Presiden Joko Widodo is escorted by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud upon his arrival in Jeddah in September last year. (Antara Photo/Editiawarman)

Indonesia to Woo Saudi King With $25b Investment Opportunities


FEBRUARY 28, 2017

Jakarta. Indonesia will dangle $25 billion worth of investment opportunities, mainly in infrastructure projects, to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud when he visits Jakarta and Bali this week as the country seeks to increase ties with Saudi Arabia.

King Salman is visiting Indonesia as part of an Asian tour to promote investments. Indonesia and Saudi Arabia have been exploring more projects to improve airports, toll roads and sea ports in the archipelago, State Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno said.

"We've prepared some potential projects from SOEs for co-operation with the Saudis," Rini said.

The Indonesian government has confirmed so far that King Salman will see the signing of a $6 billion investment by Saudi Arabia's national oil company Aramco in a refinery complex in Cilacap, Central Java, and several other contracts worth a total of $1 billion, the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution said on Monday (27/02).

Darmin said Saudi Arabia eventually could be interested in investments worth a total of Rp 334 trillion ($25 billion) in Indonesia, including projects in oil refineries and petrochemical facilities.

Saudi Arabia only invested $900,000 in Indonesia last year, putting it at 57th place on Indonesia's foreign direct investment (FDI) sources list, below Mali and South Afrika.

Saudi investment between 2010 to 2015 totaled only $34 million, or 0.02 percent of total FDI in the period.

Cabinet Secretary Pramono Agung said earlier King Salman will also discuss other co-operations in arts and culture, in health — including exchanging medical professionals during hajj and umroh pilgrimages, in religious affairs to promote a modern Islam through exchange of scholars, in tourism to increase the number of flights from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia, and in security to combat cross-border crime.

King Salman and his 1,500-men entourage will visit Jakarta and Bogor, West Java, from Wednesday before going to Bali on Saturday for a five-day holiday.

The monarch's Asia tour also includes visits to Japan, China and Malaysia to promote Aramco's $100 billion initial public offering to Asian investors.

The last time a Saudi King visited Indonesia was in 1970.