JAKARTA, INDONESIA — In a bid to attract potential investors for the Archipelago Capital (IKN), the Indonesian government recently hosted a visit to its construction site, welcoming officials and 130 businessmen from Singapore.
The visit is aimed to provide firsthand insights into the progress of IKN and to persuade investors to participate in the development of the new capital city.
Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, and Chairperson of the Special Task Force for the Acceleration of Investment in IKN, personally guided the Singaporean delegation and entrepreneurs throughout the visit.
Accompanying the Singaporean businessmen were the Minister of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR), Basuki Hadimuljono, the Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore, Suryopratomo, Singapore Ambassador to Indonesia, Kwok Fook Seng, and Head of IKN Authority, Bambang Susantono.
The group had the opportunity to explore three key locations within the IKN construction site, including the IKN Zero Point, the West Side National Axis, and the Construction Workers Residential complex.
Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan emphasized IKN’s strategic investment potential to the entrepreneurs, highlighting the existing legislation that supports the relocation of the capital and ensures the project’s continuity regardless of changes in leadership.
The government has identified nine investment locations, known as Planning Area (WP) 1 to WP 9 within IKN, offering various opportunities in sectors such as green energy, building materials, infrastructure, transportation, health, and education.
To facilitate investment, the government is actively acquiring land in multiple areas of IKN, with a target completion date of 17 July. Luhut stressed the importance of transparency, data-driven decision-making, and thorough audits in the land acquisition process.
Following this visit, Minister Luhut has scheduled two additional meetings with Singaporean businessmen. On 5 June, he will present the potential and investment opportunities of IKN at two forums in Singapore.
Subsequently, on 7 July, President Joko Widodo will address Singaporean entrepreneurs in a speech. These engagements are part of the “Singapore Mission to Nusantara” and build upon the commitment expressed during the “Leaders Retreat” between President Joko Widodo and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in March 2022, where Singapore pledged its support for IKN’s development.
In a significant milestone, the IKN Authority and Singapore’s Center for Livable Cities (CLC), an organization under Singapore’s Ministry of National Development, signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a livable city within IKN by 16 March 2023. The agreement focuses on fostering collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and capacity building, with CLC playing a vital role in realizing sustainable and livable cities within the new capital.
Kwok Fook Seng, the Singapore Ambassador to Indonesia, lauded the visit for providing Singaporean businessmen with a firsthand experience of IKN’s environmentally friendly development promoted by the Indonesian government. He expressed his optimism that the visit would generate interest and attract entrepreneurs not only from Singapore but also from the global ecosystem of entrepreneurs based in Singapore.
Meanwhile, Suryopratomo, the Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore, revealed that two public exposés on IKN had already taken place in Singapore, generating interest among entrepreneurs eager to learn more about the opportunities within IKN.
Suryopratomo highlighted IKN’s strategic appeal, as it has been a long-term project with a total investment value of approximately US$32 billion over more than 20 years. Currently, 24 Singaporean companies have expressed their interest in investing in IKN and have submitted letters of interest or letters of intent (LoIs) to the Indonesian government. The visit aimed to convert this initial interest into concrete investment agreements, progressing from LoIs to memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and investment agreements.
Among the visitors were James Chan, CEO and Co-founder of Ion Mobility, a company specializing in electric motors. Chan expressed his interest in expanding his company’s market to the new capital city, given the potential opportunities presented by IKN. He mentioned the possibility of partnering with local entrepreneurs or exploring alternative avenues to establish a presence in the region.
Basuki Hadimuljono, the Minister of Public Works and Public Housing, highlighted the significance of the direct visit to IKN, as it allowed potential investors to witness the government’s commitment to the project firsthand. He disclosed that as of the first semester of 2023, 36 out of 75 packages of IKN development have been undertaken, and an additional 39 packages will commence in July 2023.
The government remains optimistic about holding the IKN inauguration ceremony on 17 August 2024, and the overall progress of IKN construction currently stands at approximately 29 percent.
The visit to IKN serves as part of a series of activities aimed at promoting investment in the new capital city. Prior to the visit, the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing and the IKN Authority provided detailed explanations about the investment potential in the new capital city, fostering dialogue and addressing inquiries from entrepreneurs.