Saudi Arabia is looking to expand its investment outside the oil and gas sector as there are other business areas that can boost their economy, Deputy Governor of Investment Affairs from the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), Faisal Bassarat, said after the Indonesia-Saudi Arabia Business Forum event in Jakartas Grand Hyatt hotel on Thursday.
"We cannot rely on one commodity to drive the economy, because there are true potentials in the other sectors too," he remarked.
In the forum, held in alignment with the visit of King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia to Indonesia, three private Indonesian companies signed a Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with three of their Saudi Arabian counterparts as a form of commitment to further explore the cooperation between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
Indonesias state-owned enterprise PT Wijaya Karya TBK and Saudis Abdul Munif Makki Group signed an agreement for infrastructure and low-cost housing cooperation, while Bunda Medik and Aloula Medical Care inked their MoU for cooperation in the healthcare sector.
Lastly, Koperasi Produsen Anugerah Bumi Hijau signed their agreement with Saudis Alfanar Energy for partnership in Biomass Energy.
Bassarat further stated that the cooperation in these varying sectors is in line with Saudi Arabia Governments Vision of 2030.
"The essence of the vision 2030 is to explore beyond the oil and gas sector," he noted.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) Rosan Perkasa Roeslani remarked that the total trade between Indonesia and Saudi was recorded to be at US$5 billion, which is a significant decrease compared to the previous year, in which the total trade reached $8 billion.
"For that reason, we strive to find breakthroughs in the trade relations. All along, our transactions (with Saudi Arabia) often involve the oil and gas sector, and we are now trying to explore other areas to boost an even bigger growth," he stated.
In his remarks, Roeslani underlined that Saudi Arabia is one of the most potential trade partner for Indonesia in the Middle East and that he believed that there are enormous opportunities for Saudi Arabia to engage in Indonesias development efforts by increasing its investment in Indonesia.
"The Indonesian government is now actively accelerating the implementation of its physical infrastructure programs like toll roads, railways, sea, airports, and bridges," he pointed out.
Industrial zone developments and tourism were also highlighted by the KADIN Chairman as Indonesias priority sectors.
"Vast opportunities are also open in the power sector since the government of Indonesia launched its program to develop 35 thousand MW power over the next 10 years," he revealed.
EDITED BY INE/H-YH.