Indonesia, UAE sign business deals worth nearly $23bn

UAE to supply gas and invest in building new Indonesian capital and property projects in Aceh province.

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who began his second term in office in October, is eager to boost foreign investment to help create jobs and boost growth in Southeast Asia's biggest economy [File: Akbar Nugroho Gumay/Reuters]
    Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who began his second term in office in October, is eager to boost foreign investment to help create jobs and boost growth in Southeast Asia's biggest economy [File: Akbar Nugroho Gumay/Reuters]

    Indonesia has signed 11 business deals with the United Arab Emirates worth a combined 314.9 trillion rupiah ($23bn) covering investment in energy and other sectors, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said via his Twitter account on Monday.

    Widodo witnessed the signing of the deals with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed over the weekend during an official visit to Abu Dhabi, his tweet said.

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    President Widodo, who began his second term in office in October, is eager to boost foreign investment to help create jobs and boost growth in Southeast Asia's biggest economy where economic growth has been stuck at about 5 percent for several years.

    In the petrochemical and gas sectors, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) signed deals with Indonesian companies PT Pertamina and PT Chandra Asri Petrochemicals, UAE state news agency WAM reported.

    They included an agreement for ADNOC to supply 528,000 tonnes (582,020 US tons) of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) to Pertamina by the end of 2020, WAM said.

    Prior to the visit, Indonesian ministers had outlined some of the deals, including an agreement between Pertamina and ADNOC to upgrade a refinery in Balongan, West Java.

    Widodo said five agreements were also signed between the governments. Agreements covered education, healthcare, agriculture and counterterrorism, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a statement.

    Widodo and the crown prince also discussed a plan to establish a sovereign wealth fund, Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan said.

    Japan's Softbank and the United States' International Development Finance Corp (IDFC) were also interested in taking part in the fund, Pandjaitan said in a statement.

    The UAE would be able to use the fund to invest in the development of Indonesia's proposed new capital in East Kalimantan province on Borneo Island.

    It is also interested in investing in property development in Aceh province on Indonesia's Sumatra island, Pandjaitan said.

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency