Indonesia will finish evaluation of alternative cities that could serve as its new capital by year-end, according to a Today report.
The government is determined to move out of Java, where the current capital Jakarta is located, according to Bambang Brodjonegor, head of the National Planning Board (Bappenas). A site being considered is Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan.
"It has to be outside Java," said Brodjonegor. "The final decision will come within this year."
Other shortlisted cities under consideration were not disclosed, but Brodjonegor pointed out the assessment includes land availability, natural resources around the city and funding for construction of the new capital.
The leaders of the country have been looking for alternative sites for a capital for years, from the first president Sukarano’s choice of Palangkaraya due to its position in a quake-free region. Other cities considered in the past include Malang in East Java and Jonggol in West Java.
The new capital is part of a plan to spread economic activities outside of economic centres of Jakarta and Java, according to Brodjonegor. However, Jakarta should remain as a major economic centre.
"If the administrative capital is moved to a new city, Jakarta will continue to be a major centre for businesses," he said.