Bin Laden Group to invest Rp14 trillion in Sulawesi

Antara | August 18, 2008

Kendari, South-East Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - A foodstuff consortium from Middle-East countries planning to investment some Rp14 trillion through Bin Laden Group in South-East Sulawesi province, a senior adviser said here on Monday.

Prof. Dr. La Ode Masihu Kamaluddin, chief adviser for Sultra governor for investment and trade said that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of this cooperation has been signed by the Sulra government and Bin Laden Group in Jakarta last Thursday (Aug 14).

Kamaluddin acted for the Sultra provincial government, meanwhile Bin Laden Group was represented by head of the Middle-East Foodstuff Consortium Hasan Mohammad Bin Laden.

The singing itself took place at the office of chief adviser for President Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono for Middle-East issues, Alwi Shihab.

Kamaluddin said, the investment of food endurance development in Sultra including Foreign Direct Investment (FDA) which requires some 160,000 hectares for rice seeds from Saudi Arabia, along with establishment of farming infrastructures.

"We have agreed on cooperation to provide 80,000 hectares of land. Next, the consortium from the Middle-East will come with seeds, high-tech devices, money and management," he said.

He expected officials Sultra government offcials to identify the most suirable land for the project, soon after the fasting month of Ramadhan, because by that time Bin Laden Group will arrive in Sultra to conduct a survey.

He also said that Bin Laden Group is one of several consortia whose give food subsidy to some Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain.

Kamaluddin said, from 2000 to 2006 world food prices have increased dramatically by up to 75 percent. This caused a food crisis as consequence of global warming and climate change threatening agricultural countries.

Meanwhile the desert nations depend on some developing countries and biggest food producers, like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Thailand, which are currently suffering due to the world food crisis, global warming and climate change.

"At this time, the Middle East countries are now enjoying the global oil price hike, but also facing a serious threat to food security. This is why the Gulf countries are looking at Indonesia as a save place as their long-term `rice barn`," he said.

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