BATUBARA – Kuala Tanjung Industrial Estate located in Batubara Regency, North Sumatra Province, was originally designed to be a Western International Port Hub. Then initiated into a superior area with various industries and supporting facilities, so that Kuala Tanjung has a bright and promising future.
Strategic geographical location, Kuala Tanjung area directly facing the Strait of Malacca, so it strongly supports the potential of Kuala Tanjung which is able to become an industrial area and an advanced port, even able to rival the Tanjung Priok area of Jakarta.
Sumut Economic Observer from the University of North Sumatra (USU) Wahyu Ario Pratomo said Kuala Tanjung Industrial Estate (KIKT) does have an important role for economic growth in Coal Regency and North Sumatra Province as well as the Republic of Indonesia.
“If this area can develop, it will be extraordinary. Because the economy is going forward. And certainly, create new business fields and able to absorb a larger workforce,” said Wahyu Ario.
Wahyu who is also regional economy of the Ministry of Finance North Sumatera mentioned, Coal including districts whose contribution to gdp Sumut is quite large, even entered the top 5 in North Sumatra. If sorted again, the largest donations of Coal District are sourced from the companies that are there.
“It means that the contribution of companies such as Wilmar, Pelindo, and Inalum is very large for the GDP of Coal Regency and Sumut Province,” said Wahyu last week.
In fact, Wahyu also mentioned, if KIKT has developed and there are various industries, it will give a considerable multiplier effect for Coal Regency and North Sumatra Province. Surely there will be a growing new economy around it, such as emerging restaurants, real estate, trade, services, malls, hotels, and so on.
“If it has developed this will invite many people to come to Coal, so the economy in Batubara will experience a surge. If it soars of course the multiplier effect will be even greater. Because right, the ends are consumed. If the consumption is high, then investors will enter again. So the economy in the region will continue to rotate,” he said.
In addition, Wahyu continued, this will trigger the birth of new strategic areas and new economic growth outside Mebidangro (Medan-Binjai-Deliserdang-Karo). There will be Simalungun-Batubara-Asahan. It’s like a golden triangle.
According to him, services will increase, such as banking services, education, health, and other services will appear. So it’s all going to move.
“The processing industry can drive tertiary businesses such as trade, hotels, restaurants, finance, and other services. Education and health will also move because it has a strong appeal,” he said.
However, Wahyu said, it can be realized if all infrastructure, as well as facilities and infrastructure provided for the special area, are available and can be fulfilled.
Wahyu said, for the infrastructure is almost complete and certainly already available. But not only road infrastructure, but also other infrastructures such as electricity and gas supply guarantees.
Then other supporting infrastructure facilities such as telecommunications, housing, hospitals, schools should also have started to be prepared in the vicinity of the area.
“This should have been welcomed. Who wants to invest can be hastened. Indeed, the investment must be large. That big investment doesn’t necessarily have to be government money. The private sector will be interested if there is a guarantee from the government as a regulator,” he said.
Wahyu mentioned the guarantees needed by investors include guarantees of licensing management, getting special incentives, especially taxation, guarantees to obtain raw materials, and others.
“During this time that is often an obstacle, the existence of people in licensing that makes investors reluctant to enter. Similarly, tax incentives and promised facilities must be implemented in accordance with its implementation. It should be because this is in a Special Economic Zone, so the treatment is also really special, not the terms and conditions apply,” he said.
Need Incentives for Investors
Meanwhile, senior economic observer Of Sumut Prof. Bachtiar Hasan Miraza also agreed that Kuala Tanjung Industrial Estate can be the pride of the people of North Sumatra and North Sumatra Province itself.
According to him, the presence of large companies in Kuala Tanjung will be the trigger for the birth of other industries that are able to open jobs and improve the economy for north Sumatra province, especially the Batubara Regency.
Moreover, he continued, North Sumatra has the potential of agriculture, plantations, and industries supported by adequate transportation facilities, seaports, and international airports, as well as other supporting services.
“The opportunities are quite large and very good if all three sectors run in one direction so that they fill each other. But the challenge is that local governments can create a conducive business climate. So that investors of all three sectors can work efficiently and productively. Plantations and agriculture support the industrial sector,” he said.
Professor of the Faculty of Economics USU said that the potential of Kuala Tanjung Industrial Estate is very large and wide, but it remains how the policies and regulations of the local government are implemented correctly and provide special incentives to investors.
“Policies and regulations are enough. The government’s intentions are also clear. Stay incentives and guarantees of certainty for investors only. The important thing is to incentivize non-economic such as a safe business climate so that investors work calmly. Believe me, however, North Sumatra has the potential, if non-economic incentives do not exist, investors will not come. The potential does not guarantee investors to come,” he said last week. According to Prof. Bachtiar Hasan Miraza some large companies in Kuala Tanjung that already have a good reputation can be used as capital to attract new investors.
According to him, the government should provide services and incentives to existing companies in order to develop better as a promotion to attract investors to establish industries in Kuala Tanjung. Because good service to existing industries becomes a measure to attract investors to come and set up new industries.
“Good service to the existing industry makes their performance improved. Good performance will encourage the influx of new investors,” he concluded.