Surabaya, East Java (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, has voiced support for accelerating the recovery and increasing the resilience of the national economy by investing in exports and imports through the strengthening of special economic zones (KEKs).

"We hope that the KEK strengthening will continue to run," the minister said while joining the 2023 Indonesia Special Economic Zones Forum via virtual means. The forum was held in Surabaya, East Java, on Thursday.

He noted that KEKs are being prepared through the development of areas with geoeconomic, geostrategic, and several advantages to support the development of an import-export industry with high added value.

"Of course, the special economic zones must have competitiveness at the global level. The government will provide support, including fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, such as tax holidays, tax lawyers and customs services, immigration, labor, land access, and other incentives," he added.

Therefore, Hartarto said he hopes that all related parties would work together to improve the national economy.

"I hope that good cooperation and synergy will continue to be enhanced in line with global economic and geopolitical challenges. I also hope that KEK can become a center for strong economic growth in Indonesia," he added.

On the same occasion, acting secretary general of the KEK National Council, Susiwijono Moegiarso, said that his party is targeting to increase investment in the manufacturing industry in Gresik, East Java, to around Rp120 trillion in the next 5 years in order to boost national economic growth.

"However, based on our current calculation, the Rp120 trillion target has been achieved at the Gresik KEK," he informed.

Therefore, Moegiarso, who is also serving as the secretary of the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, said that the ministry will place a number of manufacturing industries in East Java.

"If the manufacturing industry enters East Java, the next step is to design the electric vehicle ecosystem here. We will build all the equipment needed in East Java," he informed.

This will allow the gross regional domestic product, which has fallen in recent years, to increase due to the existence of a manufacturing industry like the one established in Gresik, he said.

"We want KEKs to become a source of inclusive economic growth; we will encourage their development, especially in East Java, with 2 KEKs and 20 KEKs nationally because the fiscal incentives are really extraordinary," he added.

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Translator: Abdul H/Naufal Ammar I, Resinta S
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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