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New autonomous regions encourage increased investment competitiveness in Papua

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By : Hendrik Pattipawae )*

The New Autonomous Region (DOB) in Papua has indeed provided many benefits, apart from for the local community the division of the New Autonomous Region of Papua is also useful for encouraging increased investment competitiveness in Eastern Indonesia.

The division of the Papua autonomous region increased, initially there were three regions namely South Papua Province, Central Papua Province and Highlands Papua Province. However, recently the government has added 4 new autonomous regions (DOBs), namely, Southwest Papua Province, so with these divisions many people will find it easier to get welfare and facilities. 

Not only that, the division of new autonomous regions has also triggered high investment competitiveness in Papua. Acting Governor of West Papua, Paulus Waterpauw invited all the people of the Arfak tribe to participate in and fully support the programs that will be realized by the Government of Indonesia. They are also expected to participate in accelerating local regional development in the future. 

This is because currently the Government of Indonesia continues to be aggressively pushing to increase West Papua’s investment competitiveness. Together with a number of people from the Arfak Tribe at the IV customary meeting, they were able to formulate ideas to solve social problems. 

Some of them are very important to discuss, namely regarding stunting that needs to be overcome, recording of electronic KTP, and conveying aspirations. These ideas can be conveyed through the Head of the Big Arfak Tribe Doweek Mandacan to then be forwarded to the local regional government (Pemda). This aims to open up space for local indigenous peoples to be able to convey constructive suggestions or criticism.

Regarding increasing investment in Papuan land, the Financial Services Authority (OJK) in Papua and West Papua, together with the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) and securities companies, have provided a gallery of available capital market investments that students and the local community can take advantage of. . 

The head of the Papua and West Papua OJK, Muhammad Ikhsan Hutahaean, said that his party continues to encourage additional capital market galleries to be added which aims to provide an understanding to the public about financial services. Besides that, things like this also prevent fraudulent investments that can harm society. In fact, they will also properly educate the Papuan people about financial services, so that they can later sort out products that could harm themselves or the community.

The positive impact on the presence of investment in the region is to solve social problems, one of which is extreme poverty and unemployment in the region. 

Acting Governor of Southwest Papua Muhammad Musa’ad said that if investors manage to enter there, then they will reap a lot of workers, automatically the community will also generate income that can support their families or fulfill their daily needs. With the investment coming into Papua and Southwest Papua this time it will help improve the welfare of the local community, poverty and unemployment rates can be overcome.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Investment or Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Bahlil Lahadalia explained that Papua would focus on tourism and investment. Several cities in Papua that have the potential to be divided include Biak Numfor, Waropen, Yapen Islands, and Sarmi. The four districts that have been mentioned focus on tourism and investment in the fisheries sector. 

The target to be achieved is the export of tuna, yellowfin, bluefin, crab, shrimp, and several other types of fish with potential. The Regent of Biak Numfor, Herry Ario Naap, hopes that in the future Papua Sail Cendrawasih Bay and other regions will become the axis of Indonesia’s economic growth in the Pacific for the future eastern region.

There are lots of potentials presented by Eastern Indonesia for investors to look at. Another thing to consider is that eastern Indonesia is capable of boosting the country’s economy, one of which is through the Association of Sotheast Asian Nations (ASEAN Summit) Summit which was held in May 2023 in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara Province (NTT). 

Papua, which has extraordinary natural wealth, certainly has the potential to be managed even better. Even though they have not yet established cooperation, the Provincial Government of Papua has received visits from other countries that have the potential to attract investors. With the 2023 ASEAN Summit they have been facilitated by samples of products that have advantages such as typical Papuan coffee, sago sticks, noken bags, and bark. 

These various kinds of things are one of the opportunities for Bumi Cendrawasih to become a stimulus for Indonesia in terms of embracing business partners to expand business networks that can be recommended, so that later with the expansion of the new autonomous regions it can make it easier for investors to invest in Papua.

)* The author is a Papuan student living in Bali

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