Evarianus S, Mecca Yumna, Manokwari – Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia has urged regional governments in West Papua Province to implement a healthy bureaucracy and offer security guarantees to attract entrepreneurs to invest in the region.
The main reason for the low interest in local investment is the complicated bureaucracy, lack of security guarantees, and difficulties in ensuring certainty of land rights, he noted during a meeting at the Swissbell Manokwari Hotel on Wednesday.
The meeting was attended by officials from the provincial government and all district and city governments in West Papua.
"Firstly, security must be guaranteed. Secondly, the bureaucracy from officials who have the authority (must be improved); the third problem in almost all parts of Papua is the issue of buying and selling land, which is complicated. How would investment come in if all three are not met?" he asked.
According to the ministry's data, in 2021, West Papua was expected to attract an investment of Rp3.78 trillion. However, until December 2021, only Rp1.11 trillion of the target could be realized.
As a result, the target set by the central government for West Papua, in terms of growth and investment in 2022, was reduced to Rp2.74 trillion.
He said that in terms of investment prospects, West Papua is far behind all provinces in Indonesia. This is considered very ironic since West Papua is rich in natural resource potential.
"West Papua's investment (prospect) ranks last of 34 provinces in Indonesia," he added.
The minimum investment received by an area would have a direct impact on economic growth in that region, he said.
Meanwhile, West Papua's economic growth in the first quarter of 2022 experienced a contraction of minus 1.01 percent.
"In provinces where investment is lacking, economic growth is definitely weak. The negative contraction that occurs is due to the lack of people's purchasing power, affected by their income. This condition can only be addressed by creating job opportunities that are accommodated by investment in the regions," he elaborated.
The minister urged regional leaders to support investment in their respective regions so that West Papua's economic growth can continue to improve in the future.
Big investments, both domestic and foreign, must be integrated with business actors in the region so that local entrepreneurs do not only sit and watch in their own country, he said.