Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Jakarta Can Be a ‘New Manhattan’: Tomy Winata


Jakarta is poised to become a “new Manhattan” according to an ambitious city plan described by Tomy Winata, founder of Artha Graha Group founder, during to an interview with cable TV broadcaster CNBC aired last weekend.

Danayasa Arthatama, a subsidiary of Winata’s company, closed a deal with US firm MGM Hospitality to construct a $2 billion, 638-meter tower — Indonesia’s tallest building in the future — within Sudirman Central Business District, South Jakarta.

Dubbed Signature Tower, the building will claim the world’s fifth-tallest building tag with its 111 stories, dwarfing Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers as the tallest building in Southeast Asia. Based on the ompanies’ program, it will house 70 floors of office space, a six-star luxury hotel and will include conference facilities.

Tomy, 54, told CNBC that the project will anounce to the world that “Jakarta … is not a big village. Jakarta is becoming a new Manhattan.”

Meantime, on his proposed $15 billion Sunda Strait bridge project, the native of West Kalimantan declared, “I haven’t got the rights to do the project.”

Former Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo hesitated to grant the central government support to Artha Graha’s plan as well as the Banten Lampung provincial governments to build a 29-kilometer bridege connecting Sumatra and Java.

Nevertheless, Tomy Winata feels confident the project will push through in the end. “If one day the government gives the opportunity to us, the project financing will come from the private sector, without any guarantee from the government,” he told CNBC.

The government’s public-private partnership program requires state guarantees, considering the major investment risks involved. Agus, who will soon assume as Bank of Indonesia governor next month, has declared that he wanted to avoid a recurrence of the fiasco over the Jakarta monorail project.

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