"if he is coming to Indonesia and is bringing along so many delegates, it is a positive signal for Indonesia"Jakarta (ANTARA) - The upcoming visit of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud is a positive signal that Saudi Arabia wants to strengthen economic cooperation with Indonesia, former deputy foreign minister, Dino Patti Djalal, noted.
"King Salman does not go outside his country too often. Hence, if he is coming to Indonesia and is bringing along so many delegates, it is a positive signal for Indonesia," Djalal said after addressing a seminar on ASEAN, organized by the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia on Friday.
The visit of King Salman, who will be accompanied by 1,500 delegates including 10 ministers and 25 princes, should be utilized by Indonesia to attract more investment for infrastructure projects initiated by the government.
"The visit is the perfect occasion to draw in Saudi petro dollars for infrastructure investment," Djalal pointed out.
King Salman is scheduled to visit Indonesia from March 1 to 9. After meeting President Joko Widodo in Jakarta, he will depart for Bali, where he will take some time off.
It will be the first visit of a Saudi King in 47 years.
Earlier, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung had said that during his visit, King Salman would discuss five cooperation agreements on the promotion of arts and cultural heritages, exchange of the experts for better arrangements during hajj and umrah, promotion of modern Islam through preaching and exchange of religious scholars, increasing the frequency of flights from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia, as well as combating cross-border crimes.
The issue of cooperation regarding the construction of an oil refinery in Cilacap, Central Java, will also be followed up by the state-owned energy company, PT Pertamina, and the Saudi Arabian Oil Company. The refinery involves an investment of US$6 billion.
The Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) has recorded that investment worth only US$900 thousand for 44 projects in Indonesia was realized from Saudi Arabia in 2016.
It placed Saudi Arabia at rank 57, below South Africa which invested US$1 million, and Mali which was able to invest US$1.1 million in Indonesia in the same year.