The visit of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia to Indonesia between 1-9 March 2017 is expected to result in a boost of foreign direct investment (FDI) from the Middle Eastern nation into Indonesia. During his state visit to Indonesia, the Saudi king is expected to sign a USD $6 billion investment agreement related to a refinery complex in Cilacap (Central Java) that is owned by the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco), widely regarded as one of the world's most valuable companies, and Indonesia's state-owned energy company Pertamina.
Besides the Aramco deal, other agreements for investment projects that are to be signed during king Salman's visit to Indonesia total roughly USD $1 billion in value. Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who will welcome king Salman at the airport when arriving, earlier said he expects investment from Saudi Arabia in Indonesia to eventually total USD $25 billion.
Considering the big drop in crude oil prices, while a number of countries in the Middle Eastern region are experiencing major troubles (Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Egypt) and therefore cannot be reliable partners, Saudi Arabia is in search of new economic partners. Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim community, is regarded a new and lucrative partner.
Based on data from Indonesia's Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Saudi Arabia only invested USD $900,000 in Indonesia in 2016, hence being ranked 57th in terms of biggest foreign investors in Southeast Asia's largest economy (implying it even ranks below South Africa and Mali).
King Salman will first visit Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta (and meet President Widodo) as well as Bogor between 1-3 March, before departing to Bali where he - and his entourage (consisting of about 1,500 men) - will stay between 4-9 March. It is the first time since 1970 that a Saudi king visits Indonesia. Police said it will deploy some 10,000 officers to secure the visit of King Salman.
In September 2015 Widodo had visited Saudi Arabia to strengthen bilateral cooperation. Saudi Arabia is Indonesia's largest trading partner in the Middle East.
It is estimated that more than one million Indonesians work in Saudi Arabia, while another million Indonesians arrive in Saudi Arabia, each year, for a pilgrimage.