Friday, 22 January 2010

Malaysian Investors Invited To Participate In Oil Palm Sector In East Kalimantan

Personal note: More examples of the Malaysian palm oil industry inflicting irreperable damage to Indonesia's environment.


From Nashir Mansor
ted To Participate In Oil Palm Sector In East Kalimantan
SAMARINDA (East Kalimantan), Jan 22 (Bernama) -- Malaysian investors have been invited to participate in the opening up of five million hectares of land in Kalimantan province for oil palm cultivation over the next few years.

In extending the invitation, East Kalimantan Governor Awang Faroek Ishak said currently one million hectares are being and would be planted with oil palm in East Kalimantan while the remaining land would be developed with the crop in other parts of Kalimantan.

He said opening up vast tracts of land for oil palm plantations was part of the long-term economic development plans of the East Kalimantan provincial government.

"We want to exploit to the fullest the abundant natural resources in this province. I was told there are already three Malaysian investors who have invested in the oil palm plantation sector in East Kalimantan, developing 50,000 to 60,000 hectares," he told Malaysian journalists from Sabah after a dialogue between him and the Malaysian delegation.

The 10-day visit by the journalists and businessmen to East Kalimantan was sponsored by Berjaya Foundation aimed at exploring investment prospects in resource-rich Kalimantan and to forge closer ties between Malaysians and Indonesians.

The Malaysian delegation was headed by former Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Harris Salleh.

Of the one million hectares to be planted with oil palm in East Kalimantan, about 600,000 hectares have already been cultivated with the crop, the governor said.

Awang Faroek said there were ample investment opportunities for Malaysian companies to venture into plantation and other economic sectors in the province including in power generation.

He said the province did not face manpower shortage woes in the plantation sector and in fact, the current 11 per cent jobless rate in the province would be significantly reduced with the opening up of vast hectarage of land for oil palm estates.

He also said the East Kalimantan provincial government had established an industrial cluster including for oil palm similar to the palm oil industrial cluster in Lahad Datu, south-east of Sabah.

"We've developed our own industrial cluster. You've also developed a palm oil industrial cluster in Lahad Datu. So, Lahad Datu can live, we can also live together," he said.

Awang Faroek said developing the agriculture sector on a commercial scale by opening up large oil palm estates was part of the short, medium and long-term development plans for East Kalimantan and the entire Kalimantan province.

"Hence, the opening up of investment opportunities as wide as possible to foreign investors including from Malaysia," he added.