Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – Former British prime minister Tony Blair has said he is confident Indonesia's new capital city will be a special place, describing the capital relocation plan as an outstanding vision for Indonesia as well as an inspiration for the whole world.
"I think the project is enormously exciting. It's going to be a project that doesn't just mean creating a new capital city, but a capital city that is going to be very special in the way that it's developed," Blair said after a meeting with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Friday.
The former British prime minister has been appointed to join the steering committee for the new capital city development project, alongside SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son and United Arab Emirates (UAE) Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed al Nahyan.
What would make the new city special, Blair went on to say, was the fact it would be built by not only prioritizing environmental considerations, but also the country's economic growth and development.
"The President's vision for this capital city is one in which the city itself is going to be attractive. It's going to be a place where people want to come, live and to work, [and] also a capital city that is able to offer a whole new dimension to the Indonesian economy," he said.
Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan announced after Friday's meeting that the government would work with American engineering company AECOM, consulting firm McKinsey & Company and Japanese architectural and engineering firm Nikken Sekkei to design the new capital city.
The new capital city, which is set to be located in East Kalimantan, is to be designed with the latest technology and an environmentally friendly concept.
The government stated earlier that the project would cost Rp 466 trillion (US$34.06 billion), with one-fifth of the funds to come from the state budget.
The UAE government is also prepared to invest $22.8 billion in the project through a sovereign wealth fund, alongside SoftBank and the United States International Development Finance Corporation. (dpk)