Jakarta. A Japanese firm has indicated an interest in building a salt factory in East Nusa Tenggara, with a potential investment value of more than Rp200 billion ($15 million), Investment Coordinating Board BKPM said in a statement on Friday (03/05).
Currently, the unidentified company is still conducting research in the area before signing off for the factory construction.
BKPM head Franky Sibarani said the salt factory will create a multiplier effect. "The market potential is huge, that's why the Japanese firm has shown interest," Franky said, adding that the investment will also create jobs and make the country less dependent on imported salt.
Saribua Siahaan, BKPM's promotional representative in Tokyo, said a BKPM team is helping out with the Japanese firm's investment plans. "Our one-stop-service PTSP and online permit service have really sped up the investment process," Saribua said.
Saribua said favorable weather and high salinity levels in the waters off the East Nusa Tenggara coast marked out for the salt factory are the main reasons behind the Japanese firm's interest. “The sea water there is of good enough quality to produce high-quality salt. The location is also quite secluded, construction can start right away,” Saribua said.
According to the BKPM, Japan is ranked third in investment in Indonesia with a recent growth of 95 percent to $8.1 billion. China is in first place with around $22 billion in investment and Singapore second with $16.2 billion.
Realized Japanese investment amounts to $2.87 billion so far with a total of 2,030 projects, employing 115,400 workers. Most of Japan's investment is still channeled to the manufacturing sector—especially automotive, electronics and machinery. Some Japanese investment is also seen in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors.