Manado, N Sulawesi (ANTARA) - The Bitung Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in North Sulawesi Province is eyeing to attract investment primarily in the pharmaceutical, coconut, and fish processing industries, Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution revealed on Monday.

"The pharmaceutical sector is part of the targets. Why? This is since several pharmaceutical industries have expressed keenness," he informed journalists prior to bearing witness to the inauguration of three SEZs in eastern Indonesia, held in Manado.

President Joko Widodo inaugurated the three SEZs of Bitung in North Sulawesi, Maloy Batuta Trans-Kalimantan in East Kalimantan, and Morotai in North Maluku at the Sam Ratulangi International Airport area

The minister believed that the Bitung SEZ, with an allocated land area of 534 hectares, is aimed at drawing the pharmaceutical, coconut, and fishing processing industries, whereas the other two SEZs have set their sights on other industrial sectors, including energy and tourism.

The Morotai SEZ, constructed on a land area measuring 1,501 hectares, is looking to draw the attention of investors in the fish processing and tourism industries, partially to tap into its rich historical heritage of the World War II and innate beauty in addition to its proximity to Papua.

Nasution stated that the Maloy Batuta Trans-Kalimantan SEZ is zeroing in on investors from the crude palm oil and energy processing industries to support the development of SEZs in case land availability were to be guaranteed.

Total investment of Rp35 trillion is estimated to be absorbed by the Bitung SEZ, while Rp37 trillion by the Morotai SEZ, and Rp37 trillion from the Maloy Batuta Trans-Kalimantan SEZ, Nasution remarked.
During the inauguration of the three SEZs, President Widodo affirmed that the zones were focused on ensuring equitable development and drawing foreign direct investment into Indonesia.

"This is for realizing equitable development in the eastern region - in North Maluku and North Sulawesi," the president remarked while inaugurating the three SEZs, the Manado Christian University of Indonesia (UKI) Flat, and the State Islamic Istitute of Manado Flat.

In a bid to support the Bitung SEZ development, the Committee for Acceleration of Priority Infrastructure (KPPIP) shed light on the fact that several infrastructure projects were being implemented.

According to data on the committee's official website, the infrastructure construction projects implemented to support this SEZ are the construction of a 39-kilometer-long Manado–Bitung Toll Road, Bitung International Hub, and Bitung Perikanan Samudera Seaport. EDITED BY INE

Translator: Agus Salim, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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