Indonesia keen to boost economic, investment ties with UAE

Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Thursday. Widodo arrived in Abu Dhabi as part of a three-day visit to the UAE and  plans to visit the Indonesian pavilion and the UAE pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai. — Wam
Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Thursday. Widodo arrived in Abu Dhabi as part of a three-day visit to the UAE and plans to visit the Indonesian pavilion and the UAE pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai. — Wam

The bilateral trade witnessed 27.78 per cent upsurge to reach $215 million during the first seven months of 2021.



By Staff Report

Published: Fri 5 Nov 2021, 6:47 PM

Last updated: Fri 5 Nov 2021, 6:50 PM

Indonesia is keen to boost economic and investment ties with the UAE and remains one of the “priorities of the Indonesian Government”, said President Joko Widodo.

Indonesia is among the 10 countries that the UAE wants to increase its annual exports to by 10 per cent, as announced in the country’s ‘Projects of the 50’ initiative. The two countries have started negotiations in September on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

“I hope if we are able to conclude the CEPA, then the trade volumes will further be increased two to three times,” the President said, revealing that the bilateral trade witnessed 27.78 per cent upsurge to reach $215 million during the first seven months of 2021, from $168 million during the same period in 2020.

“The bilateral economic and investment relations have huge potential; both countries have the same vision to move forward. The affinity between two peoples is good and we have the same characteristics. We are open and diverse, and that is the importance of the relationship between the two countries,” he explained.

Hub between Asean and ME

Indonesia considers the UAE as a hub in the Middle East for its trade with the region, Widodo said.

“The cooperation between Indonesia and UAE could also help improve the relations between Asean [association of 10 Southeast Asian nations] and the Middle East. We are also exploring the cooperation in such sectors as healthcare, technology and renewable energy. I think these sectors are important for the future,” the President affirmed.

Widodo believes that the Indonesia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai will help exchange knowledge, expertise and investment opportunities in those three areas with the UAE and the rest of the world. “We want to showcase Indonesia’s potential in all areas, especially in trade and tourism. We hope Expo would help attract more tourists to Indonesia and increase our trade and investment relations with the UAE and other parts of the world.”

UAE’s $10b investments in Indonesia

The UAE had announced in March 2021 that it will invest $10 billion in Indonesia’s sovereign wealth fund – Indonesia Investment Authority (IIA).

“We are delighted about the UAE’s announcement on the $10 billion investment. I believe this is an initial investment, because there is a bigger potential [for investments] in the future. We have plenty of opportunities in the renewable energy development, as well as the construction of the new Indonesian capital city,” he said. Indonesia’s progress will be focused on development of infrastructure and human capital, the President stressed, saying this has been his focus during the first and second terms of his presidency.

Cooperation in climate change

“I respect the UAE’s commitment to tackle climate change and the steps taken in that direction. And I support your offer to host the COP 28 [the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Abu Dhabi in 2023], the President said.

“And I also appreciate and welcome ‘the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, a national drive to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050,” he said referring to the UAE’s announcement on 7th October, making the Emirates the first country in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) to make such a commitment.

Indonesia will also take concrete actions to achieve net zero emission by 2060 or earlier, Widodo revealed.

“We would like to concentrate in the rehabilitation of mangrove forests. We also want to reduce forest fire incidents in Indonesia.”

Indonesia is committed to international cooperation on global issues such as climate change, especially with the UAE. “We will continue to be an active player in the international arena.”

Indonesian Ambassador lauds growing ties with UAE

Bilateral trade between the UAE and Indonesia witnessed a 27.78 percent upsurge to $215 million during the first seven months of 2021, from $168 million during the same period in 2021, according to Husin Bagis, the Indonesian Ambassador to the UAE.

Ambassador Bagis said: "Indonesia is among eight countries that the UAE wants to expand its economic and trade relations, as part of the Emirates’ Projects of the 50 initiative, and both countries have started negotiations in September on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)."

He noted that the CEPA is expected to be concluded in the first quarter of 2022, Bagis said, adding that it will pave the way for a leap in bilateral trade.

The UAE announced in March 2021 that it will invest US$10 billion in the Indonesia's sovereign wealth fund – Indonesia Investment Authority (IIA).

The IIA is preparing plans to accept the UAE’s investments, of which projects will be implemented accordingly, the ambassador said.

''We are planning to plant 10,000 mangrove saplings in Indonesia this year," said the Ambassador.

"Currently around 11,000 tourists from the UAE visit Indonesia annually but we want to increase that number up to 100,000 by next year," he added.

"At the moment less than 50 Indonesian students are studying in the UAE. We would like to increase that number to 500 by next year." — Wam


More news from Business