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Indonesia open to foreign investment in projects for new capital city

Jakarta Post - May 3, 2019

Bambang Nurbianto, Jakarta – National Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said Indonesia welcomed foreign investors for the development of a long-debated new capital city, a plan revived by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Monday.

"We will give priority to domestic resources, but we do not close the door to foreign investment," Bambang, who also heads the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas), told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

When chairing a Cabinet meeting on Monday, Jokowi decided to push an old plan to relieve Jakarta of its function as the capital and confer that status onto another city, outside of Java. No decision has been made yet on which city that may be, but Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan has been discussed as an option.

During the meeting, Bappenas presented its initial study on the capital city relocation plan. The ministers discussed possible cities that could become the new political and government hub, amid environmental concerns and overcrowding in Jakarta.

The move is estimated to cost between US$23 billion and $33 billion.

Bambang said the financial resources to develop the new capital would come from the state budget, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and the private sector, through public-private partnerships (PPP) and private investment.

When asked whether China would be interested in investing in the city's development, Bambang said Bappenas was not looking at any specific country as a funding source.

"Why do you suggest just China? The study carried out by Bappenas does not foresee [contributions from specific] countries but focuses on the types of activities that could be done in collaboration with third parties," Bambang said.

He explained that the PPP scheme was preferred for developing the infrastructure in the new city, while SOEs and private parties were expected to invest in the residential facilities and commercial areas.

"Meanwhile, the state budget is prioritized [as the funding source] for developing basic infrastructure like clean water facilities, waste management, roads and public transportation," Bambang said.

He noted that Bappenas had not yet concluded its study on moving the capital. (bbn)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/05/03/indonesia-open-to-foreign-investment-in-projects-for-new-capital-city.html