West Papua is now flourishing like it has never before. From infrastructure development and economic growth, to improvement in welfare and health facilities. Thanks to the latest National Medium Term Development Plan, both the West and the Papua regions become a top priority. Something that should have been done decades ago.
The development program under the latest administration aims to improve not only the supporting infrastructures. But also to significantly improve the quality of life of Papuans, both from the economic point of view and welfare. Said program comprises of development plans such as Sorong Special Economic Zone, One-National Fuel Price, Sea-Toll, and Trans Papua Road.
Initially skeptical about the commitment of their own government, now Papuans no longer question their seriousness. For such a long time, the eastern region of Indonesia often felt like a step children. Despite being one of the richest regions in the world for a large variety of natural resources. More than 25-percent of its total population live under the poverty line, lacking in the most basic infrastructures.
On top of that, the economic growth of both West Papua and Papua region declined, going from bad to worse. In 2014, statistics showed that these remote provinces only recorded 1.8-percent of growth. As comparison, for years in the past, the region managed to record an impressive 14-percent growth. This steady trip down the ladder finally woke up the government from its trance.
With the current development plan, the Papuans have seen rapid improvement. Not only in the sense of new infrastructures, but also quality of life. Their economic development has been improving albeit slowly. As one of the popular idiom says, “slow and steady win the race.” The Indonesian government clearly adopted the concept with its development plans.
Slowly but surely, West Papua manages to recover and shows a favorable trend. The region annual economic growth is now recorded at 7.97-percent, which is a 0.76-percent increase in a single year. By steadily improving every sector involved and developing or upgrading supporting infrastructures, this favorable growth is predicted to continue.
The decreasing rates of the population living in poverty perhaps become the major highlight of this successful program. Despite the fact that the development stage is still ongoing, positive changes can already be seen and enjoyed by many. Lukas Enembe as the governor of Papua said that there is a 1.88-percent decrease in poverty rate.
This is not to say that the rapid growth can only be enjoyed in Papua, however. The province of West Papua also experienced similar positive impact. According to statistics released by the Central Bureau of Statistics of West Papua, the decrease in poverty rate is 0.53-percent. Meaning the number of people living below the poverty line has decreased from 26.26-percent to 25.73-percent in a year time.
West Papua’s Human Development Index undoubtedly keeps increasing as result. From 57.25-percent, to a whopping 61.73-percent in the span of a year. Such improvement undoubtedly makes for an incredibly positive impact. Not only in the area of welfare enhancement, but also the human development area. Brighter future undoubtedly awaits ahead of the hopeful Papuans.
Located along the equator line making West Papua one of the best places for tourism. Perhaps being a remote island region comes with its perks, the natural beauty is untouched. With vivid crystalline waters, virgin environment, and a large variety of marine species. This region has recently gained traction with many divers and keen adventurers making West Papua as their destination.
With booming tourism sector, West Papua will benefit from the latest development program in more ways than one. Soon the hidden gem will be more easily accessible. But tourism sector is not the only economic potential of this region. Even long before the tourism sector gets the attention it deserves, West Papua has benefited from its vital economic industries.
· Mining industries
The region boasts becomes one of the key mining industries next to South Africa. Yes, West Papua indeed becomes the number one and largest gold mining industry in the world. Not only that, it also becomes the second largest copper-mining industry. The mining areas are laid from the border of Papua New Guinea, to Mount Grasberg.
· Palm oil industries
Situated along the equator line also makes it the home of a myriad of natural resources. With lush greeneries and a large amount of palm trees all-year around, it’s no wonder that this tropical island also becomes Indonesian’s main palm oil producer. This popularity quickly spreads and many palm oil manufacturers became to flock in.
· Agricultural and fishing industries
When it comes to the agricultural sector, many may not know about the region’s prowess in handling it. Crops such as Wamena’s Coffee, cocoa, seaweed and yam are among the things that the government has been exploiting thus far. All of which have been wonderfully well-developed in various prominent areas in West Papua.