On Wednesday (Nov. 1), Indonesian President Joko Widodo, affectionately known as Jokowi, attended a groundbreaking ceremony for a series of projects that include the construction of an airport, toll roads, hospitals, and even a hotel in Indonesia's prospective new capital, the archipelago.
Jokowi's ambitious project has a total value of around $32 billion and aims to move the center of government away from the congested city of Jakarta. Although efforts to attract private investment for the project have faced a number of challenges, the government has allocated a budget of 40.6 trillion rupiah ($2.6 billion) to support the project through 2024.
During his visit to the archipelago this week, President Jokowi will launch ten projects worth 12.5 trillion rupiah ($784 million) that Indonesia is building from scratch amid the forests of Borneo. One eye-catching project is the 347-hectare (857-acre) airport, which is expected to be fully operational by December 2024. The total cost of building the airport is 4.2 trillion rupiah ($263 million).
In his speech at the groundbreaking ceremony, Jokowi expressed confidence that the airport will boost competitiveness and economic growth and accelerate the development process of the new capital.
The Indonesian government has also set a target for the second half of 2024 for the start of operations of the international hospital being built by the Indonesian hospital chain Mayapada (SRAJ.JK).
In addition, President Jokowi has reviewed the project to build a 57-kilometer (35-mile) toll road to the coal hub of Balikpapan. To date, the construction of this toll road has reached 55%. He hopes that this toll road will be able to be used from June next year, with the hope of reducing travel time. With this toll road, the travel time is only about 50 minutes, compared to the previous two hours.
Meanwhile, Indonesian property developer Pakuwon Jati (PWON.JK) is working on a project to build a hotel, apartment block, and shopping mall.
A consortium of various Indonesian companies, including energy firms such as Adaro (ADRO.JK) and Barito Pacific (BRPT.JK), conglomerate Astra International (ASII.JK) and property firm Agung Sedayu Group, has invested around Rp 20 trillion in the archipelago. Apart from the hotel construction, which the consortium started in September, the other projects to be funded by the investment have yet to be detailed.
The president stated that he plans to start the construction of nine projects in December, but did not provide further details on these projects.