Indonesia President Joko Widodo (centre) greets IOC President Thomas Bach (left) ©IOC/Greg Martin

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has formally announced that Indonesia is to bid for the 2036 Olympic and Paralympic Games in its new capital city Nusantara.

Widodo confirmed the bid during a recorded speech for the Presidential channel during  the G20 Summit hosted by Indonesia at the Nusa Dua resort in Bali.

"In this occasion I conveyed Indonesia’s readiness to host the 2036 Olympics at the Nusantara capital city," Widodo said.

"As chair of the G20 Summit, and together with other G20 leaders, I underscored the the importance of sports for health,and its power to unite the world especially in the current global situation.

"The success of the next Olympic and Paralympic Games will highlight the importance of preserving global neutrality in international sporting events and governing bodies."

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has been hosting the G20 summit in Nusa Dua, Bali this week ©Getty Images
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has been hosting the G20 summit in Nusa Dua, Bali this week ©Getty Images

Widodo's announcement has been welcomed by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

"We are immensely grateful to the Chair of the G20 Leaders' Summit, President Joko Widodo, for the support he expressed with regard to the political neutrality of sport and for emphasising the unifying power of the Olympic and Paralympic Games," Bach said.

"This support is of invaluable importance in these very divisive times, and particularly coming from the Chair of the G20 Summit.

"In this spirit, the IOC warmly welcomes the readiness of Indonesia to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2036 in the new capital of Indonesia Nusantara."

“Having seen a presentation of the Nusantara project and the progress already achieved, I am deeply impressed by the vision of President Widodo to develop this city as a model for sustainable living, with a special emphasis on health and sport,"

The IOC Future Host Commission will “immediately make contact” through Erik Thohir, IOC member in Indonesia and National Olympic Committee President Raja Sapta Oktohari, Bach promised.

The statement by President Widodo followed the address by IOC President Bach to the G20 leaders on the opening day of the summit in Bali.

Nusantara on the East Coast of Borneo, is set to replace Jakarta as Indonesia’s capital city in 2024.

Widodo announced in 2019 the decision to move the capital from Jakarta, on the island of Java, to the province of East Kalimantan, on Borneo, more than 1,000 kilometres away.

Widodo claimed that the relocation is about addressing inequality and relieving some of the burden on Jakarta, and the island of Java. 

Java is home to 60 per cent of the country’s population and more than half of its economic activity. 

Kalimantan is almost four times bigger, but accounts for less than a tenth of the gross domestic production.

Kalimantan is also much more central in Indonesia’s archipelago of 17,000 islands.

Jakarta is also struggling under a huge environmental burden. 

Air quality in the city has plunged recently, recording worse conditions than notoriously polluted cities such as New Delhi and Beijing, prompting a group of activists and environmentalists to sue the Government to take action.

Jakarta is also sinking. Areas of north Jakarta, including the seawall designed to protect them, are falling at an estimated 25 centimetres a year, due to subsidence.

President Joko Widodo carried the Asian Games Torch when Indonesia hosted the event in 2018 ©Getty Images
President Joko Widodo carried the Asian Games Torch when Indonesia hosted the event in 2018 ©Getty Images

Jakarta had staged the Asian Games 60 years ago in Jakarta and again in 2018 when events were held in the twin host cities of Jakarta and Palembang.

Indonesia had proposed the two cities to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games but lost out to Brisbane, when there was no formal bid process.

Indonesia is just the latest country to express interest in bidding for the event in 2036.

Earlier this week, Mexico's Sports Minister Ana Guevara confirmed they had formed a group to decide which city to put forward.

Last month, IOC director general Christophe De Kepper revealed at the Association of National Olympic Committees General Assembly in Seoul that his organisation is discussing proposals to stage the Summer Olympics with 10 countries.

Other known interested countries include Britain, Egypt, Germany, India, Qatar and South Korea.