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May 1, 2017

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Jakarta governor eager to woo Hon Hai

JAKARTA -- Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo is currently focused on luring Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (鴻海精密), the world's largest contract electronics maker, to the Indonesian capital but said Friday all high-tech manufacturers from Taiwan are welcome to invest in the region.

Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn, is reportedly interested in investing US$10 billion in Indonesia in the coming years, starting with a mobile phone plant, and it will soon decide between locating it in Jakarta or Yogyakarta.

In an interview with CNA, Widodo said the Jakarta government was willing to provide land in northern Jakarta for Hon Hai to set up a factory, as well as infrastructure facilities and a high-quality workforce.

Hon Hai asked the government for 200 hectares of land, and Widodo said Jakarta could currently provide 80 hectares of land to Hon Hai and would meet any further needs by reclaiming land from the sea.

Widodo, whom polls indicate could be elected Indonesia's next president in July 2014, described high-tech investment as very important for the city and said he guaranteed Hon Hai help on infrastructure and labor issues.

In more general terms, Widodo said the Jakarta government has tried to make the region more appealing to Taiwanese investors by streamlining application procedures for foreign businesses that allow them to get investment permits within two months.

According to Indonesian government figures, Taiwanese companies invested US$15.12 billion in the country between 1967 and the end of March 2013, making it the ninth largest investor there during that period.

Taiwan was the 10th largest investor in Indonesia in 2012, injecting US$646.94 million into the country.

Taiwanese businesses mainly invest in foodstuff, mineral, basic metal, machinery, textile and trading businesses.

Widodo, 52, has gained media attention for his strong performance as mayor of Surakarta between 2005-2012.

In 2012, he took 3rd place in the 2012 World Mayor Project for "transforming a crime-ridden city into a regional center for art and culture and an attractive city to tourists."

He recently opened sizable leads in polls for the upcoming Indonesian presidential elections, and the Economist predicted he will be elected the country's next president.

To date, however, Widodo's party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, has yet to choose its nominee for the mid-year election.

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