Indonesia, UAE sign 11 pacts worth $22.89 billion during UAE Crown Prince Zayed's visit

11 business agreements in energy, oil and gas, petrochemical, port, telecommunication, and research, with a total estimated value worth $ 22.89 billion were inked

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Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ) inked 16 agreements, including five inter-governmental deals, and the eleven business deals, Reuters reported.

Both leaders appreciated the bilateral ties between Jakarta and Abu Dhabi, as Jokowi said that the Gulf country is still one of Indonesia's main trading partners. At the same time, the prince stated that the signing of the investment agreements marks a closer relationship between both countries.

What deals did the leaders ink?

Jokowi and MBZ signed 5 G-to-G(government to government) agreements. The first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is between Indonesia's Ministry of Religious Affairs, and the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments of the United Arab Emirates, on Islamic Affairs and Awqaf.

Indonesian president sails to South China Sea islands sending strong message to China
Indonesian President Joko Widodo gestures during an interview Reuters

The second MoU is between Indonesia's Ministry of Education and Culture, and the UAE Ministry of Education on cooperation in the education sector. Third, the MoU between Indonesia's Ministry of Agriculture and the UAE's Ministry of Climate Change and Environment related to the collaboration in agriculture and food diversification.

The fourth MoU is between Indonesia's Ministry of Health and the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention related to cooperation on health. The fifth is between Indonesia's National Agency on Terrorism Prevention (BNPT) and the UAE's National Intelligence service of the United Arab Emirates on counter-terrorism cooperation.

Also, there were 11 business agreements in energy, oil and gas, petrochemical, port, telecommunication, and research with a total estimated value worth $ 22.89 billion (equal to Rp 314.9 trillion).

The most significant investment in Indonesia

Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Luhut Binsar Panjaitan said the UAE-Indonesia cooperation was the largest in Indonesia, adding that the partnership started from the meeting between Jokowi and the UAE prince in Bogor last July. During last year's meeting, MBZ expressed his interest in participating in Indonesia's development project.

Mohammed bin Zayed
Mohammed bin Zayed Wikimedia Commons

Panjaitan said the UAE sees Indonesia as "a brother" given the fact that Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim country. MBZ considers Jokowi a"brother."

In a written statement on Monday (January 13), as quoted by Okezone, Panjaitan hailed the deal between Jokowi and MBZ, as both countries have reached an agreement in six months. Indonesia's Ministry of State-Own Enterprise (BUMN) is finalizing the sovereign wealth fund (SWF) scheme, which will involve other financial institutions such as Softbank (Japan) and IDFC (the U.S).

Last October, Panjaitan, the former high-ranked military general, revealed the SWF scheme will be used as an investment to develop infrastructure for Indonesia's new planned capital, as reported by Antara.