TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Manado International Conference on Tourism (Invest Manado) held by the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) has resulted in business agreements worth US$400 million.

The BKPM chairman Thomas Lembong reveals that the business agreements prove that Indonesia’s tourism sector is developing nicely.

“Business agreements and investment commitment resulted [at the conference] are concrete proofs of the government’s efforts to draw more investment,” Lembong said in Manado yesterday.

That includes agreements between Chinese investors and Indonesian businessmen to build hotels, apartments, shopping malls and diving centers in South Manado worth US$200 million and granting of investment expansion permit to US investors for cottage and tourism development in Raja Ampat worth US$200 million.

According to Thomas, the business agreements were exclusive of potential agreements reached in a one on one meeting which will so far be attended by companies from China, Japan, Singapore, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and South Korea.

“The one on one meeting will bring together companies and local governments to discuss their investment interest,” he added.

The meeting will also be attended by officials of seven embassies and business associations from China, Thailand, Australia and Japan.

Invest Manado is aimed at providing an overview of North Sulawesi investment potential and promoting tourist attractions in Manado.

Data from the BKPM show that foreign direct investment (FDI) in tourism sector continues to increase over the years. In 2014, investment in tourism sector was only recorded at US$673.1 million. It increased slightly in 2015 to US$723.5 million and jumped by 63 percent to US$1.19 billion in 2016.

As of the first quarter of 2017, foreign direct investment in the tourism sector has reached US$440 million.