Jakarta. Indonesia's Investment Coordinating Board, or BKPM, kicked off an economic conference in Manado, North Sulawesi, on Monday (22/05), as part of the government's strategy to attract additional investments to the area.
The event, called the "Manado International Conference on Tourism Investment," will run until Wednesday, when local and foreign investors will be able to explore opportunities in the hospitality, logistics, transportation, retail and education sectors in the region.
"So far, there are representatives from 27 foreign companies who have asked for a one-on-one meeting with the regional government," Himawan Hariyoga, BKPM's deputy chairman for investment promotion, said in a statement.
The coordinating board expects as many as 250 investors to attend the three-day event, which will feature keynote speeches from BKPM chairman Thomas Lembong, Tourism Minister Arif Yahya and Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi.
The board also took the opportunity to introduce emerging investment opportunities in Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi, and Morotai, North Maluku.
Manado is located in North Sulawesi, about 2,170 kilometers – or a three hour flight – from Jakarta. In fact, Manado is closer to Manila in the Philippines and Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei than it is to the nation's capital.
Despite Sulawesi's vast geographical distance from Java, however, the government has been hard at work to attract greater investments to the island and to other, more remote regions of the archipelago.
Foreign direct investments into North Sulawesi reached $151.49 million in the first quarter of 2017, compared to just $17.61 million in the corresponding period last year, while local investments totaled Rp 257.6 million ($19,400).
The coordinating board will look to attract investments — both foreign and local — totaling Rp 678.8 trillion this year and Rp 860 trillion in 2018.