Indonesia to lease thousands of small islands to foreign investors

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Indonesia has announced plans to let foreign investors lease and manage uninhabited islands across the large archipelago in a move aimed at developing them into tourist destinations, local media reported.

According to Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, the government will not only allow foreigners or foreign firms to manage the islands but even give them the right to name them. He, however, ruled out that foreigners would be given land titles.

“While Indonesia will retain ownership, foreign investors keen on a qualifying island can lease it and give it any name they want, as long as they report to us,” Panjaitan said, adding that out of all of the many uninhabited islands in the country, about 4,000 have the potential to become tourist destinations.

He said that investors from Japan and Singapore have already signaled interest in the programme, In a first step, Japanese investors will be granted the right to manage the island of Morotai, which is part of eastern Indonesia’s Maluku Islands. The plan is to make the island a destination for elderly Japanese.

Altogether, Indonesia has registered nearly 14,800 islands with the United Nations. The CIA fact book puts the number of islands even at 17,508, with about 6,000 of them being inhabited. An earlier survey by Indonesia’s aeronautics and space institute even suggested the nation has over 18,300 islands.

But their are also critical voices. The Chairman of the People’s Consultative Assembly, Zulkifli Hasan, reminded that Indonesia is a sovereign state and said that foreign investors who are interested in managing islands in Indonesia must also preserve Indonesia’s sovereignty and should be allowed to settle on such an islands only for an established period of time. Ownership should never be switched, he added.

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Indonesia has announced plans to let foreign investors lease and manage uninhabited islands across the large archipelago in a move aimed at developing them into tourist destinations, local media reported. According to Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, the government will not only allow foreigners or foreign firms to manage the islands but even give them the right to name them. He, however, ruled out that foreigners would be given land titles. "While Indonesia will retain ownership, foreign investors keen on a qualifying island can lease it and give it any name they want, as long as they...

Reading Time: 1 minute

Indonesia has announced plans to let foreign investors lease and manage uninhabited islands across the large archipelago in a move aimed at developing them into tourist destinations, local media reported.

According to Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, the government will not only allow foreigners or foreign firms to manage the islands but even give them the right to name them. He, however, ruled out that foreigners would be given land titles.

“While Indonesia will retain ownership, foreign investors keen on a qualifying island can lease it and give it any name they want, as long as they report to us,” Panjaitan said, adding that out of all of the many uninhabited islands in the country, about 4,000 have the potential to become tourist destinations.

He said that investors from Japan and Singapore have already signaled interest in the programme, In a first step, Japanese investors will be granted the right to manage the island of Morotai, which is part of eastern Indonesia’s Maluku Islands. The plan is to make the island a destination for elderly Japanese.

Altogether, Indonesia has registered nearly 14,800 islands with the United Nations. The CIA fact book puts the number of islands even at 17,508, with about 6,000 of them being inhabited. An earlier survey by Indonesia’s aeronautics and space institute even suggested the nation has over 18,300 islands.

But their are also critical voices. The Chairman of the People’s Consultative Assembly, Zulkifli Hasan, reminded that Indonesia is a sovereign state and said that foreign investors who are interested in managing islands in Indonesia must also preserve Indonesia’s sovereignty and should be allowed to settle on such an islands only for an established period of time. Ownership should never be switched, he added.

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