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Taiwan, Indonesia expected to sign agreement on Morotai's development
Central News Agency
2012-12-03 09:44 PM
Jakarta, Dec. 3 (CNA) Taiwan and Indonesia are expected to sign an memorandum of understanding in the next few days on a plan to jointly develop Morotai Island, one of Indonesia's northernmost islands, sources familiar with the case disclosed Monday. Taiwan's representative to Indonesia Andrew Hsia is currently in Taipei and is expected to sign the agreement with Indonesian officials in the next few days, the sources said. Once the agreement has been signed, the relevant Indonesian authorities will begin efforts to lobby Taiwanese enterprises to invest in Morotai, the largest island of the Maluku archipelago in eastern Indonesia. Morotai, located 2,600 kilometers from Taiwan, has a population of 50,000 and an area of about 2,400 square kilometers. With abundant fishery resources and a well-preserved coral reef ecology, the island is regarded as a good place to develop logistic and tourist business. The joint development was first proposed by Fadel Muhammad, Indonesia's minister for maritime affairs and fisheries, to Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou in July 2010 when he was on a visit to Taiwan. Under the proposal, Indonesia plans to transform the remote island into a special economic zone housing an international harbor and an airport, with the aim of creating a regional transportation center. Hsia, Taiwan's de facto ambassador to Indonesia in the absence of diplomatic ties, signed a letter of intent with his counterpart Ahmad Syafri in September stating that the two countries will cooperate with each other to develop Morotai Island. (By Jay Chou and Elizabeth Hsu)
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