JAKARTA – The United Arab Emirates will inject nearly $23 billion into Indonesia projects through a sovereign wealth fund, with investments including the new capital city, officials said on Monday.
President Joko Widodo said on Monday on Twitter he had met with Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed at the Qasr Al Watan presidential palace in Abu Dhabi on Sunday night and signed five intergovernmental cooperation agreements and 11 business agreements with an investment of around 314.9 trillion rupiah.
The 11 business pacts reportedly include the areas of oil and gas and petrochemicals, while the five inter-governmental agreements are in the fields of education, health, agriculture and counter-terrorism, according to a government statement.
“There has never been a deal this big,” said Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan in the statement.
The UAE joins Japan’s SoftBank Group and the United States International Development Finance Corporation in investment, the statement said, adding that Abu Dhabi will invest in the construction of Indonesia’s new capital city in East Kalimantan, Borneo island, as well as in property development in Aceh on Sumatra island.
Widodo also asked the crown prince to be on the steering board for the construction of the new capital, the statement said.
“It was discussed earlier by the President about the Sovereign Wealth Fund during tête-à-tête… the Crown Prince repeatedly said that Indonesia is a very close friend of ours. And he repeatedly reminded that Indonesia has the biggest Muslim population. So they want to contribute to Indonesia,” Pandjaitan said.
On Twitter, the crown prince confirmed the signing of the 16 agreements.
“Indonesia is an important partner with a regional and international presence. We are keen to strengthen cooperation for our mutual benefit,” he added.
The crown prince said that he had “discussed bilateral ties” with Widodo, “as well as regional and international issues. We share a common desire to promote mutually-beneficial bilateral action.”
In August last year, Indonesia announced plans to move the capital away from overcrowded and sinking Jakarta to rainforest-rich Borneo island, a move which is estimated will cost around $33 billion.