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Putting Our Best Foot Forward

Exhibition Hall or Trade Center for Jl. Gunung Agung Site? Polemic Erupts on Best Use of Land in Denpasar Now Used for Trade Exhibitions.

(8/30/2004) The rumored emergence of a potential investor interested in constructing a combined exhibition hall / trade center on a parcel of land on Jalan Gunung Agung in Denpasar has ignited a debate in the Bali media on what is the best use of a land parcel now used as the site for regular trade exhibitions.

An official from the city-owned market board (P.D. Pasar Kota Denpasar Kota), Mr. I Wayan Darsa, has encouraged the current debate in the planning phase for the future use of the publicly-owned land parcel in order that any eventual end use manages to accommodate the widest interests of the local community.

As a result, numerous elements of the local community are supporting those seeking a trade center that will increase the ability of Indonesian handicraft producers to market their products internationally from a local base. Others have voiced their concerns, underlining the need that the rules of operation for any eventual trade center truly reflect the interest of local traders. There is also a segment that is lobbying for the proposed trade center to incorporate an exhibition hall able to accommodate the growing meeting, conference and exhibition market.

While the debate is likely to continue apace for some time, there does seem a consensus to formalize the use of the land now used for open-field exhibitions into a more permanent showcase and take advantage of the declared interest of investors to develop a trade center cum exhibition hall on the large tract of land controlled by the Municipality.