By Agustinus Beo Da Costa
JAKARTA, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Indonesian tycoon HaryTanoesoedibjo, a business partner of former U.S. presidentDonald Trump, launched on Monday construction on a movie studioas part of a tourism complex on Java island that is set toreceive tax breaks.
Lido City is the umbrella project located around 60 km (37miles) south of the capital Jakarta in the Bogor area, where theTrump Organization will operate luxury villas, a resort and agolf course.
The project has been designated a special economic zone(SEZ) for tourism, which means it can benefit from corporate taxcuts, luxury goods sales tax cuts and get some leniency onpermits, PT MNC Studios International said in a statement.
"For around 1,000 hectares in Bogor Regency, a specialeconomic zone permit has been obtained," MNC Group executivechairman Tanoesoedibjo said in a text message, adding the moviestudios will be wholly controlled by his company.
Tanoesoedibjo told local media he hoped the Movielandstudios will become a creative hub and Indonesia's version ofHollywood.
Indonesia's National Council for Special Economic Zones,which recommended President Joko Widodo approve the status,projected Lido City could attract $2.4 billion in investment and3.17 million tourist per year through 2038.Businesses investing 1 trillion rupiah ($71.92 million) ormore in SEZs are eligible for tax holidays of up to 20 yearsthat could be extended for two more years with a 50% tax cut.It was not clear whether the Trump Organization would benefitfrom tax breaks since MNC has not disclosed any profit-sharingschemes over the management of the properties. TrumpOrganization is also partnering with MNC on another project inBali.
In a 2019 visit to Indonesia, Donald Trump Jr dismissed anyrisk of conflict of interest in the Southeast Asian country andsaid the projects were among the last the Trump Organizationsigned up before his father became president. (https://reut.rs/2N7qClh)
The former U.S. President kept ownership of his globalbusiness empire, but handed off control to his two oldest sonsthrough a trust while in office.
Meanwhile, MNC Group is undergoing debt restructuring afterSingapore's High Court on Jan. 29 ratified a bond restructuring,which will involve holders exchanging $231 million of notes forshares or new bonds, Refinitiv publication IFR said.($1 = 13,905.0000 rupiah)(Additional reporting by Fransiska Nangoy and Tabita DielaEditing by Ed Davies)