INDONESIAN provinces in the Sumatra islands have reduced bureaucracy in the hope of attracting more investments from within the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT).
Four top delegates to the IMT-GT meeting in Kangar said the central government in Jakarta had delegated more administrative powers to governors of provinces to jumpstart macro-economy policies ravaged by the currency crises in 1997.
The four Riau Governor Saleh Djasit, Jambi Deputy Governor Hasip Kalimudin, Bangkulu Governor Hassan Zan and Acheh Governor Abdullah Puteh said this after paying a courtesy call on Perlis Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim yesterday.
Saleh said Riau province, for example, offered faster approval for projects such as plantation schemes, agriculture projects, infrastructure, energy and water supply utilities.
Hassan said Bangkulu province was the least developed, with no air linkage to Medan, the biggest city in Sumatra.
Hence, there is good potential to tap such areas as agriculture, tourism and mining minerals (gold and coal).
He said the province was undergoing transformation as the government worked on enhancing its economic potential following the severe recession in 1997/1998 that had caused a major change in government and economic policies.
Hassan said that since 1991, the red tape had been reduced as the local authorities worked towards solidifying their relationship with the private sector and foreign investors.