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SoftBank and Grab in talks with Indonesian government on potential investment in new capital city

SoftBank Group to discuss contributing capital to develop smart cities in .

Photo courtesy by Grab Indonesia

SoftBank Group Corp. chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son has indicated interest in investing in Indonesia’s new capital city in East Kalimantan. Son, accompanied by Grab CEO and co-founder Anthony Tan, today met Indonesian president Joko Widodo.

Following the meeting with the president, Son said that he had not discussed the exact funding amount, but he mentioned that he is interested to help fund the new capital city, which has a new concept revolving around smart cities, green initiatives and artificial intelligence development.

“Grab CEO Anthony Tan and SoftBank group chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son met with Joko Widodo, president of Indonesia, today, where they furthered their discussion on potential areas of collaboration, including developing smart cities, with green initiatives across Indonesia,” a Grab spokesperson told KrASIA.

In August 2019, Son was in Jakarta to meet the president. At the time, SoftBank declared it would inject USD 5 billion in investments into Indonesia, including for electric vehicle development in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

Earlier this week, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment, announced that Son would arrive in Jakarta today. According to a local news outlet, Pandjaitan said SoftBank would be ready to inject up to USD 100 billion in the new capital in 25 years, which Pandjaitan said was “too good to be true” and suggested that SoftBank put in around USD 25 billion for the next five years.

This is not the first time this Japanese investment group is contributing to smart cities. In 2018, SoftBank invested in Dublin City Council’s Smart City program and its Smart Docklands District testbed related to smart city solutions. Last year, SoftBank also announced a partnership with the Lippo Group to develop artificial intelligence and Internet-of-Things in Lippo properties.