Indonesia's Joko Widodo to sign deals worth $20 billion with UAE

Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates will strengthen a cooperation in en energy sector such as the development of a refinery and solar panels.

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is set to visit Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, from January 11 to January 13 to sign an investment agreement worth $20 billion or equal to Rp 270 trillion. The UAE visit is the president's first foreign trip in 2020. Speaking at the office of Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the president would hold bilateral meetings in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The former Solo mayor will meet Abu Dhabi's crown prince Sheik Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to discuss a bilateral meeting involving both countries. Also, Jokowi is scheduled to meet several entrepreneurs and CEOS to talk about investment in Indonesia.

Investment in Energy Sector

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

The official statement from the Ministry of Maritime and Investment said the Indonesian government has agreed on several investment contracts, including that involving Indonesia's state-oil firm PT Pertamina and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc). The cooperation aims to develop an oil refinery in Balongan. Also, Indonesia's electricity giant PT PLN is forging a partnership with UAE's Masdar to construct a floating solar panel worth 145 GW, as CNNIndonesia reported.

Pertamina and UAE company Mubadala are also planning to develop a refinery in Balikpapan. At the same time, PT Inalum and Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) are partnering to build a smelter aluminum and a hydropower plant in North Kalimantan. Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan signed the deals during his visit to Abu Dhabi last December. Panjaitan said the signing of the agreements was the preparation ahead of the president's UAE visit.

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week

Saudi King
Saudi King Salman, left, and Indonesian President Joko Widodo wave to the media during their meeting at the presidential palace in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Reuters

Jokowi will also be a keynote speaker at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2020. Government ministers, heads of state, experts, policymakers will gather in this international forum discussing the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by all the United Nations(U.N) members. SDGs are 17 goals with 16 measured achievements and deadlines set by the world body as a global development agenda for the sustainability and prosperity of people and the planet.

Then-Indonesia's Head of National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas Bambang Brodjonegoro (now Indonesia's current Minister of Research and Technology) delivered Indonesia's achievement in SDGs and its challenges faced in reaching those goals at a U.N forum in New York July 2019, as quoted in the website of the Foreign Ministry.

"Indonesia has succeeded in reducing poverty gap through inclusive economic growth, job opportunities expansion, and access to education, and the effort to strengthen preventive steps and resilience on a disaster," Brodjonegoro said.

UAE goes solar

The Gulf state has set up Noor Abu Dhabi, the world's largest solar park that can power 900,000 people, indicating that the Middle East nation aims to cut dependence on fossil fuel. The park will also slash the country's CO2 emissions by 1 million metric tons, the UAE stated as interestingengineering said. The production capacity is around 1,177 MW.