Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has asked Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed to join the steering committee of Indonesia's planned new capital city.
The President made the request at a bilateral meeting during his working trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday night.
"[The crown prince's] position has not been determined yet, but he will act as part of the steering committee along with a number of other names," Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, who accompanied Jokowi on the trip, said on Monday, as quoted by kompas.com.
"The President emphasized that in the construction of the new capital, the construction of government building and facilities would be funded entirely by the state budget, while other construction will be funded by private sector funds and investment," he continued.
Previously, Luhut had said that the UAE government had prepared US$22.8 billion to invest in Indonesia through a sovereign wealth fund together with Japanese conglomerate SoftBank and the United States International Development Finance Corporation.
"During the tete-a-tete the President talked about the sovereign wealth fund and the crown prince repeatedly said that Indonesia is a close friend [of the UAE] and that Indonesia is the country with the largest Muslim population [in the world]," Luhut said on Sunday as quoted by the official Cabinet secretary website. "So, [the UAE] wants to contribute to Indonesia."
He said that the UAE would also invest in the construction of the new capital city in Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan, through the sovereign wealth fund.
Luhut added that the crown prince expressed an interest in investing in development in Aceh.
"They really want to [invest] in property in Aceh. So next week we will speak with the Aceh governor and other officials there because there are several requirements for [the UAE] to [invest]," he said.
Jokowi first announced the location of the new capital in August, and then-national development planning minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said the relocation would be complete by 2024, at an estimated cost of Rp 466 trillion ($32.7 billion). (kmt)