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SoftBank To Invest In Indonesia’s Sustainable City

SoftBank Chief Executive and Founder Masayoshi Son wants to invest in the building of a $34 billion smart capital in Indonesia that would focus on renewable resources, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Son met with President Joko Widodo in Jakarta on Friday (Jan. 10) and said he wanted to be part of the project. This was the second time he has met with the president in the past six months. Son expressed strong interest in creating a smart, green and artificial intelligence (AI)-focused city.

Indonesia is building a new capital on the island of Borneo due to congestion and flooding in Jakarta, the country’s current capital, which has a population of 30 million. The relocation has been fast-tracked by the president amid economic concerns.

Plans for the new city include all the latest advancements in hospitals, schools and botanical gardens. The transportation system will consist only of electric vehicles.

There has been investment interest from countries all over the world, including China, the Middle East and the U.S.

“We didn’t discuss specific numbers,” Son told reporters.

SoftBank has already committed $2 billion for renewable energy and electric vehicles in the country, and the new investment will be additional. The Indonesian government has located about 256,000 hectares of space on Borneo for the new capital, which doesn’t yet have a name. It will be located in Borneo’s East Kalimantan province between Samarinda City and the port city of Balikpapan.

The president expects about 80 percent of the cost for building the new capital to be covered by state-owned and private entities. Construction is slated to start at the end of 2020, and the capital will start its phased relocation in 2024.

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