President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo decided on Tuesday to develop a special economic zone in Sorong, West Papua, as part of fulfilling his promise to pay more attention to the development of the easternmost region in the country.
“Development in Papua, both Papua and West Papua, needs to be accelerated. Not only to improve connectivity by building roads, bridges, airports and ports, but also to create industrial zones and centers of economic growth,” Jokowi said, adding that he had instructed related ministries to speed up development in the region.
In preparation for the special economic zone, Jokowi has instructed his Cabinet to ensure the feasibility of land-acquisition and infrastructure and transportation development, as well as support the necessary supply of power.
Separately, Sorong Regent Stepanus Malak said that the development of infrastructure and facilities in the special economic zone would require Rp 5 trillion (US$373.9 million) in investment. Currently, there are 12 companies in the regency, including international oil and gas company Petrochina, as well as several companies from Japan, Korea and Australia.
“The core business in the special economic zone will be palm oil processing, timber processing, fisheries, petrochemicals and oil refineries,” he said.