Batam opens Nongsa Digital Park to serve as a digital bridge between Singapore and Indonesia
On Mar 20, the multimillion-dollar Nongsa Digital Park (NDP) was officially opened in Batam, Indonesia, to bring together digital entrepreneurs from the region to an environment where they can work, live and play.
Launching the first three buildings of the NDP were Foreign Minister of Indonesia Retna Marsudi and Foreign Minister of Singapore Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.
According to a report by Straits Times, the 100-hectare Nongsa Digital Park is Batam's first large-scale commercial project.
Located at the north western part of Batam, the Park is expected to attract more than US$500 million of investments in the digital economy and start-ups and is expected to create 10,000 jobs.
According to the Indonesian Ministry of Research Technology and Higher Education, the NDP will be home to Indonesia’s creative industries. There will be a 3D movie and animations studio as well as a laboratory for students to gain hands-on experience in the area of animation and cinematography.
At the launch ceremony, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the Nongsa Digital Park is a beginning, a pilot project of Indonesia’s further efforts to achieve its digital economy potential.
She also called the project "a concrete follow-up" to discussions between Indonesia President Joko Widodo and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last September to develop Batam as a digital bridge between Singapore and Indonesia.
Singapore Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said the Nongsa Digital park is an example of how Singapore and Indonesia can work together with the private sector for a "win-win outcome".
"We are happy to encourage more mutually-beneficial projects with Batam. A thriving, confident, creative digital hub in Batam will be good for Indonesia, good for Singapore, and good for our region," he added.
The NDP will bring mutual benefits to Indonesia and Singapore, as it will support both Indonesia’s plan to create 1,000 new digital start-ups worth US$10 billion by 2020 as well as Singapore’s plans to expand its information and communications technology (ICT) sector.
So far, three of nine office blocks have been completed in the project’s first phase.
According to Straits Times, Senior Director of the Nongsa Digital Park Marco Bardelli stated that the Park has an ideal infrastructure for digital businesses to grow and it incorporates plans for a future data centre, complete with lifestyle and tourist facilities.
Minister Balakrishnan also shared his Batam trip on his Facebook page.
“Singapore’s ICT sector is thriving. But future growth also depends on access to larger markets, technology and availability of talent. This commercial collaboration between Singapore and Indonesian companies will expand job and business opportunities for both Singaporeans and Indonesians. We continue to work with Indonesia to build a more digital, skills-driven economy, which will be good for our whole region. There is so much Singapore and Indonesia can do together, including through the private sector, for mutual benefit. We hope to see Batam become a digital bridge between Singapore and the rest of the digital communities throughout Indonesia,” he wrote.