Indonesia to begin construction on a new capital project soonest this year

ASIA: Indonesia intends to relocate its capital from Jakarta, which is overcrowded, polluted, and sinking, to East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo. The move is also intended to redistribute economic activity and development away from Indonesia’s richest island, Java.

 Despite criticism that its construction could threaten one of the world’s oldest rainforests, Nusantara, Indonesia’s New Capital project, is being planned as an environmentally friendly city that will use entirely renewable energy.

 According to recent reports, the cost of building the new capital from the ground up is estimated to be between $32 billion and $34 billion, with funding still far from being secured. Softbank, a former potential backer, has stated that it will not participate in Nusantara’s funding.

 According to Bloomberg News and the country’s minister of public works and housing, Basuki Hadimuljono, Indonesia’s government will begin construction of the first government buildings in its new capital, Nusantara, in August. Infrastructure development, including water systems, sanitation, and toll roads, will also begin, according to the minister.

 The Asian Development Bank has stated that it will “mobilize” funds to assist Indonesia in establishing its new capital city, and Indonesian officials have even proposed crowdfunding as one source of funding.

 “What matters most is that we want to be Indonesia-centric, not Java-centric,” Indonesian President Joko Widodo stated recently. “When we draw a line from west to east and north to south, this East Kalimantan province is the center point,” he added.

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