21 May 2015
SINGAPORE: Singapore has welcomed efforts by Indonesia to review the Batam, Bintan and Karimun (BBK) Free Trade Zone.
Jakarta is considering moving administrative control of the zone back to the capital. Meanwhile, the Economic Development Board told Channel NewsAsia that it welcomes the interest and the continued emphasis by the Indonesian central government to develop the area.
The islands of Batam, Bintan and Karimun became a free trade zone in 2007, with businesses enjoying customs and tax exemptions. However, the area, which is a joint project between Singapore and Indonesia, has not lived up to its potential.
… “What happened in 1998 when the Suharto regime collapsed – the change in Indonesian politics at that time whereby the local government gains big power – this is regional autonomy,” said Mr Adri Wanto, Research Associate Fellow at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “This is the beginning of dual authorities in the Free Trade Zone area, and until now this problem is not resolved.”
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 18/11/2015