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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  1 July 2015  

Malaysian developer begins S$1b project an Bintan

Malaysian-based property developer The Haven Sdn Bhd is starting the construction of hotel, resort and condotels projects, namely The Haven Bintan Hotel and Resort, in a 26-hectare area inside the Lagoi integrated tourism area, worth S$200 million (US$148 million) of initial investment.

The Haven Bintan Hotel and Resort, part of The Haven’s eight-year construction project worth S$1 billion of total investment, is the developer’s first project in Indonesia after completing its The Haven Lakeside Residence in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia, last year.

“This is the first investment in Indonesia, targeting upper-class tourists in Bintan. I believe this place can attract more tourists,” The Haven CEO Peter Chan said on Saturday during a ground-breaking ceremony which was also attended by Bintan Regent Ansar Ahmad and Gallant Venture Ltd vice president director Frans Gunara in the construction area in Lagon Bay, Bintan.

Chan said that he chose Bintan rather than Bali or Batam due to the targeted tourist classes and the location, which directly leads to the South China Sea and is only 40 kilometers from Singapore, or around one hour by ferry.

“This [Bintan] is a very beautiful and unique area. I have travelled around the world and found Bintan is very different from any other place. It is suitable for a tourist destination, looking like a ‘Hawaii from the East’,” he said, promising that The Haven would build an environmentally friendly resort without damaging or changing the land’s contours.

The Haven Bintan Hotel and Resort, which will take two years for its first-stage construction, will have eight towers comprising 26 floors each, 1,440 types of studios as condotels, 300 hotel rooms and a convention center with capacity for 1,000 people. It overlooks eight big rivers from eight countries located in the southern part of the South China Sea.

PT Bintan Resort Cakrawala general manager Abdul Wahab said that the 19,000-hectare Lagoi integrated tourism area currently holds 13 premium-class hotels and resorts as well as a golf club which has been operated since the area was first built in 1990 by Indonesia and Singapore.

“We also have spent around US$1.5 billion to build roads, power plants as well as clean water and sanitation facilities,” Abdul said.

Bintan Resort Cakrawala, which manages the Lagoi area, is the subsidiary of Gallant Venture Ltd, which is 51 percent owned by conglomerate Salim Group.

In the area, The Haven will compete with other existing hotels and resorts, including Sanchaya Resort Bintan, Swiss Belhotel Lagoi Bay, Banyan Tree, Club Med and Alila to attract the 324,000 foreign tourists visiting every year.

The Haven’s Chan said that the property business in Indonesia was likely to grow following President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s regulation that allows foreigners to own Indonesian residential assets which are worth more than Rp 5 billion.

“The foreigners only need to buy papers, not the land. It [the regulation] brings an opportunity for Indonesia to attract more investment in property from China, Australia and the US,” he said.

Bintan Resorts’ Abdul also added that the upcoming regulation would boost the country’s property sector, especially Bintan, which mainly targets foreigners.

Meanwhile, Regent Ansar Ahmad said that Bintan’s tourism sector had contributed the most to regional own-source revenue (PAD). From Rp 180 billion of total PAD last year, around Rp 115 billion came from hotel and restaurant taxes and tourism retributions.

“Lagoi tourism area currently holds existing 1,600 rooms and will add 6,000 rooms in the four years ahead. Thus, we are optimistic that the PAD from the tourism sector can reach Rp 600 billion,” Ansar said.

To facilitate the investment process, Ansar has conducted one-stop integrated services (PTSP) for licensing matters in a bid to provide investors with faster and easier processes to invest in the area.

“The upcoming hotels will have a multiplier effect on the area. Now, my duty is to develop the tourism villages outside the integrated area to introduce Bintan’s culture to tourists,” Ansar added.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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