Antara, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said that investors from China play a crucial role in Indonesia because they do not hesitate to transfer technology.
"Chinese investors have an important role, especially in the field of high technologies and technology transfer," he said at China (Sichuan)-Indonesia Economic and Trade Conference in Jakarta, Monday evening, May 29, 2023.
Although a lot of people have bad opinions of Chinese investors coming to Indonesia, Luhut is actually fond of them. "They want to share [technology]. People criticize me a lot; why do I want them, what if [Indonesia] is deceived? If they don't exist, we wouldn't be able to export nickel derivatives worth 34 billion dollars," Luhut said.
He also assured that Indonesia has no state debt to China albeit a lot of cooperation projects between the two. All agreements, he added, are carried out on a business-to-business (B to B) basis.
"We don't have a national debt to China. It's all B to B," he emphasized.
Chinese investment in Indonesia in 2014-2022 reached US$30.80 billion with 15,906 projects. From 2014-2021, China was the third largest investor in Indonesia. Yet in 2022, China was in second place with a total realized investment of US$8.2 billion.
China is also Indonesia's number one trading partner. As of 2022, total exports to China amounted to US$50.8 billion. Luhut argued that it is reasonable for Indonesia to target the Chinese market which has 1.4 billion people.
"Yes, the market is big, 1.4 billion. If Indonesia and China are combined, it will have a population of 1.7 billion. It is a very large market with a middle class here (in Indonesia) at 65-70 million," Luhut explained.
Economic relations between Indonesia and China continue to strengthen. He also assured Chinese businessmen that the ties between the two are closely intertwined. "So, fellow traders and entrepreneurs, you can see that we and China are patents," Luhut concluded.