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Indonesia lures Australia to invest in '10 New Bali' tourist destinations

Jakarta Post - February 11, 2020

Jakarta – Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) head Bahlil Lahadalia has offered potential investment opportunities in Indonesia's 10 new tourist destinations, dubbed the "10 New Balis", to the Australian government.

In a visit to Canberra on Sunday, Bahlil had the opportunity to meet with Australia's Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Simon Birmingham, among other officials.

Bahlil revealed that Australia was interested in Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara and Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, where Indonesia's 2021 MotoGP motorcycle race is set to take place.

"There are so many Australian tourists coming to Bali. We expect Australian businesspeople to develop the two areas so that the tourists are not only coming to Bali but also to Mandalika and Labuan Bajo," Bahlil said during the visit, according to a BKPM statement made available to The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

Besides tourism, Bahlil is also offering potential investment opportunities in education, mainly in tourism and medical education, to the Australians.

Bahlil said he envisioned Australia cooperating with Indonesia to build high-quality educational institutions and/or vocational schools in the 10 New Bali areas.

The visit was a follow up to the Australia-Indonesia Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), which is expected to push the two countries to become the "economic powerhouse" of Asia-Pacific.

Indonesia also hopes to be a hub for Australia and other countries – in the sense of making products from raw goods coming from Australia and exporting them to, particularly, the Middle East market.

In response, Birmingham said that he was interested in developing supporting infrastructure in the said areas.

The Indonesian government is aimed at achieving Rp 446 trillion (US$32.58 billion) worth of investment, with construction work targeted to start this year.

"We have the omnibus bill that can push forward the investment process. This is what we've offered to them. The law allows the BKPM to issue all permits on investment and fiscal incentives," Bahlil said.

Bahlil accompanied President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo for a bilateral visit to Canberra on Sunday and Monday. The President was on a state visit and attended an Annual Leaders Meeting in Australia.

Between 2015 and 2019, Australia only invested $1.8 billion making it the 12th-largest investor in Indonesia. (gis)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/02/11/indonesia-lures-australia-to-invest-in-10-new-bali-tourist-destinations.html