Transportation Minister Offers Mandalika to Arabian Investors

MINISTER of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi has offered the development project of Lombok International Airport and Mandalika Tourism Area to 150 investors from Saudi Arabia.

After attending the Saudi-Indonesian Property Investor Conference here on Monday, the minister stated that the cooperation between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia has been long established, which is shown by the ever-crowded hajj and umrah pilgrimage flights. This relationship creates good investment climate in Indonesia.

"This good relationship allows our brothers from Saudi Arabia to invest, have a vacation, enjoy their stay in Indonesia," he noted.

The minister added that he had been in talks with the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Indonesia, who has expressed interest in Mandalika`s tourism in Lombok.

Sumadi added that the government has developed four tourist destinations as the "new Bali," namely Lake Toba in North Sumatra; Yogyakarta; Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara; and Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara.

According to him, in addition to having a good potential to develop, the land prices in those area are still relatively low, making it easy for the investors to expand their businesses.

"The presence of Arab investors and the building of aviation connectivity will increase the number of tourists from Saudi Arabia. In particular, we have a concept for Arab investors in Lombok and Mandalika," he remarked.

Sumadi noted that the tourism management in Mandalika can be preceded by a concession agreement for Lombok International Airport development project.

"We will give investors an opportunity to develop the airport," he revealed, adding that the partnership would enable Indonesia to prioritize flights for Hajj and Umrah.

He mentioned the investment potential in Lombok and Mandalika International Airport to be valued at Rp5-10 trillion (about US$375-750 million).

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Association of Saudi Arab Investors in Indonesia, Habab Alhanaya, stated that Arabian investors should take advantage of the investment potentials in Indonesia.

"God willing, in the future, we will expand business segmentation not only in real estate but also in tourism and other sectors," he asserted.

The Mandalika Special Economic Zone (KEK Mandalika), located in West Nusa Tenggara, began operations after being launched by President Joko Widodo on Oct 20, 2017.

The KEK Mandalika is developed for the tourism industry as well as for natural and cultural preservation. Spread over a total area of 1,250 hectares, the special zone is managed by Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) and offers natural beauty and other attractions.

KEK Mandalika is projected to have two thousand hotel rooms, world-class racing circuits, convention centers, and seven hotels by 2019. [antaranews/photo special]