The government has hinted that state-owned infrastructure financing firm PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (SMI) will provide finance to non-traditional sectors, particularly tourism, in line with the former’s push to develop new tourism destinations.
It needed to expand its reach beyond construction of traditional infrastructure such as roads, said Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, whose office holds full ownership of SMI.
“We should get into new sectors apart form the traditional ones […] The government wants to build tourist destinations comprehensively,” she said on Wednesday.
Amid its ambitious goal to attract 20 million foreign tourists by 2020, the government is developing 10 emerging destinations nationwide, including Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi and Morotai in North Maluku.
The move is slated to be supported by various funding sources, including the state budget, regional government budgets, state-owned enterprises and private investors.
Sri Mulyani underlined the importance of infrastructure pertaining to accessibility at tourist destinations, such as airports and roads, as well as basic infrastructure like sanitation.
She pointed out that Manado, North Sulawesi, which has been a rising star among Chinese tourists, had no proper hospital. “SMI can be the catalyst to build [the destinations].”
It has been involved in 141 projects across the country so far, funneling Rp 421.8 trillion (US$30.7 billion) since its establishment in 2009, with electricity infrastructure and toll roads making up the majority of the projects.
It has also been participating in financing part of the Trans Java toll road, connecting Semarang and Solo in Central Java, amounting to Rp 785 billion.
Other projects that SMI is also engaged with are the Trans Sumatra toll roads and the Greater Jakarta light rail transit.
Apart from project financing, it has also become an enabler for public private partnership projects, such as Palapa Ring and the drinking water system in Umbulan, East Java.
SMI financing and investment director Edwin Syahruzad confirmed that going forward, the company sought to provide financing for the tourist sector.
“We want to see [financing] for the Mandalika area,” he said.
Although Edwin declined to elaborate on the amount, he said SMI’s financing for tourism areas, like Mandalika, would be complementary and not be a substitute for existing options.
One of the options is loans from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to the Indonesia Tourism Development Corporate, the authority in charge of the Mandalika development.
SMI might come in to provide bridging or apply other schemes, Edwin said.
Despite extending its working areas, he said, the company might still boost financing in two main sectors, namely electricity generation and toll road construction.
Previous reports show that SMI plans to funnel Rp 50 trillion to infrastructure projects this year, up from expected year-end result of Rp 39.5 trillion last year.