NONGSA D-Town, a new “digital downtown” designed by Surbana Jurong, was launched on Tuesday at a virtual event officiated by Singapore and Indonesia’s economic ministers.

Located in Batam, the 62-hectare development aims to digitally bridge tech companies and talents in Singapore and Indonesia, and will have the capacity to house 8,000 tech talents when completed.

Nongsa D-Town builds on the existing Nongsa Digital Park – the outcome of bilateral discussions to develop Batam as a digital bridge between Singapore and Indonesia. Indonesia has designated the park as a Special Economic Zone for digital economy and tourism.

“D-Town marks the next phase in the story of Nongsa Digital Park, which is envisioned as a vibrant location for those in the tech and digital sector to live, code, design and play,” said Chan Chun Sing, Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister, in his remarks for the launch event.

He added: “D-Town’s proximity to Singapore offers opportunities for Singapore-based companies to leverage the complementary strengths of Singapore’s and Indonesia’s tech ecosystems.”

The development is a 40-minute ferry ride to-and-from Singapore.

Airlangga Hartato, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, said: “Batam has the geostrategic advantage of being located close to Singapore, and can serve as a digital bridge to connect Singapore to other growing cities in Indonesia.”

Currently, Nongsa Digital Park houses around 1,000 tech workers from over 100 companies. Tuesday’s launch also marked the inauguration of three newly completed offices, to house an additional 750 workers.

Designed by Surbana Jurong, Nongsa D-Town is developed by PT Citra Sinar Global – a joint venture between Citramas Group and Sinar Mas Land. The new downtown area will include co-working and co-living spaces, alongside digital training centres, office towers, lifestyle and shopping centres, and hotels.

Michael Widjaja, Sinar Mas Land’s Group CEO, said Nongsa D-Town’s prime location in Batam, supported by training centres and other facilities, will drive a young generation to be part of the creative and digital tech industry.

Citramas Group’s CEO Mike Wiluan agreed, adding that companies could run their operations and locate their workforce in Nongsa, with Singapore acting as the business centre for their activities.