KOMPAS.com – Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno has assured that Indonesia will never sell an inch of its territory on the Widi Islands in South Halmahera, North Maluku.
The statement was made in response to the news that the Widi Islands, also known as Widi Reserve, will be listed in a global luxury real estate auction marketplace, Sotheby’s Concierge Auctions, from Dec. 8-14.
“As I have said before that the Widi Islands are indisputably part of the Indonesian territory. I want to emphasize that the islands are not for sale,” said the minister during the weekly press briefing in Jakarta on Monday, Dec. 5.
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Sandiaga said that the island would instead be developed into a tourist destination with third-party cooperation. “So the regional administration works together with the third party, the private sector based in Bali to develop investment and accommodation,” he said.
His office and the local administration of South Halmahera are also exploring what will be done in cooperation with the private sector.
“I was informed by its regent that it will be a long-term cooperation between region-owned enterprise and the third party.”
He went on to add that the existing cooperation remains while looking at other investors, too.
“At the moment, it is to attract the foreign investors for the development [of the Islands], so they are not for sale. Not an inch of our territory will be given up because the islands are ours,” he said.
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According to the minister, the Widi Islands have a natural charm of their own and could become the Indonesian version of Maldives.