－Development of Deltamas City Township－
Concept art of Deltamas City. The foreground shows residences and commercial establishments, while the background depicts the industrial park.
“We are creating a safe and stable city center in Indonesia, providing medical help, employment, and residential spaces. This is just the beginning,” states Shinji Yoneda, Manager for the Overseas Industrial & Urban Infrastructure Development Dept.’s Development Sect. 2, as he gestures towards a conceptual drawing of the Deltamas City Township Development (“Deltamas”) project.
Indonesia boasts the world’s fourth largest population and the highest GDP of any ASEAN-affiliated country.
Along the freeway, only 37km east of central Jakarta, Sojitz is building a new city in a huge swath of land stretching over 3,000 ha. The total area of this plot in Bekasi Municipality, Western Java encompasses an area roughly half the size of the area inside of Tokyo’s Yamanote Line.
“This is the largest city ever to be built in cooperation with a Japanese company. We are leaving our mark on the map,” says Development Sect. 2’s Yota Hino, face beaming.
The project started 20 years ago, in 1996, when our company came together with Sinar Mas Group, Indonesia’s largest conglomerate, to purchase a large tract of land for residential development. Immediately following the purchase, however, we were faced with the Asian currency crisis and were forced to postpone work on the project. To start, the project needed infrastructure such as railways, electricity, water, sewage, communications, and gas, so we began by building the interchange and laying electrical wire. Over 15 long years, we steadily continued to work each day, inviting the Bekasi municipal government and universities to the area even as we struggled to secure funding.
The turning point for the project came unexpectedly, in 2010.
Whatever the industry, a strong business is one which is lucky enough to arrive at a time when it can meet the needs of that era. With Deltamas, we refused to let that window pass us by.
Per capita GDP in Indonesia surpassed US$3000 for the first time in 2010, leading to rapid progress in the county’s motorization. Once vehicle production and sales started to approach the level of 1 million vehicles per year, Japanese auto parts manufactures began to move into the Indonesian market. At the time, Japan was also dealing with confusion amidst recovery efforts and electrical outages following the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11th, 2011, with this problem compounded by the strong yen. It made many Japanese companies acutely aware of the need to shift their operating bases overseas. A few months later, Thailand—a country where hundreds of Japanese companies had already secured new operating bases—was hit with massive flooding, suddenly increasing Indonesia’s relevance as a base of operations.
Deltamas had been steadily building its infrastructure over this time, and the city found itself thrust into the spotlight as it seized these new business opportunities. Once the first auto parts manufacturer moved into the park in 2010, plot sales began to gain momentum.
This primed the way for a wide number of companies from all over the auto industry, with 86 companies (69 of which are Japanese) ultimately moving into the industrial park.
In 2015, the company which manages the comprehensive urban development project, PT. Puradelta Lestari Tbk., had grown large enough to be listed on the Jakarta stock market, issue dividends to investors, and pay back all loans to shareholders.
“It was at this point that we started to see our forebears’ efforts bear fruit. I never thought that the project would reach this point in just five years after the first plot sale to a Japanese company,” says Kazuo Shimura emphatically, as a staff member currently on transfer to Deltamas. With the money received from sales of industrial park plots, they can develop more residential and commercial areas.
“Deltamas has grown beyond its function simply as an industrial park. As more companies are invited to the park, the population will increase, creating greater need for houses, hotels, schools, hospitals, and shopping centers. It has become a complex city and the perfect opportunity for us to demonstrate our capabilities as a general trading company.” - President Sato on a visit to Deltamas this past March.
City building does not end with land development, infrastructure construction, and plot sales. It requires working simultaneously on two different kinds of business: the development and the management of the park. It becomes a platform bringing together the knowledge and experience of the entire Sojitz Group. Not many businesses see such a large number of departments and Group subsidiaries working so closely together.
The residential area contains roughly 50,000 buildings created through joint ventures with Japanese developers and other companies. We have invited Aeon to build an Aeon Mall, developed apartments for staff of long-term business trip to the park, fully equipped the area with Japanese restaurants, built hospitals with Japanese doctors on call and sports centers, brought universities and Japanese schools, and even set up governmental offices. Additionally, we are making efforts to install security measures, reduce energy usage, and cut CO2 emissions to create a safe and healthy living environment and contribute to the country’s economic development through the creation of new jobs.
The ones in charge of this massive project are the 10 Japanese staff split between six staff at Tokyo HQ led by Overseas Industrial & Urban Infrastructure Development Dept. General Manager Yu Mizuike and four staff transferred to project companies in Indonesia. Much is expected from the development of the Deltamas project as a platform for future business development in Indonesia.
Overseas Industrial & Urban Infrastructure Development Dept.
Staff in Indonesia（Standing in front of the Deltamas marketing office.）
(Job titles and organizations reflect those at the time of the article’s publication.)