Malaysia’s Minister of Industry and International Trade Dato Sri Mustopa Mohamed has said his country was keen to strengthen economic cooperation with the Riau Islands provincial region of Batam, Indonesia.The Malaysian minister, who met the deputy head of the Management Board of Batam (BP Batam) Jon Arizal on Monday as part of his visit, discussed various issues, including Malaysia’s interest to invest in Batam.
Mustopa Mohamed, who was visiting Batam for the second time, was accompanied by Malaysia’s Economic Adviser in Singapore, Syed Mohd Faisal Syed Mohd Dardin.
Malaysia is keen to invest in certain sectors that it finds potentially attractive, such as industry, trade, hotels and tourism.
Batam Island, developed as an industrial area since 1971, boasts of seven international-standard golf courses, with 70 star-hotels and two marinas to cater to tourists.
So far, in terms of golf course destination, Malaysian tourists prefer Jakarta and Bali, the neighboring country’s minister stated, explaining that Malaysia will also help promote Batam’s tourist resorts among Malaysian visitors.
Jon Arizal stated that Batam used to be a bonded zone but was later turned into a Free Trade Zone and a Free Port of Batam, as a result of the Government Regulation No. 46, 2007.
“All licenses for foreign investments are handled by BP Batam. The largest investment came from Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, the US and South Korea,” Arizal disclosed.
Batam has been registering an economic growth of more than percent, exceeding Indonesia’s national economic growth which continues to languish at under five percent. –Antara.