JAKARTA, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia is pushing forward the plan to make three cross-border areas in Riau province - Batam, Bintan and Karimun - as an integrated economy zone to accommodate investors from neighboring Singapore.
Indonesia Tourism Minister Arief Yahya hailed the plan, saying that it would also positively promote tourism in the cross-border areas.
"Batam, Bintan and Karimun have vantage position for the planned integrated economy zone. They were very close to Singapore and Malaysia. Those two countries were the gates for foreign countries before entering Indonesia," the minister said on Wednesday.
He said the establishment of the zone would further boost tourism in Riau province, adding that the province has operated world-class hospitality accommodations.
To support the government plan, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto has encouraged Riau provincial administration to provide maximum assistance in improving business atmosphere in those three designated areas.
Thanks to Indonesia's steadily positive economic growth with positive outlook, he said many Singaporean investors are now seeking industry and business in Indonesia that can be invested in areas other than Java.
According to the minister, Singapore has been topping foreign investors' list in Indonesia with a total investments of 9.2 billion U.S. dollars last year.