Papua New Guinea hopes Indonesia holds Border Trade Festival to boost tourism and growth

Festivals such as BTF and other similar ones are aimed at promoting tourism and pushing growth at border areas

The Border Trade Festival (BTF) is seen as a golden opportunity for small and medium business enterprises in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to promote their commodities. Therefore, Port Moresby has called Indonesia through the Papua Province Administration to hold that event in the Indonesia-PNG border.

"Yes, PNG asks us to hold the BTF as we did in 2017," said Head of Border Bureau and Overseas Cooperation at the Papua Administration, Suzanna Wanggai in Jayapura, as Antara quoted, on January 7. Wanggai has yet to confirm when the BTF will be held. However, her side expects that such a festival will take place this year.

Other Festivals Similar to the BTF

Papua New Guinea Pixabay

Besides the BTF, Indonesia also held the Wonderful Indonesia Festival at the Napan cross-country border, Kefamenanu, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), from October 31 to November 1. The event aimed to boost economic growth and creativity of residents living near border areas.

The Nunukan Crossborder Festival was held in July 2019 in Nunukan, a small town in North Kalimantan that borders Malaysia. Residents could enjoy a wide variety of food and entertainment there. Those types of activities can boost tourism in border areas. Also, local business enterprises can use that event to promote their products and services.

Growth Potential at Border Area

An expert stated that the Indonesia (West Kalimantan Province)-Malaysia border areas could contribute 1.6 percent -2 percent to the province's economic growth, thanks to its enormous economic potential.

Dean of Economic Faculty at Tanjungpura University, Pontianak, Eddy Suratman, claimed that if the Jakarta administration had optimized the development in the Indonesia-Malaysia border, West Kalimantan's economic growth could have reached 6.5 percent in 2016.

Palm oil, cacao, mineral and water resources are among sectors that could be developed in the border area, the expert added. He suggested that the government provides support to boost those potential by adding Special Allocation Funds (DAK). The Ministry of Cooperative Unit, Small and Medium Enterprises (Kemenkop UMKM) has partnered with National Agency on Border Management (BNPP) to boost the potential of SMEs in border areas by providing training and capital support, Antara reported.