Investment Opportunities in the Indonesian Province of Papua

Investment opportunities in Papua are still welcome. Foreign investors have been predominant players in the mining, chemical, utilities, transportation, industrial estates, and fisheries sectors.

Minerals

Quite apart from the ongoing search for oil and gas, Papua’s rich mineral resources are likely to continue to attract investors interest, especially as improvements in transportation and communications facilities enhance accessibility to wider regions of the province. Even today, two mineral reserves are thought to offer bright prospects: granite in Manokwari Regency and marble in Paniai Regency.

Other mineral investment opportunities include chalk and limestone in Manokwari Regency, and quartz sand, limestone, and clay in Jayawijaya Regency.

Agribusiness

Value-added processing of various agricultural products continues to offer opportunities. While Jayapura Regency is considered particularly suitable for the development of cocoa estates, nearby Biak Numfor regency has been earmarked for further development of cocoa processing, both for cocoa products such as butter and powder, and chocolate products.

Additional investment in palm oil processing is a further opportunity in a number of areas of Papua, such as Paniai, Fak- fak, Sorong, and Manokwari. Other investment openings in commodities include sugarcane, coffee, cashew nuts, sago, integrated coconut industry, and rubber. All these offer scope for downstream industrial processing. For example, palm oil and coconut oil open the door to the production of oleo chemicals, while rubber can be processed into crumb and other forms.

Livestock fattening for slaughter is a growing business, that not only contains good prospects in its own right, but also offers scope for other investment, such as animal feed, tanning of hides, leather products, etc. Prospects for deer farming exist in the Merauke Regency.

Finally, and as with many other regions of Indonesia, only a small fraction of Papua’s fisheries potential has been realized. Sorong, Biak and Merauke regencies all offer tremendous prospects for further fish processing, especially ot tuna and skipjack.

Tourism

Papua has so much to offer to visitors that it is difficult to know where to start. The island of Biak and its offshore islets, at the very top of the Biro’s Head Peninsula of Papua, is destined for development as a major international marine resort. Further east, the city of Jayapura serves as the main gateway to the vast interior of Papua, including tours to the Baliem Valley in the central highlands-home of the colorful Dani and related tribes and to the Asmat region. Further south lies Merauke, lndonesia’s easternmost town, surrounded by terrain, flora, and fauna that are virtually an extension of Australia. Besides all these are the province’s unique national parks, forest, snow-capped mountains and many other attractions.

All told, Papua presents opportunities to developing various types of tourism-from sea-basad activities to ecotourism, adventure trips and cultural expenenccs. Investment in infrastructure, accommodation, recreational and leisure facilities, and well-packaged tours will be required 10 get the best out of the enormous potential.

Infrastructure

All aspects of Papua’s development, but especially the industrial sector, requires further investment in basic infrastructures roads, airports, harbors, power, water, etc. While this is particularly the case for the main centers of industry and population, it is also true if other more isolated, yet promising areas are to be opened up.

It is estimated, for example, that the province’s many rivers have the potential to generate up to 22,000MW of electricity. The Mamberano River alone is thought capable of powering a hydroelectric plant with a capacity of 4,000MW and is already attracting the interest of some international power companies.

Apart form basic infrastructures, further industrial development offers scope for additional investment in industrial estates and processing zones. Several locations have been identified as feasible sites, such as Sorong, Manokwari, Biak, Jayapura, Nabire and Merauke.

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