January 13, 2020 / 4:59 AM / 15 days ago

Indonesia, UAE sign business deal worth about $23 billion - Widodo

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

FILE PHOTO: Indonesia's President Joko Widodo and Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan talk as they prepare to plant a tree during a welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace in Bogor, Indonesia, July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

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.

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

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

They included an agreement for ADNOC to supply 528,000 tonnes 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, health, agriculture and counter-terrorism, 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 U.S. 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 a property development in Aceh province on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, Pandjaitan said.

Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy and Wilda Asmarini, editing by Ed Davies and Richard Pullin

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