President Jokowi and PM Lee Hsien Loong Discuss Nusantara
The leaders of the two countries discussed new areas for bilateral cooperation, including the development of the new Indonesian capital, Nusantara.
NINA SUSILO, IQBAL BASYARI
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JAKARTA, KOMPAS – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met in Singapore on Thursday (16/3/2023). In addition to discussing the development of several cooperation agreements and regional issues, the leaders of the two countries also discussed new areas for bilateral cooperation, including the development of the new Indonesian capital, Nusantara.
President Jokowi and Prime Minister Lee’s meeting was part of the 6th Singapore-Indonesia Leaders’ Retreat. Last year’s retreat was held in Bintan, Batam.
The presidential delegation included several Cabinet ministers, such as Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Coordinating Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, and National Development Planning Minister Suharso Monoarfa.
Bambang Susantono, the head of the Nusantara Capital City (IKN) Authority, was also part of the President’s entourage.
Following their meeting, Jokowi and Lee witnessed the exchange of several memorandums of understanding (MoU) on bilateral cooperation. These included an MoU on knowledge sharing, capacity building and research signed by Singapore’s National Development Minister Desmond Lee and IKN Authority head Bambang Susantono and an MoU on sustainable settlement and urban development signed by the two countries’ respective national development ministers.
In a joint press statement at The Istana, the office and residence of the Singaporean president, President Jokowi welcomed the interest Singaporean investors expressed in supporting the IKN development project.
At least 20 letters of interest had been received from Singaporean investors looking to invest in Indonesia’s new capital.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Lee said he had discussed the IKN project with the Indonesian President, including Jokowi’s vision for the new capital to be a smart and green city. Lee said Singapore supported this vision, as it was a priority for the President and the people of Indonesia. Singapore would contribute to the project through knowledge sharing and research and development activities.
“One of today’s MoUs includes collaboration in sharing development, capacity building and research to support the planning and development of Nusantara as a smart and sustainable city,” said Lee.
He added that Singapore’s private sector had also expressed interest in the IKN project, and was awaiting the forum for potential investors that the Indonesian government would hold in May.
President Jokowi and Prime Minister Lee also discussed progress on the cooperation agreements signed last year, namely thise on the flight information region (FIR) and defense, as well as a treaty on the extradition of fugitives. They also discussed the latest developments in Southeast Asia. Lee reiterated Singapore’s support for Indonesia, which was this year’s ASEAN chair.
According to information received by Kompas, the cooperation between the IKN Authority and the Center for Livable Cities, which falls under Singapore’s National Development Ministry, marks the first cooperation between the IKN Authority and the ministry of another country.
The cooperation, according to the IKN Authority’s Bambang, will accelerate the realization of Nusantara as a green and livable city, and covers the development of integrated transportation and infrastructure, high-density urban area planning, heat and humidity management as well as mitigation and adaptation in urban development planning.