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No big deals from Saudi Arabia for Indonesia

Friday, 3 March 2017

 

Jakarta: Despite high hopes that the historic royal state visit of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to Indonesia would bring in at least US$25 billion in investments, it was revealed that Indonesia would receive much less, as the only investment deal the oil-rich kingdom agreed to sign was for a total of US$1 billion.

President Joko Jokowi Widodo and King Salman witnessed on Wednesday the signing of 11 agreements in the form of memorandums of understanding (MoUs), with only one agreement signed by the Saudi Fund Contribution and the Finance Ministry bearing details of the kingdom agreeing to spend US$1bil to finance various development projects in Indonesia.

Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said the US$1 billion fund could be allocated for governments projects, including those involving infrastructure and sanitation.

The other 10 agreements were aimed at improving the relations between the two countries in Islamic affairs, information and education, health, maritime affairs and the fishery, international affairs, aeronautics, science, small and medium enterprises and transnational crimes.

Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung claimed last week that Jokowi and King Salman would sign a US$25 billion deal in the energy sector on the first day of the visit by the octogenarian monarch.

The new deal signed on Wednes­day, however, wont likely tip the balance in favour of Indonesia, which contributes to Saudi Arabia’s national income as it has become the sender of the most number of haj pilgrims approximately 211,000 per year to the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has also benefitted from thousands of Indonesians traveling to some of the holy sites in the kingdom for umrah (minor pilgrimage).

Source by: Internet

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