Businesses reject Batam Special Economic Zones

Batam, Riau Islands, (ANTARA News) - Businesses rejected the application in Batam of the Special Economic Zone whose concept is now being drafted by the coordinating minister of economic affairs and the Authority of Batam Free Port and Free Trade Area.

"After studying it deeply we concluded that the special economic zone (SEZ) will be established based on more political consideration than economic one," the chairman of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) for Riau Island.

The Apindo chairman said that businesses from various associations in the province prefer to maintain the status of Batam as a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) to becoming a SEZ.

According to the businesses the status of Batam as SEZ will benefit the government while FTZ is more suitable for businesses to build their business spirit.

"We have made comparison one by one and found that FTZ is far better than SEZ," the Apindo chairman said.

Indeed, until now, the implementation of SEZ is still being discussed by the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs who is also the Chairman of the Board of Batam Region, Darmin Nasution.

????? However, this is in contrast with the FTZ that applies thoroughly across the main land Batam.

????? The central government until now is still considering which areas of the island will be included in the SEZ.

????? "If areas that will be included in the SEZ have been decided, then the areas outside the SEZ will be subject to Value added tax (VAT) and luxury tax (PPNBM), and of course, the prices of all goods in Batam will rise again, which will put burden on entrepreneurs and the people," he said.