JAKARTA – Saudi Arabia and Indonesia on Thursday signed a number of memoranda of understanding and strategic partnership agreements in the fields of energy, health, housing and tourism. The deals, which were inked during the meeting of the Saudi-Indonesian Business Council, amounted to a total of SR13.5 billion. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the current visit of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to Indonesia. The King and Indonesia President Joko Widodo oversaw the signing of another 11 pacts on Wednesday.
The partnership agreements and MoUs included joint projects in electric power production sector, health care and medical services, housing projects, cooperation in the creation of long-term strategies in nationalization of expertise, human resources competency and employing advanced technology in the field of human resources, tourism and Haj and Umrah services.
On behalf of Majed Al-Qasabi, minister of commerce and investment, Dr. Ghassan Al-Suleiman, governor of the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, addressed the meet. He said that Saudi Arabia seeks to attract qualitative investments in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. In his speech, Faisal Bassarat, deputy governor of Investment Affairs at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), said Saudi Arabia is looking to expand its investment outside the oil and gas sector as there are other business areas that can boost their economy. “We cannot rely on one commodity to drive the economy, because there are true potentials in the other sectors too,” he said while stressing that the essence of the Vision 2030 is to explore beyond the oil and gas sector.
Chairman of Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) Rosan Perkasa Roeslani said that the total trade between Indonesia and Saudi posted at $5 billion, which is a significant decrease compared to the previous year, in which the total trade reached $8 billion. “For that reason, we are striving to find breakthroughs in the trade relations. All along, our transactions with Saudi Arabia often involve the oil and gas sector, and we are now trying to explore other areas to boost an even bigger growth,” he stated.
Roeslani underlined that Saudi Arabia is one of the most potential trade partner for Indonesia in the Middle East and that he believed that there are enormous opportunities for Saudi Arabia to engage in Indonesia’s development efforts by increasing its investment in Indonesia. “The Indonesian government is now actively accelerating the implementation of its physical infrastructure programs like toll roads, railways, sea ports, airports, and bridges,” he said and highlighted that industrial zone developments and tourism were Indonesia’s priority sectors. “Vast opportunities are also open in the power sector since the government of Indonesia launched its program to develop 35,000 MW power over the next 10 years,” he added.