Today (28/07), Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who is often referred to as Jokowi, went on his first state visit to Singapore where he will discuss trade, investment and bilateral issues with Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and 150 Singaporean CEOs in a bid to enhance cooperation between both nations. President Widodo is accompanied by Indonesian Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel, Chief Economics Minister Sofyan Djalil, and Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, among others.
President Widodo’s entourage will present an overview of the Indonesian economy to the Singaporean delegation and offer investment opportunities, especially in infrastructure projects such as ports and power plants. Indonesia needs approximately USD $450 billion worth of infrastructure investment over the next four years in order to boost economic growth.
Economic ties between Indonesia and Singapore are already well established. Singapore is the second-largest trading partner of Indonesia (after China). In 2014, total trade value between both countries reached nearly USD $42 billion. Meanwhile, Singapore has been the largest foreign investor in Indonesia over the past five years. Last year, roughly USD $5.8 billion worth of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indonesia originated from Singapore. Lastly, around 1.52 million Singaporeans visited Indonesia in 2014, hence constituting the largest contributor to foreign visitor arrivals in Indonesia.
State Visit British Prime Minister David Cameron to Indonesia
Yesterday (Monday 27 July 2015), British Prime Minister David Cameron visited President Widodo in Jakarta on the first day of his four-day trade mission to Southeast Asia in search of business deals, enhance political ties between the United Kingdom (UK) and the Southeast Asian region, and step up joint efforts to combat terrorism and the Islamic State group.
Cameron said British investment in Indonesia could easily double or triple provided that deals are clinched on infrastructure projects. British companies are eager to build infrastructure for Indonesia ahead of the 2018 Asian Games which are hosted by Indonesia. Other sectors that are attractive for British investment are Indonesia’s insurance and Internet services sectors. Currently, Great Britain is the 5th largest foreign investor in Indonesia. Last year it invested (FDI) a total of USD $1.6 billion in Indonesia.
When meeting Widodo, Cameron said that the British government is ready to make available up to one billion pounds of export finance credit to Indonesia.
Regarding Islamic terrorism, Cameron announced to offer a package of counter-terrorism support measures to Indonesia, including improved security at local airports in Jakarta and Bali. He also said that around 50 members of Indonesia’s counter-terrorism squad would be trained in the UK.
It is estimated that about 500 Indonesians have joined the Islamic State group. Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, has been battling terrorism since 2002 when militants linked to the Jemaah Islamiyah network attacked nightclubs in Bali, killing a total of 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.
Today is the last day of Cameron’s two-day visit to Indonesia.