The Nusantara construction site, the name of the future capital of Indonesia, is officially open! This Monday, March 14, an inauguration ceremony took place at the “ground zero” of the site, on the island of Borneo. The governors of the country’s thirty-four provinces were invited to pour in turn into an imposing copper jar 2 kilos of earth and 1 liter of water taken from historical or sacred sites in their region.

“Collective prayers and traditional processions respecting local wisdoms are part of the initial phase of the process of moving the country’s capital to East Kalimantan,” explains the great daily life of Jakarta, Compas.

“It’s our land, our water. The Indonesian homeland [75 % de cet État-archipel est constitué de mers et de détroits]. We must protect the diversity and unity of our homeland through these two symbols,” said to Compas Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD.

Like several members of his government, the Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, spent the night with his wife under a tent erected at ground zero. He took advantage of the inauguration of the site to clarify that the transfer of the capital, which he has dreamed of since 2019, did not mean the abandonment of Jakarta, a megalopolis of 10 million inhabitants polluted and threatened by rising waters, on the island of Java:

“Our country is very big – 17,000 islands – currently the pole of attraction is in Jakarta; Java is home to 56% of the population and accounts for 58% of the GDPresulting in economic and infrastructure inequalities.”

32 billion dollar project

Joko Widodo says he wants to move to the new presidential palace in Nusantara before August 17, 2024, to celebrate the 79and anniversary of Indonesia’s independence in the new capital. This deadline will also correspond to the end of his second term.

According to Kompass, nothing seems to be able to stop this pharaonic project, valued at 32 billion dollars, not even the withdrawal of the Japanese group SoftBank, notes Nikkei Asia. “According to project officials, 18 other consortia of foreign private investors – from Dubai, South Korea, China and Hong Kong – are ready to date to collaborate with 12 Indonesian groups to work on the development of Nusantara” , details the weekly.

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