Business

KGG & Sinar Mas to build
RI’s largest convention
center

Indonesia’s largest media conglomerate, Kompas Gramedia Group (KGG), and property developer, Sinar Mas Land, agreed on Thursday to jointly build Indonesia’s largest convention center with a total investment of about Rp 1.5 trillion (US$175.5 million).

Speaking to reporters after the signing of the cooperation agreement, Ishak Chandra, one of the senior directors of Sinar Mas Land, said the 150,000 square meter convention hall would be built on 25 hectares of land in Bumi Serpong Damai City (BSD City), in South Tangerang, near Jakarta.

“Construction of the convention center, which will be named Indonesia Expo, is expected to start next year and should be completed by the end of 2013,” Ishak said.

Danny Budiharto, director of Dyandra & Co., a KGG subsidiary which engages in convention business, said that the convention center will be equipped with facilities, including three hotels, 10 halls, a concert hall with a capacity of 10,000 people, a theater and a museum.

“The center will be able to accommodate at least 200,000 visitors a day,” he added.

Danny said that the convention center would be built in a strategic location which could be easily accessed from Jakarta, adding that with such a location, it might cause traffic jams.

Jakarta has two major convention and exhibition halls in Senayan and Kemayoran, which have been known to cause gridlock when events take place. So too with BSD City, a popular housing complex in a Jakarta suburb, which is also known for its traffic congestion during peak hours.

Ernst K. Remboen, deputy chairman of the Indonesia Exhibition Companies’ Association (Asperapi), lauded the plan, saying the new convention hall would help promote the meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition (MICE) business in the country.

“With the new hall, a lot more exhibitions, both domestic and international, can be held within a year, and it offers new business opportunities, as well as jobs.

“We have several established fairs exhibiting furniture, textiles and handicrafts. There are a great many opportunities in sectors such as mining, maritime and printing that need to be developed,” Ernst said.

Asperapi recorded 324 exhibitions this year, up from 265 last year.

The Indonesia Expo in BSD City will be the fourth convention center to be operated by KGG’s subsidiary, Dyandra & Co., after: Gramedia Expo in Surabaya, Gramedia Expo in Medan, and Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center. A fifth center, Gramedia Expo in Makassar, is currently under construction.

KGG, Indonesia’s largest media conglomerate, has diversified its interests to include hotels, real estate development, convention business, education and tissue paper production.

Sinar Mas Land, through its publicly listed subsidiary PT Bumi Serpong Damai Tbk, manages and develops BSD City. (swd)

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