UAE to invest US$33bil in Indonesia

Jakarta at dusk: The 19 investment commitments involve cooperation between the Indonesian Investment Authority and Dubai-based multinational logisitics firm DP World. — Bloomberg

THE government of Indonesia has secured US$32.7bil (RM136bil) worth of investment commitments from United Arab Emirates businesses in various sectors, such as vaccine manufacturing and distribution.

The investments, announced on Thursday, came as President Joko Widodo visited the UAE to deepen a personal relationship he has forged with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the 19 investment commitment deals involved cooperation between the Indonesian Investment Authority and Dubai-based multinational logistics company DP World.

State-owned oil giant Pertamina is expected to ink a deal on floating solar panels with Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company Masdar.

Abu Dhabi artificial intelligence company G42 is also expected to invest in smart city initiatives, telecommunications and genomics laboratories. G42 visited Indonesia in September to meet its partners.

Indonesia and the UAE also agreed to speed up talks on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (Cepa). After several rounds of negotiations that started in September, Jokowi expects the deal to be finalised as early as March next year.

The Cepa negotiations are part of the UAE’s aggressive attempt to open markets in fast-growing economies such as South Korea, Kenya, Ethiopia and Turkey.

With international travel set to rebound, both countries agreed to mutually recognise their Covid-19 vaccine certificates and to strengthen the travel corridor that has been in place since July last year.

“For the government-to-government (deals), there will be 10 agreements,” Retno said in an online briefing on Thursday.

She said these included agreements on investment promotion, taxation, central bank cooperation, tourism and mangrove forest management.

Indonesia’s goods exports to the UAE accounted for less than 1% of total exports in September, Statistics Indonesia data shows.

Of the total foreign direct investment in the third quarter of 2021, the UAE also accounted for a very small fraction, with just US$5.8mil (RM24mil) realised, Investment Ministry data shows.

Fithra Faisal, an economist at the University of Indonesia, said the UAE’s small share in Indonesia’s exports and direct investment made the country a potential non-traditional market to tap, especially as both countries were predominantly Muslim.

“We are pursuing potential in the future, not just existing (trade and investment),” Fithra said in a phone interview on Thursday.

“We are expecting to raise services activities because the UAE is good at this.”

The business deals have been the main attraction for Jokowi.

Fresh from high-profile stopovers at the Group of 20 (G20) Summit in Italy and the United Nations COP26 climate change conference in Scotland earlier in the week, he chose to visit a country that has been highly receptive to his trade and investment agenda.

Upon his arrival in Abu Dhabi, the president met the Prince and invited him to be the guest of honour at the G20 summit in Bali next year.

Prince Sheikh Mohammed, in turn, named a road after Jokowi, who reciprocated by naming a stretch of the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road after the prince. — The Straits Times/ANN

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Aseanplus News

Hun Sen says his Myanmar trip managed to plant trees, not cut them down
Singapore's Lee and Indonesia's Jokowi to speak on ties, witness agreement signing at Bintan retreat
Beijing opposes US move to suspend 44 China-bound flights
At least 18 dead after clash, fire at club in Indonesia's West Papua: police (update)
Indonesia sets date for 2024 election, ending Jokowi speculation
Australia PM Morrison loses control of WeChat Chinese account as election looms
MAS tightens Singdollar policy for second time in three months to counter rising inflation
Myanmar reports 37 more Omicron cases
Thailand records 6,718 Covid-19 cases and 12 deaths
Asian markets tumble as volatility sweeps globe ahead of Fed meeting

Others Also Read