Dion Bisara, Jakarta – The United Arab Emirates has announced a plan to invest $10 billion in the Indonesia Investment Authority, or INA, the largest commitment from a single country to the sovereign wealth fund so far, reflecting a warm relationship between the two countries and their leaders.
Emirates News Agency, the sheikhdom's official news agency, reported on Tuesday that the plan was a directive from Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. UAE would focus its investment in Indonesia's strategic sectors, such as infrastructure, roads, ports, tourism, agriculture, and other sectors that promote economic growth and social welfare, the news agency said.
Indonesia Embassy for the UAE said President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo held a telephone talk with bin Zayed last Friday.
"This investment is a sweet result of the telephone conversation between the leaders of the two countries," the embassy said in a statement on Wednesday.
"The two of them engaged in close and warm talks and discussed the development of relations and cooperation between the two countries. One of the topics that became the focus of the discussion was the Indonesia Investment Authority," the embassy said.
The UAE praised INA as a turning point in Indonesia's investment system's governance and development, Emirates News Agency reported.
Indonesia and the UAE have been growing closer in the past few years, marked by Jokowi's visit to the UAE in September 2015 and a return visit from Mohamed bin Zayed in July 2019.
Bin Zayed is building a mosque – a smaller replica of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi – in Jokowi's hometown Solo as a token of friendship between the countries and their leaders.
This month, the two countries held UEA-Indonesia Amazing Week 2021, an investment forum that ended in several cooperation agreements related to ports, logistics, strategic and defense industries, energy, tourism, creative economy, and mangrove agriculture.
Also, Indonesia-UAE has good trade relations with a trading volume of around $3.7 billion annually.
UAE's latest plan would double the investment commitment in the sovereign wealth fund.
Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto claimed several foreign investors had stated their commitment to invest in INA with a total amounting to $9.5 billion.
The United States committed $2 billion to the fund through its overseas investment arm US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). Canada's pension fund Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ) also promissed the same amount.
Japan has said it prepared to invest $4 billion in the fund through the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), while the Netherlands' APG-Netherland would invest up to $1.5 billion.
Indonesia's government plans to put $5.1 billion in equity in INA over the next five years.