Jakarta. The government is preparing a plan to integrate Jakarta with Bandung, in effect establishing a massive urban area on the eastern end of Java, a minister said on Sunday (29/10).
The government is anticipating a future when the island of Java — now already the world's most densely populated island — becomes a single megacity.
The plan will require designs for settlements, transportation, water availability and other infrastructures that will be coordinated by the government with the help of the private sector, Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said.
"The president has made it known his wish to integrate Jakarta and Bandung. We can't just think of the next five years, we have to think all the way to 2045," Luhut said in a speech at the topping off ceremony of Meikarta, the latest city development by Lippo Group in Bekasi, West Java.
To follow up the directives from President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, Luhut said he will hold a meeting with related officials on Monday (30/10).
The government will also invite developers of areas between Jakarta and Bandung, including Lippo Group, to present their plans for the fast-developing area, Luhut said.
"Hopefully next month, we can come to a decision, on what we want to make of this region," he said.
The Greater Jakarta area now produces around a fifth of Indonesia's annual gross domestic product.
The Bekasi area, passed by a toll road that links Jakarta and Bandung, is home to many of Indonesia's largest manufacturing companies.
The government is building a fast train network between the two cities with Chinese backing, to deepen ties of urban economic development between the two major cities.
Luhut, a close advisor of President Jokowi, praised Lippo Group Chief Executive James Riady for investing around $20 billion to build Meikarta. He expects other domestic investors to follow in Lippo's footsteps.
"Let's think positively, all of us. Let's not dwell in differences, we have to unite," Luhut said.
"Let's ask ourselves, what can we contribute to this country, to make Indonesia an even bigger country in the next 20, 30 years."
Several company executives, officials and politicians attended the event, including Meikarta's president, Ketut Budi Wijaya; Ronny F. Sompie, the director general of immigration at the Law and Human Rights Ministry; and Hinca Panjaitan, the secretary general of the Democratic Party.
Jakarta Globe is affiliated to the Lippo Group