Serang, Banten (ANTARA) - Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan expressed belief that the new capital city (IKN) Nusantara being developed in East Kalimantan would emerge as a metropolis akin to Washington D.C. of the United States.

"The city's facilities look natural and fresh, though it is true that some of them are still under construction. However, I believe that the city will look like Washington D.C. when its development concludes," he said in Serang, Banten, on Thursday (June 6).

Hasan responded to criticisms directed at the development of Nusantara, saying that some of the critics are those who have not visited or stayed in the city.

"The IKN is amazing. I would like to invite those opposing the IKN development to come and spend a night in the city," he said.

The minister then drew a comparison between the criticisms directed at the development of IKN and those aimed at the development of the Whoosh high-speed train.

"It would be inappropriate to insult (the IKN) without having visited it and got the feel of the place. Remember, some people that criticized the Whoosh train changed their mind after riding in the train," he emphasized.

Hasan further said he had yet to determine the exact date to start working from IKN, noting that he will initially wait for President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to relocate his presidential office.

Earlier, Hasan visited Nusantara to accompany President Jokowi during the groundbreaking ceremonies of several projects.

On that occasion, the president expressed optimism about starting to work in Nusantara in July this year

"I am optimistic about the office there. We are still waiting only for one thing, which is water supply, to be ready by July," he remarked while inspecting the construction of the Presidential Palace Complex on Wednesday (June 5).

He noted that the newly inaugurated Sepaku Semoi Dam in North Penajam Paser District would supply water to the IKN.
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Translator: Muhammad H, Tegar Nurfitra Putra
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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