Balikpapan. State-run seaport operator Pelindo IV says it needs Rp 150 billion ($16 million) annually to improve the country’s seaports, part of Indonesia’s efforts to lure more investors to the country.
The state enterprise is set to renovate 24 seaports in eastern part of Indonesia.
The move is intended to boost export and import activities in some of the country’s less-developed seaports, including Papua island.
Tanjung Priok in North Jakarta is the country’s biggest seaport, accounting for about 60 percent of exports and imports in Indonesia.
Edi Nursewan, corporate secretary of Pelindo IV, said that the company had set aside Rp 600 billion this year to improve seaports in the less-developed regions in Indonesia. The funds will be taken from the state budget.
Edi said poor infrastructure at seaports in the eastern part of Indonesia had hampered trade activities and placed a dark cloud over the investment climate by domestic and overseas investors.
“All the seaports in the eastern part of Indonesia are operating under-capacity,” Edi stated.
He said almost all the imports and exports in Indonesia were handled by big ports like Tanjung Perak in Surabaya.
Edi urged the government to expedite the infrastructure projects under the Master Plan for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesia’s Economic Development (MP3EI). Such projects are expected to help boost economic activities.
Under the MP3EI, Indonesia is divided into six corridors — Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Bali-Nusa Tenggara and Papua-Maluku — with each having its own growth area.
“The program under the MP3EI should boost economic growth in the Maluku, Nusa Tenggara region and in Papua island,” Edi said.
The Papua and Maluku corridors will focus on the mining and energy sectors.
Java island will be keyed into industry and services, Sumatra will be used for its natural resources and energy, while mining and energy are from Kalimantan. Sulawesi will be used for its agriculture and fisheries, while tourism and food are matched with Balu-Nusa Tenggara.
There are currently 1,438 seaports in Indonesia.
Pelindo II, which supervises and operates the ports in Java island, is preparing to help Tanjung Priok Port expand and become a hub for Asia. That will be after upgrades to two major container terminals that will allow them to harbor bigger ships and handle a greater number of containers.