INDONESIAN President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo expressed unhappiness that Saudi Arabia plowed more money into investments in China compared to Indonesia during a visit to a boarding school in West Java this week.
When he learned that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had signed investment agreements for US$65 billion over to China, Jokowi lamented that his actions in honoring the king during his visit to Jakarta in March weren’t enough.
According to the Jakarta Post, Jokowi said he was “surprised” at the investment in China, which amounted to nearly 10 times the RP89 trillion (US$6.71 billion) pledged to Indonesia.
The president was quoted saying: “I even held an umbrella for the king [during heavy downpour as the king arrived at the Bogor Palace], but we got a smaller amount. I’m a little bit disappointed, just a little.”
He called on the the king and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman al Saud to reconsider and meet the expectation to invest more in Indonesia than they did in China. Indonesian ministers were anticipating an investment of at least US$25 billion from Saudi Arabia prior to the king’s visit – making the actual amount a major letdown.
The Jakarta Post also pointed out that Indonesia’s neighbor, Malaysia, had received a US$7 billion investment in an oil refinery project set up by Petronas, on top of US$3 billion worth of deals between Malaysian and Saudi Arabia firms in various sectors.