"As a large nation, we want to have a seat of government which is separated from an economic, business and trade service center," the president said while inspecting the area on Tuesday.
The construction of the Samarinda-Balikpapan toll road which crosses Bukit Soeharto is now underway and is expected to be completed at the end of 2019.
"Only 14 percent remains to be completed," he said.
The head of state said both Balikpapan and Samarinda already have airports, which will ease the mobility of people and goods.
During the visit, the president was accompanied by Minister of National Development Planning/Head of the National Development Agency (Bappenas) Bambang Brodjonegoro, Minister of Public Works and People's Housing Basuki Hadimuljono, Minister of Agrarian and Spatial Layout/Head of the National Land Agency (BPN) Sofyan Djalil, and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung.
Also present were East Kalimantan Vice Governor Hadi Mulyadi and Kutai Kartanegara District Head Edy Dharmasyah.
Earlier on April 30, East Kalimantan Governor Isran Noor had expressed hope that the forest park conservation area (Tahura) in Kutai Kartanegara district would replace Jakarta as the seat of government, as Bukit Soeharto is wide and a state asset. There is also sufficient transportation infrastructure, including a toll road and an airport to reach the area, he said, adding that the construction of the new seat of government would be cheaper.
He said Bukit Soeharto has a larger area than that of Panajam Paser Utara, a location proposed by former East Kalimantan governor Awang Faroek as the seat of government.