STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT. The Nusantara Capital City (IKN) Authority has revealed its vision for ecotourism in the new city, embracing a sustainable urban forest concept. IKN Authority head Bambang Susantono assured media representatives in a briefing with the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry that the green space covering 65 percent of the capital area of 256,000 hectares would not be reduced and that tourism would not damage the local ecosystem.
Instead, the focus would be on innovative development aimed at establishing Nusantara as a distinctive tourist destination, he said, proposing “Indonesia X” as a brand for the tourism program.
Malaysia’s federal government has grand plans to further develop the country’s rail network including a train link to Indonesia’s Kalimantan province. Transport Minister Anthony Loke said Sabah and Sarawak have a plan to build a rail connection to Kalimantan.
“In terms of key areas in Sarawak, they will connect a few cities along their coastal line, like Kuching to Sibu, Sibu to Bintulu, and Bintulu to Miri. That is, of course, the major corridor of all the cities,” he said on the sidelines ofthe Women in Rail Malaysia Conference. Loke said Sarawak can be a gateway for Kalimantan in terms of goods and maritime trade if there is a rail link.
More than two hours by air from Jakarta, and another two-hour drive from Balikpapan airport, a new city is appearing the middle of Borneo Island’s vast rainforest. Next August, Indonesian President Joko Widodo will shift some government functions to the new capital, Nusantara. Widodo plans to hold next year’s Aug. 17 Independence Day celebration outside the new presidential palace, just before his term ends in October 2024.
With only a year to go before the relocation, a senior government official recently expressed big ambitions for the relocation: to make the new capital an economic hub by attracting a nucleus of businesses from various industries, including renewable energy and health care.
Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi presented the Nusantara national capital city (IKN) development project at the Meeting of Governors and Mayors ASEAN Capital and ASEAN Mayors (MGMAC-AMF) in Jakarta. “This is a manifestation of Indonesia’s commitment to transforming into a more inclusive and sustainable future, with IKN being the first city in Indonesia,” Retno explained.
When President Jokowi met Chinese businessmen in Chengdu, he offered investment opportunities in the new national capital city (IKN). Jokowi admitted to preparing 24,000 hectares of land in the IKN for the health and education industries. According to the government, the total funds needed to build the IKN in East Kalimantan are around IDR466 trillion, with required investment approximately IDR362 trillion.
At least 167 companies have expressed interest in investing in the new capital city as of now. The government is offering a variety of incentives to attract more investors, ranging from business licensing to exemption from imported goods for the construction.
Nusantara National Capital Authority (OIKN) Chair Bambang Susantono met with Shenzhen Mayor Qin Weizhong to discuss concrete cooperation between Indonesia and China. Bambang welcomed the Shenzhen Mayor’s offer of assistance in helping to contribute to the new capital development and construction.