The government of Indonesia has been focusing on developing Papua and West Papua rapidly throughout the years. The economic welfare of Papua has developed rapidly so far due to improvement not only in infrastructure that ensures better activity in the area, but also the implementation of Special Economic Zone (Kawasan Ekonomi Khusus). The SEZ approach has been started since 2015 to create four zones in Papua, namely Sorong, Raja Ampat, Merauke and Teluk Bintuni.
These four zones are integrated together to better focus on the development of Papua. The facilities and infrastructure there are more focused so that it gives a better and faster result. From manufactures, residence, production land to commercial centres, various infrastructure development is done in these areas. The development doesn’t stop right there, because decent transportation systems will also be built in these areas namely airports, harbours, highways and railways.
Other than supporting economic welfare by easing growth in the areas, this is also done to promote the areas into investors. Each of these zones is focused to give their biggest potential, therefore having a different business section to focus on. These economic activities are hoped to give better jobs to local people as well, and eventually stimulate the growth of Papuans, including smaller enterprises as well.
Quick View of the Zones
Sorong has been chosen as one of the Special Economic Zone as it is one of the big cities there with 500 hectares area. The industry that will be focused on in this zone is marine as the city borders with the sea directly. Imports will be done in this area as the airport runways will be extended to support economic welfare. The city is indeed strategic for building economy welfare in Papua.
On the other hand, Raja Ampat will be focusing on tourism. The city has been well-known all over the world for its beautiful natural sceneries. Therefore, there will be more resorts in the island that is supported with roads and transportation system development. There will be more to enjoy in this area to attract more visitors to come and spend time in Papua.
The next zone is Merauke, which focuses more on farming and manufacturing. Lastly, Teluk Bintuni will be used to focus on smelter as well as petrochemical industries. The roles of each zone will support economic welfare through all-around development in Papua. These organized strategies have received interests from investors so far. Hopefully, West Papua will become one of the big cities in Indonesia with a growing economy.
What Investors Can Bring to Papua
Foreign investors have been associated negatively, yet this could be beneficial to a developing country where some industries are getting hold because of the limited fund. These investors will help give more opportunities for development to the locals, which will be good for Papua in the long run anyway. From technology to market competition, this will affect Papua in a good way. However, it is better if local investors are interested in investing in Papua as well. The rise of financial literacy of Indonesians might affect this as well.
In addition to the economy, through this Special Economy Zone, other aspects that would rapidly increase in performance are human and natural resources, technology, as well as securities that Papua needs. The commitment of the government towards building Papua is going to help speed up the process of bettering this province. President Jokowi has given written instruction to develop Papua and West Papua with acceleration, putting 25 ministers to ensure that the goals can turn into actions as fast as possible.
This includes the Minister of National Development Planning, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Communication and Informatics, the Minister of Social Affairs, and other ministers in Indonesia. They are collaborating by handling their own tasks to ensure everything works as strategically as possible. From developing the budget for the program, ensuring the effectiveness of the policy, to public service support, all of them are working together to achieve prosperity development in Papua and West Papua.
President Jokowi also has five approaches that he takes so that the Papua and West Papua development running better, focusing on the policy and regulation side. That also includes renegotiating with Freeport Indonesia, which has been their agenda for years, but agreements have finally been achieved. Freeport agreed to share and commit to building facilities as well as changing the work contract.
Papua is a part of Indonesia and the central government is doing everything it takes to ensure that Papua is growing, so that the indigenous Papuans can live in better economic welfare. This is not only a province worth of development, but it is also a part of social justice to prove to the rest of the nation.