A Special Economic Zone for Sumatra


In a region where the economy revolves around crude palm oil exports, it makes completely good sense to diversify products and to climb the value-add ladder. In Sei Mangkei, such plans are being implemented. Its success will encourage more such zones to be created, and that can be best assured through the study of best practices that have developed internationally.

Penang Institute was recently invited to the National Conference on North Sumatra’s Government-Industry Coalition, held in light of the region’s current plan to develop a Special Economic Zone (KEK) in Sei Mangkei. Organised by the University of North Sumatra (USU) and sponsored by Support for Economic Analysis Development in Indonesia (Seadi/Usaid), the event took place on September 27-28 in Pematang Siantar, Simalungun, North Sumatra.

A pact signing ceremony was held to mark the event as being particularly significant to the building of stakeholder commitment to the successful implementation of the KEK. Representatives from central and local governments, the private sector and academia, including economist Prof Anwar Nasution, the first post-Suharto era auditor-general of Indonesia, signed the pact and contributed to the lively discussions.

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