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Maher Saleh Jamal (1)

There will be more Saudi investments in Indonesia

"For sure, as our government encourages us to make investment in Indonesia."

03 Mei 2016 01:55

Around 30 members of Saudi Arabia trade delegation from the Makkah Province Chamber of Trade and Commerce yesterday gathered in an auditorium at Indonesia's Investment Coordinating Authority (BKPM) in Jakarta.

In that meeting, BKPM officials made presentations about investment opportunities for Saudi investors in Indonesia. Also, they provide information about the ease of doing business and what are the potential sectors for the Saudis to invest in Indonesia.

There was a good response from the Saudi delegation. They raised several questions about the investment security and how to start business in Indonesia.   

Maher Saleh Jamal, Chairman Board of Directors at Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said he believes that there will be more investments in Indonesia by Saudi investors. "For sure, as our government encourages us to make investment in Indonesia. For big deals will happen in the oil sector, energy," he said, as following excerpts of an exclusive interview with Faisal Assegaf from Albalad.co after that event.

What do you expect from this mission?

As Saudi delegation of Makkah Chamber of Commerce to see the oportunity here in Indonesia and also we see a lot of improvement in investment procedures. Just within three hours, you can get your licence with nine documents.

I think there is a huge opportunity here in Indonesia as the population, the energy sector, plantation, mining. But we have to police this opportunity to investors from GCC countries. For Saudi investors, I think they will come and go negotiate. There is a very good opportunity.

In the near future there will be a business deal during this visit or in the near future?

For sure, as our government encourages us to make investment in Indonesia. For big deals will happen in the oil sector, energy. Also, businessmen will follow these kind of investments. Even our government's investment in refinery here, it will boost the investment and also open apetite the businessmen to come and invetment in Indonesia.

How much the value of Saudi investments in Indonesia?

I think around US$ 8 billion the trade between two countries. Within two or three years, we can go double of that amount or maybe more. While there is a good encouragement and good relationship between the committte of businessmen will work on move very good.

What are the most visible sectors that are interested by Saudi investors to invest in Indonesia?

Usually the Saudis very like real estate most of the time, but still the regulations here are not open for the foreigners. We need to see some improvements in that sector because usually Saudis like real estate and also hospitality. But also there are big companies working in petrochemical, oil, and refinery sectors. And even in agriculture and plantations.

And how about the tourism sector?

There is a good promotion in tourism here. I think you can double it while there are so many alternatives in Indonesia. They have good infrastructures for the tourism, the five star hotels, cafes, multiculture areas. I think it's a good idea.

Regarding the high pressure against economic situaions in MIddle East caused by oil price has slumped down, do you think the investment in Indonesia is the best alternative for Saudi investors?

I think it is one of the good investment. Actually, there are so many investment opportunities but Indonesia I think is the good opprtunity.

What about the construction sector? Because the construction sector in Saudi is now going down, like Saudi Binladin Group.

It is not going down but there is no new project until we finished our projects. But with the Vision Saudi Arabia 2030, we will launch new projects in Metro in Makkah, a new airport in Jeddah, and also Al-Haramain railway. It is about 2017 it will start.

We do not shut down the infrastructure sector, but we just want to finish what we have now. And also Indonesia they have so many projects in infrastructure, and we will see some Saudis Insha Allah will invest in that area.     

As private sector, how do you convince with the Vision of 2030, because most infrastruture projects finance by the government before?

With the change of regulations, we are optimistic about that. There is a very good opportunity to run by the private sector itself without the government financing. So, if you change the regulation, you can help the investors to invest their money in the infrastructure.

By 2 September in this year, all employees in the mobile industry must be Saudi nationals as part of Saudization programme. Do you think this is a discriminative policy?

Actually, any country in the world they have to look after their citizens. This is one of the idea but this is not in full sectors.     

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