Japanese tech based investment group SoftBank Corp intends to increase its investments in Indonesia, said the group’s founder and CEO Masayoshi Son after a meeting with the country’s President Joko Widodo.
“We don’t discuss the specific numbers yet, but new smart city, newest technology, clean city, with a lot of AI, that’s what I’m interested in supporting,” Son said in comments reported by local media and confirmed by a company spokesman.
Earlier this week, Indonesian coordinating affairs minister for maritime affairs and investment Luhut Pandjaitan told reporters that SoftBank has expressed interest to invest in the construction of the new capital city of the country that is planned to replace the mega city of Jakarta.
However during his visit, Son did not clarify whether his company was ready to put in investments in the new city that is planned to be constructed on the island of Borneo. US$2 billion through its
The Japanese investment conglomerate has already committed to make an investment of portfolio company Grab, Southeast Asia’s top ride-hailing firm in Indonesia, the fourth most populous country of the world. According to the investment plans, the funds thus received from Softbank would be used for promoting the use of electric vehicles in the country as the government there has set conversion to electric vehicles as a priority in its efforts to reduce congestion and better the air quality in traffic-clogged capital city of Jakarta.
SoftBank Group is the latest in a list of global investors who have expressed keen interest in partnering with the government in the construction of the new Indonesian capital mega city.
The interest of SoftBank to participate in the project was expressed by SoftBank Chief Executive and founder Masayoshi Son during his meeting with the Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Jakarta on Friday.
Interest in investment in the new mega city, which is planned to be loaded with artificial intelligence, was expressed by SoftBank ‘s Son in his second meeting in six months with the president. Son however did not clear the air about the possible amount of the investment.
One of the major reasons for the Indonesian government in building the new capital city is the woes caused because of the regular flooding in the Jakarta metropolitan area. Additionally, shortage of space has also made the city over very congested. Currently about 30 million people reside in Jakarta.
According to the government plans, there will be an environmentally-friendly transportation system comprising of only electric vehicles ion the new planned city. It will also house multiple world-class educational institutions, modern hospitals and botanical gardens.
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan has said that interest in developing the city has been expressed by investors from China, the Middle East and the United States.
“We didn’t discuss specific numbers,” Son told reporters. The discussion with Jokowi centered around building a smart city using the newest technology that will be green and supported by lots of artificial intelligence, he said.
(Adapted from ChannelNewsAsia.com & Bloomberg.com)