Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia During the Groundbreaking Ceremony of Nusantara Hotel, North Penajam Paser, East Kalimantan Province, September 21, 2023
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Peace and prosperity be upon us.
Distinguished Ministers of the Indonesia Onward Cabinet, joining me among others are Minister of Public Works and Public Housing, Minister of State Secretary, and Minister of Investment;
Honorable Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Nusantara Capital Authority, as well as Governor of East Kalimantan;
Honorable investors, who are members of the consortium, from Agung Sedayu Group, Indofood, Sinarmas, Pulau Intan, Adaro, Barito Pacific, Astra, Mulia Group, and Kawan Lama Group. Mr. Aguan, Mr. Franky, Mr. Prajogo, Mr. Eka Tjandranegara, Mr. Pui, Mr. Boy Thohir, Mr. Kuncoro Wibowo, Mr. Djoko Susanto, and others, whom I cannot mention one by one.
Once again, I would like to emphasize that Indonesia is home to 17,000 islands, one of which is Java island. And, Java island is inhabited by 56 percent of our population. From the 273 million population of Indonesia, 56 percent of them are in Java island. It means, approximately 149 million are in Java, and those [in other islands] are very few. And then, the GDP of the economy. The GDP of the economy also shows the same thing. Java island records approximately 58 percent of the GDP of our country, Indonesia. This means that the economic turnover is also very substantial in Java.
Hence, Java island is a magnet for everyone in the country, all of them, all of them, mainly Jakarta. Therefore, this heavy burden must be reduced. From being Java-centric, we will make it to Indonesia-centric so that there will be an equal distribution of economic growth and an equal distribution of population.
Imagine the Jakarta of today if it goes on and on. Don’t just count Jakarta which has approximately 10 million population, but the Greater Jakarta area, check how many millions, maybe it’s almost 30 million now. It means that the burden is very, very heavy. So, what happens is problems that continue to arise and are very difficult to solve. Problems related to traffic jams, problems related to flooding, and now we face another problem relating to air pollution. This is the burden borne by Jakarta and in general by Java island.
For that reason, after we went back and forth through studies, we decided to move the capital to, from Jakarta to the Nusantara capital in East Kalimantan province. Then, we began last year with the core area that will be used for the Presidential and Vice Presidential Palaces, as well as basic infrastructure and ministries’ buildings. It has started last year. Most importantly, the basic infrastructure of water. Earlier, we have just closed the door of the Sepaku Dam, which will provide raw water for the people in the Nusantara.
And secondly, if we now go from Balikpapan to Nusantara, it takes 1.5 to 2 hours. So, the construction of the Balikpapan-Nusantara toll road has also been started, which will reduce travel time from Balikpapan to Nusantara to approximately 30 minutes. Earlier, the Minister of Public Works told me that we will soon enter the construction stage. When will it be completed, Minister of Public Works? By July 2024, the road will have been completed.
Secondly, the airport [construction] will also start soon. When the airport is ready, you will be able to reach here in only about 15 minutes. Right, Mr. Bambang? About 15 minutes from the airport to this location. And, we also hope that in July, or early August at most, it can be completed. Because these two are the keys, if these are completed I believe, no, even before the completion [of these two projects], investors have already started to invest. Moreover, if these two projects are completed, there will be even more investors investing in the Nusantara Capital. There were already 30 investors from South Korea a few months ago, as well as 40 investors from Japan and 120 investors from Singapore. They have come all the way here, surely they have calculated it, certainly they have calculated it. Yesterday, there were also investors from the United Arab Emirates and they immediately came to see me. What does it mean? They are interested.
But we should not start there, domestic investors should be prioritized. Otherwise, I will definitely be complained, “Sir, there are many people who have money in this country. Why do you go to Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, there are many who have money here, sir,” There must be those who would say something like that. In the past, we offered it to you and it was silence, as soon as the consortium joined in, they came in, “Sir, sir, how come I wasn’t offered this, sir? Sir, why wasn’t I invited, sir?” What do we do wrong, we have gathered you. We don’t conduct market polls once or twice. This is what will become the locomotive which will lead the carriages behind it to the Nusantara. I am sure of that.
They are very busy people. Very busy. If they want to come all the way here, they must also want to observe, whether or not this Nusantara is real, whether or not this Nusantara is good. They must make sure of that. And, there is no way they would start with Rp20 trillion if there is no profit. Do you think they are a social organization? No, they are not. Investing, coming to invest their capital, they will definitely aim for the maximum profit and that is reasonable, reasonable. Therefore, I would like to thank Mr. Aguan and our friends who are here this afternoon. This gives confidence that investors are very interested in the Nusantara.
Today we will start the groundbreaking of Nusantara Hotel, a five-star hotel. Not four-star, Mr. Minister. Five-star, Nusantara Hotel is a five-star hotel. That is for today. Then, tomorrow there will be other groundbreaking ceremonies for Indogrosir retail store, a hospital, another hotel, and also the PSSI (Football Association of Indonesia) training center. There will be six or eight football fields here which will be completed in about six months and funded directly by FIFA. This means that the international community believes in us. FIFA supports PSSI, PSSI builds it here.
And so far, we don’t have a training camp for football. How can our football win, if we don’t even have a training camp? Once we have six or eight football fields here for our training camp, see what our national team will become in the next 5-10 years. You will see, believe me, we will dominate at least in Asia, or at least in Southeast Asia. You can’t keep losing, lose every game, lose every game. But now we have started to win. we keep winning, now, we have started to win. Watch, we won the SEA Games, we have started, watch. Once we have our football training camp, I believe we will be able to level up our national team to a higher level.
And, once again, I thank you and by saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim, I hereby start the groundbreaking of the five-star hotel, Nusantara Hotel.
I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.