Although Indonesia is planning to move its capital from Jakarta to Kalimantan, the Asean headquarters is to remain in Jakarta, Asean Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi has clarified, likening the city to New York, where the UN is seated.
“This is news for all of us that [Indonesia] will be moving the capital to Kalimantan, but as far as Asean is concerned, the Asean Secretariat will not move to Kalimantan because we have just got a new building,” he said at the Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia’s (ERIA) editors’ roundtable in Bangkok on Sunday.
“And we believe that Jakarta will be the capital of Asean.”
The plan to move the capital city off Java was first revealed by National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) head Bambang Brodjonegoro in April. The new capital is to act as the centre of government, while Jakarta would remain the country’s business and economic centre.
In late August, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo officially announced that two regencies in East Kalimantan – North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kertanegara – are to be the site of the country’s new capital city. The relocation is intended to help ensure the equal spread of development across the country and to take some of the burden off Jakarta.
The announcement came some two weeks after Jokowi inaugurated the new building for the Asean Secretariat in Jakarta. The event was held on Asean Day, which falls every August 8 to commemorate the establishment of Asean in 1967 by its five founding members – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
Funded by Indonesia, the new Asean Secretariat is located next to the previous building in South Jakarta and has two 16-floor towers. It cost around $37.3 million to build.
Construction started in 2018, a year after the Jakarta administration granted the Foreign Ministry the 1.3ha plot of land.
The new building is equipped with 30 meeting rooms, with each Asean member country having its own.
“We would like this to be like in New York, where the UN [is seated], and the Asean Secretariat will be the anchor for the Asean capital in Jakarta.
”It is possible because we will strengthen our presence in Jakarta and there is no way that we can move to Kalimantan,” Lim said.
THE JAKARTA POST