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Tea Leaves

Indonesia's lessons in capital relocation

Nusantara risks becoming a pint-sized version of Jakarta

The forest is being cleared to make way for Indonesia's planned new capital of Nusantara on the island of Borneo.   © Reuters

As an Indonesian, I have never been a fan of our capital city, Jakarta. Born and raised in Surabaya, the second-largest city, I've always seen Jakarta a city of excess, chiefly because since independence it has been the nation's seat of power and wealth at the same time.

In 2021 -- 17 years since the passage of a regional autonomy law that was supposed to boost economic growth for regions outside Jakarta -- 70% of the circulation of money in Indonesia was still concentrated in the capital.

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