Businesses under the Lippo Group include those in education, health and the retail sector.
Sambuaga stated there are possibilities of establishing a world-class health service, as well as a BPJS (government-subsidized health insurance scheme) scheme for poor people that live along the border region.
With regards to the education sector, he added that Lippo are planning to provide scholarships for promising university students from the region.
"We have already offered scholarships to students at State Timor University (Unimor) in Kafemenanu totaling Rp150 million, this was announced to the university on Friday," he said.
The Lippo Group also has an education division that was involved in the building of 340 schools across the country, as well as a health division that has built several general hospitals.
"We have one hospital in East Nusa Tenggara province and also one in Kupang and another one in Labuan Bajo. We are still exploring the possibilities of building others in the border regions, such as in Timor Tengah Utara and Belu," said Sambuaga.
With regards to the retail sector, Lippo Group includes a chain of Hypermarts and Matahari Department Stores, which they claim to be a boost for local economies.
Its chain of Hypermarts are located across the region, totaling up to 120 stores. There is also a possibility that the company may set up more in Kafemenanu in Timor Tengah Utara or Atambua in the Belu district. The group also has 150 department stores across the country.
"The investment possibilities are there in view of our capacity, in addition to the positive impact our investments will bring for the development of the welfare of the people in the border region," added Sambuaga.
As one of its major stakeholders, he also stated that the Indonesian government shares the same level of responsibility with Lippo in improving the welfare of the local people.
"This is about shared responsibility and I hope that this could motivate other parties to join our efforts. Cooperation between the government and the public is a must," he said.
(Reported by Yohanes Adrianus/Uu.H-YH/INE/KR-BSR)