SoftBank to reportedly invest US$40bn in building new Indonesian capital

SoftBank is allegedly planning to invest up to US$40 billion to aid in the development of Indonesia’s new capital in East Kalimantan, according to Bloomberg which quoted a senior member of President Joko Widodo’s cabinet. Masayoshi Son, CEO and founder of SoftBank, reportedly met with the president in Jakarta recently and conveyed his interest in being part of the project.

Bloomberg added that Masayoshi has been named to the steering committee responsible for East Kalimantan’s construction. SoftBank’s supposed investment exceeds the predicted capital needed for the development of East Kalimantan, which multiple media outlets said was about US$34 billion. SoftBank, however, later told Bloomberg in a statement that actual investment numbers have not been revealed. In a statement to Marketing Interactive, SoftBank’s spokesperson said: Nothing has been decided. We are still in discussions and it’s premature to talk about any numbers.”

Early last year, the Indonesian government began contemplating the move to East Kalimantan as president Jokowi aimed to decongest Jakarta. The new capital will feature modern hospitals, botanical gardens, world-class educational institutions and an environmentally-friendly transportation system, Bloomberg reported.

SoftBank joins other foreign investors that have expressed interested in helping in the development of the new capital. According to The Jakarta Post, the potential investors hail from the US, UK, Japan, UAE and Germany. It added that former UK prime minister Tony Blair is also expected to join the advisory board alongside Masayoshi.

Separately last year, Grab said it is pumping U$2 billion into Indonesia over a period of five years to boost the development of its digital infrastructure. The funds come from capital invested by SoftBank and will go towards creating a next-generation transportation network for cities and transforming how critical services, such as healthcare, are delivered. Both parties aim to create a next-generation transport network for Indonesia based around an electric vehicle ecosystem that will drive cities toward a greener and cleaner transportation grid.

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