"The draft revision has been completed, and we await the president (Joko Widodo) to ink the document. Once it is signed, the two special trade zones will be operational," the ministry's infrastructure acceleration and region development deputy, Wahyu Utomo, stated in Jakarta, Monday.
While awaiting the revised version of the government's regulation (PP), the chairman of the special trade development/the Coordinating Minister of Economy Airlangga Hartarto had contacted officials and stakeholders to prepare for the launch of two special trade zones in Batam Island.
In 2019, the authority approved the construction of two special trade zones, including a maintenance and repair facility for aircraft at the Hang Nadim International Airport and a digital hub in Nongsa.
"At the Nongsa digital park, we will collaborate with the US smartphone manufacturer Apple," the deputy remarked.
Once a thriving free port and bonded industrial zone, Batam Island had attracted investment reaching billion dollars regulated by an independent Batam Development Authority. Under the authority's rule, investors enjoy tariff cuts as well as a facility to acquire lands and licenses for business.
However, since the regional election was launched in 2001, Batam was ruled by a local government that stripped parts of the authority's power over the island. The dualistic administrative authorities in the island has led to years of confusion and uncertainty among investors.
Since President Joko Widodo took office for a second term in 2019, his administration had planned to merge the two authorities and change the status of the island, from a free trade zone to a special economic zone.
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