It’s up to business: Singapore says on Indonesia’s new capital investment

Singapore DPM Lawrence Wong said investing in Nusantara would be done on a commercial basis, and the Singaporean government would facilitate any companies interested in participating in the project.

Yohana Belinda

Yohana Belinda

The Jakarta Post


Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong speaks during a "fireside chat" with several Indonesian media outlets in Singapore on July 7, 2023.(Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI)/MCI)

July 18, 2023

JAKARTA – The Singaporean government says it fully supports Indonesia’s plan to move the capital city to East Kalimantan, but actual investments will still depend on the country’s businesses and investors.

Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong told Indonesian news outlets on July 7 that investing in Nusantara would be done on a commercial basis and the Singaporean government would facilitate any companies interested in participating in the project.

“We will continue to facilitate such business delegations and encourage them, but ultimately, the businesses themselves will be the ones that make the investments,” Wong said, during a so-called “fireside chat” in Singapore on July 7.

Read also: President again pitches Nusantara to Singapore

Moving the capital is expected to cost some Rp 466 trillion (US$32.6 billion). The project was designed to be funded primarily by public-private partnerships and private investments with the state coffers only supposed to cover 19 percent of the costs.

Indonesia has approached a number of partners in recent years to seek investment in the Nusantara capital city project.

Singapore and Indonesia signed a memorandum of understanding in March regarding cooperation to help Nusantara achieve its green and smart vision, which includes knowledge sharing.

During President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s visit to Singapore, the government said it had bagged 20 letters of intent from the Singaporean private sector about investing in the project.

Ninety-five Singaporean business representatives along with several government officials visited Nusantara on May 30, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan said on May 31 that the city state was a key partner in building Nusantara and he encouraged Singaporean businesses to quickly realize their intention to invest in the new capital.

Read also: Singapore key partner in building Nusantara: Luhut

Singapore’s Second Minister for Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman reiterated that Singapore would be happy to work together with the Indonesian government, citing Singapore’s experience in urban planning and managing infrastructure.

This includes in areas related to sustainability and managing the environmental challenges in the city state, which could be useful in the new capital city, he said.

However, he said Singapore was still awaiting Indonesian direction regarding on how Singapore might contribute and be part of the project.

“[We are] waiting for them to let us know how they think we can be of value to the project,” Osman told Indonesian news outlets also during a fireside chat in Singapore on July 5.

“Indonesia’s success is our success, and the journey that Indonesia would like to embark on in different projects, we will be happy to be part of it, if we are seen as a reliable partner to be part of the project,” he added.

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