You may have heard about the Indonesian government’s plan to move its capital city from Jakarta to East Borneo –a plan that has been in mind for decades but has only been confirmed this year by President Joko Widodo.
While Jakarta will continue to become the centre of business activities, the new capital will be the administrative and political hub of the country.
Following up the announcement, the President revealed more details about the government’s vision for the new, unnamed capital city. In this report by The Jakarta Post, the new capital is described as a “smart metropolis”, designed to be a “melting pot of technological innovations that can sustain the country for the next century and beyond.”
Personally, I always warn myself to be sceptical of any vision or plan announced by the government until it actually materialised.
But the topic of capital relocation has been a discussion in the e27 Telegram Group, which houses at least 400 members located anywhere from Singapore to Nairobi (!). Within this discussion, the tonality was mostly positive.
One of the most exciting points that came up was about the possibility of stronger ties with East Malaysia, with startup communities emerging in places such as Kuching and Sarawak.
There is also a possibility that local startup communities in Borneo will finally get the kind of attention usually given only to communities on the island of Java, as the country’s most populated island.
Even the prospect of building a “smart metropolis” seems to offer opportunities for startups, especially those working in the smart city field. (It reminded me of this commitment from SoftBank, though)
So what is your take on this? Is this capital relocation something you are excited about? If your company has been based in Jakarta, would you consider adding a presence in [whatever the new capital will be named]?