Indonesia to attract foreign direct investments from Gulf - GulfToday

Indonesia to attract foreign direct investments from Gulf


Officials at the signing of MoU between the Al Sarkal Group in Dubai and the Surabaya Municipality in East Java on Thursday.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

Not only to lure foreign direct investments (FDIs) into their country from the Gulf countries, a top-level delegation from Jakarta led by Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo is in the UAE since Wednesday for the “Indonesian Investment Forum in Dubai 2023” to more importantly quicken the realisation of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) before its 2030 deadline.

On Wednesday evening, Warjiyo told Gulf Today the investment forum is a “regular programme” of the Central Bank of Indonesia, “the last one in London two months back that attracted a lot of interest for business matchings particularly in the area of small and medium enterprises (SMEs)” in the world’s largest archipelago of 18,110 islands and islets, 6,000 being inhabited by over 283 million.

“Indonesia is committed to the SDGs. My President (Joko Widodo) instructed us to facilitate all programmes and projects (so from our end) we realise (these),” he said, when this reporter pursued that among the investments proposed before confirmed and targeted foreign direct investors across the globe are sustainability-related such as renewable energy and SDGs-connected like improving health, environment and biodiversity.

“The transition to renewable energy is not easy (with all the required logistics and infrastructure which must be meticulously researched and worked on, tied together to make all projects bankable). In Indonesia, we believe these investment fora are another approach,” Warjiyo said, asked for his opinion on bankable projects that ensure return on investments.

On Wednesday, Indonesian Ambassador to the UAE Husin Bagis said the investment forum in Dubai which concludes on Friday is another boost to the Indonesia-United Arab Emirates diplomatic and bilateral relations: “Today, our Indonesian exports to the UAE is at $2 billion (31 billion Indonesian Rupiahs/Dhs7.3 billion). We do hope that after five to six years, our exports (reach) more than $20 billion (309 billion Indonesian Rupiahs/Dhs73 billion).”

Bagis explained that while the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements between governments are on trade, the establishment of the Indonesian Investment Authority (IIA) in 2022 is “where most investments are coursed through.”

IIA is Indonesia’s sovereign wealth fund which, according to Bagis was “encouraged by the UAE.” It is responsible for investment funds leading to the continuous advancement of the Southeast Asian nation’s competitiveness in the global market for the continuous delivery of socio-economic benefits and the continuous guarantee to all sustainability endeavours for the future generations. The guest of honour at the ongoing investment forum in Palazzo Versace was Sheikh Awad Mohammed bin Mujren.

Other than Warjiyo who is hosting all investment fora such as the one previously held in Tokyo (Japan), in Dubai are other government officials and senior management people like Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia and Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, Indonesian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Abdul Aziz Ahmad, Indonesian Ambassador to Kuwait Lena Maryana and Consul General to Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) Eko Hartono. In his keynote speech and while stressing: “I come here to support you (investors from the UAE and other Gulf states), he underscored that the forum is a “one-nation” initiative in collaboration with the Indonesian diplomatic and consular missions in the UAE including the Indonesia Trade Promotion Centre in Dubai.

On board as well are Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, Karya Kreatif Indonesia, Indonesia International Modest Fashion Festival and the Indonesian Fashion Chamber.

“We are here not only because the relationship between the leadership of Indonesia and the UAE are strong but also because they have the same interests for the welfare of their citizens,” said Warjiyo.

A highlight on Thursday was the Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Al Serkal Group in Dubai and the Surabaya Municipality in East Java for the “Fats, Oils and Grease Recycling Project.”

Interviewed, Al Serkal Group Managing Director Mohammed Al Kaabi said the project targeted to commence May this year is the second after the first set up in Tangerang City, one hour drive from the capital of Jakarta, a result of their participation at the “2022 G20 Summit” in Bali last November.

Al Kaabi said that upon the suggestion of Consul General to Dubai and the Northern Emirates Candra Negara, management checked on the Surabaya Municipality for the expansion of their fats-oils-grease recycling technology they had researched and developed since at least a decade back. This “unique technology” has the capability to convert deposited fats, oils, grease coming from all households, food and beverage outlets, and factories to by-products namely water, fertilisers and cosmetics.

“We checked on Surabaya and it has the same population of Dubai at four million; the same situation, (so the connection between us and the local government for the project,” said Al Kaabi.

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