Kendari, SE Sulawesi, (ANTARA News) - Vice Presidential Candidate Sandiaga Salahudin Uno said that Sweden and Belgium are potential markets for Southeast Sulawesi`s cocoa production.

"Indonesia has fertile land, resilient human resources, and abundant natural resources, both on land and in the sea," Uno stated during a dialogue with the millennial community in a coffee shop in Kendari City on Monday.

He hoped that entrepreneurs would take part in encouraging cocoa production in Southeast Sulawesi, because they can open jobs and provide welfare for the people.

"We are all optimistic that the potential of plantations and agriculture in the regions can bring prosperity. Cocoa quality of Southeast Sulawesi, which has been known since the 90s, can compete with other countries` cocoa commodities," Uno noted while visiting PT Kalla Kakao`s warehouse in Konawe Selatan District, Southeast Sulawesi.

If the Kalla Kakao industry runs normally, it is certain that it can encourage regional economic strength and absorb local labor.

Uno, who is the running mate of Presidential Candidate Probowo Subianto, did not provide details on the size of the export potential. Yet, he pointed out that the market opportunity for cocoa commodities not only exists in Sweden and Belgium but also in other European countries.

The Chairperson of Southeast Sulawesi Legislative Assembly (DPRD), Abdurahman Shaleh, meanwhile remarked that the region`s economic growth reached 6.8 percent, higher than the national average growth of 5.8 percent.

"The natural resources owned by Southeast Sulawesi provide promising life expectancy for the people as long as they have high work ethics," Shaleh revealed.

The ranks of local government, people`s representatives in parliament, and the people of Southeast Sulawesi, in general, are always looking forward to the presence of investors who are serious about investing their capital.

Reporting by Sarjono, Andi Abdussalam

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Sri Haryati
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