While no figure has been suggested yet, SoftBank has reportedly offered to invest a maximum of $40 billion in a new capital city Indonesia intends to create on Borneo island. Indonesian President Joko Widodo made plans known in August to move the administrative capital to take the pressure off of Jakarta because of pollution and overcrowding, Reuters reported.
A SoftBank representative said per the report that the group had not suggested precise figures, which mirrored comments by Masayoshi Son, CEO and founder, in the prior week. Son reportedly said at the time of a visit to Jakarta, "We’re not discussing the specific numbers yet, but a new smart city, newest technology, clean city, with a lot of AI [artificial intelligence], that’s what I’m interested in supporting.”
The country had pegged the cost of moving the capital in the past at $33 billion. Indonesia’s coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment, Luhut Pandjaitan, however, reportedly said that SoftBank Group had offered a maximum of $40 billion. The official reportedly noted that he would talk about the possible investment more with Son at the Word Economic Forum meeting on Monday. And Widodo would likely decide on the deal in February.
As previously reported, Son met with Widodo in Jakarta on Jan. 10 and said he wanted to partake in the project. And the meeting was said to be the second time that he had met with the president in the last six months.
Son reportedly expressed a keen interest in making a city that is smart, green, and AI-focused. Plans for the new capital encompass all of the newest innovations in schools, botanical gardens and hospitals. The transportation system will reportedly be comprised of only electric vehicles.
The project has been said to attract investment interest from nations all over the globe, including the Middle East, the U.S. and China.