"Ambassador Swajaya has been in Labuan Bajo since Saturday along with two investors, who will invest in Labuan Bajo," Deputy Head of the Bank Indonesia Representative Office in East Nusa Tenggara Muhammad Syarial informed Antara here, Monday.
Syarial explained that Ambassador Swajaya`s visit to Labuan Bajo along with investors, who had invested in Belitung and Jakarta, was a follow-up to the Leaders Retreat of President Joko Widodo and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Thursday (Oct 11).
Syarial added that during the visit to Labuan Bajo, Ambassador Swajaya had met with several officials of the West Manggarai District Administration, Ministry of Tourism, and related stakeholders, including Bank Indonesia representatives in East Nusa Tenggara, West Manggarai Police Chief, state-owned enterprises, and business representatives in Labuan Bajo .
"They have seen first-hand the tourism and investment potentials in Labuan Bajo and visited Padar Island, Komodo Island, and Pink Beach," he remarked.
Labuan Bajo is one of the 10 New Bali launched by the president during the Leaders Retreat in Singapore in September 2017. The Indonesian Embassy in Singapore has promoted the tourism and investment potentials, especially of three tourist destinations: Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Belitung, and Labuan Bajo.
One of the investments promoted by the ambassador is the development of airports to enhance international direct connectivity to Labuan Bajo.
He added that Labuan Bajo and Komodo Island are attractive for visitors from Singapore, including foreigners, who live in the country. They can visit the tourist sites, with twinning destinations visits and cruise tours.
As a popular destination, Labuan Bajo had recorded some 130 thousand tourist arrivals in 2017 yet has limited accommodation, with only 1,250 hotel and homestay rooms.
In the first semester of 2018, Singapore`s investment value in Labuan Bajo was recorded at US$210 thousand for hotels and restaurants. This figure is significant, considering the fact that in 2017, there was no investment in this sector. Some leading international hotel operators plan to invest in Labuan Bajo.
Bank Indonesia representative in East Nusa Tenggara recorded that the realization of Singapore`s investment in the first semester of 2018 increased by 38 percent, from $5.04 billion recorded in the same period in 2017, thereby making Singapore the largest investor in Indonesia in the past five years.
Reporting by Kornelis Aloysius Ileama Kaha
Editing by Libertina