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
Launching the first three buildings of the NDP were Foreign
Minister of Indonesia Retna Marsudi and Foreign Minister of Singapore Dr Vivian
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
“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,”