President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo, left, with United Arab Emirates Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ) in Abu Dhabi on Monday. (Photo courtesy of the Presidential Secretariat)

UAE Crown Prince, Tony Blair in Board of Directors for Capital Relocation Mega Project

BY :TELLY NATHALIA

JANUARY 14, 2020

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has invited a group of global investors to take part in the construction of Indonesia’s new capital in East Kalimantan. According to reports, the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Zayed, better known as MBZ, will be the chairman of the board of directors for the mega project.

"MBZ will be the chairman, the other two members of the board are Masayoshi Son and former British prime minister Tony Blair. They will answer to President Joko Widodo," Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan said on Monday in Abu Dhabi, where Jokowi met Crown Prince MBZ.

Masayoshi Son is one of the richest men in Japan, the founder of SoftBank and chief executive of Softbank Mobile.

Indonesia plans to relocate its capital from Jakarta to Kalimantan in 2024. The move is expected to cost the government around $33 billion, 19 percent of which to be paid for by the state budget and the rest by local and foreign investors.

Jokowi delivered the keynote speech for the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week on Monday during which he called on foreign investors to take part in the relocation of the capital.

The new capital will be an environmentally friendly smart metropolis with low carbon emissions, according to the president.

He also said the relocation is part of a government effort to spread out development in an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands.

New Sovereign Wealth Fund

Jokowi also met Crown Prince MBZ and Masayoshi Son in Abu Dhabi to discuss the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) to be signed off in Tokyo in February.

"The UAE has plenty of experiences managing SWF in other countries such as Egypt and India," Luhut said.

The government will issue a bill for the SWF and hire an independent auditor to oversee it – and make it more attractive for foreign investors, according to the minister.

Indonesia is looking to gain $22.89 billion from the SWF, of which the UAE has pledged 33 percent, or $6.8 billion, to be finalized in mid-2020.

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