Muhyiddin on mission to woo billionaires


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 02 Dec 2010

JAKARTA: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is expected to meet a group of billionaires including Indonesian media mogul Chairul Tanjung during his three-day visit here.

Forbes ranks Chairul Indonesia’s seventh richest person with a net worth of US$1bil (RM3.2bil), mainly through his Para Group which has the franchise rights to Baskin-Robbins and high-end brands such as Prada and Jimmy Choo. He also owns Trans TV and Bank Mega.

The Deputy Prime Minister, who arrived last night, is embarking on the trip to attract Indonesian businessmen to invest in Malaysia.

Malaysian officials said Chairul would bring several members of an informal Indonesian billionaires’ group to the meeting.

Another significant personality that Muhyiddin will be meeting is Dahlan Iskan, the CEO of Jawa Pos Group, one of the largest mass media companies in the country. He is also the president-director of PTPLN, the state-owned electricity company.

The officials said Muhyiddin would explain to them the Govern­ment’s efforts to boost the Malaysian economy through the Economic Transformation Programme.

Muhyiddin is also expected to outline the sectors in which Indo­nesian businessmen could venture into, such as medical tourism.

Although both countries have a long history in bilateral trade, the volume of Indonesian investment in Malaysia has been quite small especially in recent times.

Trade statistics show that Malaysia’s total investment in Indonesia stood at US$304mil (RM962mil) last year but its counterpart invested only US$104mil (RM330mil).

In 2008, Malaysian businessmen invested US$29bil (RM92bil) in the republic compared with US$84mil (RM265mil) by the Indonesians.

The reason for the drastic drop and why Indonesian tycoons had been ignoring Malaysia as their investment destination is unclear.

Malaysian officials said Muhyiddin was determined to turn around the situation. They said the meeting could be described as an ice-breaker for a more significant presence of Indone­sian investors in Malaysia.

Besides attending the meetings, Muhyiddin would also witness the signing of an MoU between Nusvista Development Sdn Bhd and PT Pacific Intidwipa Reality.

The MoU is for the joint construction of a multi-million-ringgit convention centre, office tower and residential suites in Mega Kuningan, Jakarta’s golden triangle.

Muhyiddin, who is accompanied by his wife Puan Seri Norainee Abdul Rahman, will also meet Malaysian students in Indonesia.

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