Serene view of Kuta Beach, part of Mandalika tourist area, in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. (Shutterstock/File)
After 29 years of being in limbo, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo finally officiated the Special Economic Zone (KEK) Mandalika in Central Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara on Oct. 20.
Mandalika is one of the Tourism Ministry’s 10 Priority Destinations, also known as 10 New Balis, and the inauguration marks the beginning of tourism development in that area.
For 29 years, Mandalika had been dealing with land acquisition problem. It wasn’t until the President released a presidential instruction (inpres) that the regional administration in Mandalika could finally deal with the acquisitions that took only two months to get done.
The development of KEK Mandalika is a huge program and provides job opportunities for the locals.
Moreover, Jokowi wanted for all parties involved in the development to focus on five things. First, ITDC as the developer is the one who’s responsible for managing Mandalika.
Second, the design layout should be nice and clear; ITDC also needs to set an area for souvenir shops.
The next one is to strengthen local content over international design, “Don’t build Spanish-inspired houses. Lombok has a strong architectural style,” said Jokowi.
The fourth one is directed toward Tourism Minister Arief Yahya, as the President wanted him to support the presence of cafés, restaurants, homestays and public toilets that fit the international standard.
The last one is to give a timeline for investors, “They have to start their investment project within six months, if not then revoke their permit. There are still plenty of investors who want to invest in Mandalika,” said Jokowi.
Up to 10,000 rooms are set to be available in Mandalika. Around 2000 of them are going to be built in 2017. Plans are also in store to build a world-class circuit and a convention center that is expected to be done by 2019.
“KEK Mandalika is developing the infrastructure worth Rp 250 billion [US$18.5 million] in capital. The investment value is so far at Rp 13 trillion,” said Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution who attended the inauguration.
A total of Rp 4.1 trillion of investment is currently pouring in from some developers, including Pullman, Clubmed, Paramount, X2, Royal Tulip, Loth H7, Shaza (Moslem Friendly Cluster) and Vinci Development Cluster. (kes)