Sorong (ANTARA) - Vice President Ma'ruf Amin has expressed hope that the Southwest Papua Government will accelerate the revitalization of the Sorong Special Economic Zone (SEZ) to accelerate economic development in Indonesia's youngest province.

"The SEZ provides opportunities to boost economic growth, so the provincial government must invest maximum effort in revitalizing the zone to optimize its functions and potentials," he remarked.

He made the statement during the groundbreaking ceremony for the development of the Southwest Papua Government's Office Center in Sorong City on Monday (July 17).

Amin urged the provincial government to ensure that it has prepared the necessary strategic steps to revitalize the SEZ, enabling immediate development of the zone.

Previously, the central government had issued an ultimatum to the provincial government, stating that the SEZ status would be revoked if the development target is not achieved by December 2023.

"The central government has issued a warning, so I call on all stakeholders to formulate a strategy for the comprehensive improvement of the SEZ," he stated.

Amin emphasized the need for Southwest Papua to expedite the revitalization process not only to comply with the central government's ultimatum but also to maximize the SEZ's potential for the strengthened economic growth of the new province.

"The province should have already prepared and implemented the necessary steps. There should be no further delay," he stressed.

To accelerate the revitalization of the SEZ, the Southwest Papua government will form a joint team comprising officials from the provincial and Sorong District governments.

The team will be responsible for accelerating the development of the SEZ's infrastructure and facilities, as well as facilitating the process of obtaining land certificates at the SEZ location to further advance the zone.

"As the SEZ is situated in Sorong District, the provincial government will collaborate with the district government in revitalizing the zone," said Muhammad Musa'ad, Acting Governor of Southwest Papua.

He affirmed that the Sorong district government is not solely responsible for the maintenance and development of the SEZ, adding that the provincial government will support the Sorong government in accelerating the development of the zone through strategic measures.

"I want to emphasize that the provincial government will assist the Sorong district government in developing the SEZ," he noted.

Regarding the required development budget, Musa'ad stated that his government will coordinate with the Sorong government.

"We cannot confirm the exact budget amount yet. However, we assure you that the budget is ready, and we will coordinate it with the Sorong government," he pointed out.

Regarding the December 2023 deadline, President Joko Widodo has encouraged the provincial government to work more diligently in developing the Sorong SEZ.

"I have coordinated with Mr. President (regarding the SEZ development), and he has given us an opportunity (the December 2023 deadline) to invest even greater efforts in developing the SEZ through strategic steps," Musa'ad affirmed.

According to Government Regulation (PP) No. 31 of 2016, the Sorong SEZ covers an area of 523.7 hectares. The zone was inaugurated by former coordinating minister for economic affairs Darmin Nasution on October 11, 2019.

The main activities in the Sorong SEZ include nickel processing, palm oil, forestry and plantation (sago) products, as well as the development of logistics warehousing. The SEZ is projected to provide employment for 15,024 workers.

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Translator: Yuvensius Lasa, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Anton Santoso
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