Island shopping Indonesian style

The Indonesian government has offered the islands of Tinjil and Delih to investors from Iran, and a couple of islets off the Natuna Islands and Central Sulawesi to investors from Oman as sites for crude oil storage facilities. These islands were being offered as a viable alternative to Singapore, which is planning to ban the storage of such products from 2005.

The head of the Indonesian government's Committee for the Efficient and Optimal Use of Small Islands, Muchrim Hakim, believes that the country has the potential to make use of 3,800 of the 17,000 islands that make up the Indonesian archipelago. Indonesia would also build the necessary facilities on the islands to make the idea a feasible one.

Muchrim believes that the islands would be the perfect for countries that wanted to store crude oil in Indonesia before marketing them to Asia Pacific countries like China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan due to their proximity to those markets.

A small island is defined as a geographical body with a maximum area of 2,000 square kilometres, and with a population of less than 200,000.