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RI-Saudi Arabia to sign ten areas of cooperation

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan has said there were 10 areas to be cooperated with Saudi Arabia during the visit to Indonesia by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

"We will sign 10 cooperation agreements with the government of Saudi Arabia in areas including oil refineries, aviation, fuel oil, marine highway, tourism, and others," Panjaitan remarked, after delivering a public lecture at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), here on Wednesday.

The 10 cooperation agreements will be signed during a bilateral meeting between President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and King Salman at the Bogor Palace in Bogor, West Java, on Wednesday.

However, the coordination minister for maritime affairs did not specify the investment value in each area of cooperation.

In a press conference in Jakarta earlier on Tuesday, Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Indonesia Osama bin Mohammed Abdullah Al Shuaibi said the 10 cooperation agreements were related to security, health, culture, education, investment, small and medium businesses, agriculture, fisheries, civil aviation, and things related to Islam.

Osama said the visit is expected to strengthen the already good relations between the two countries and the cooperation in various fields.

In the meantime, Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives Fadli Zon noted in a press statement here on Tuesday that the visit is an important momentum for the government to optimize cooperation between both nations in various fields.

Zon stated that the first visit by a Saudi king since the past 47 years brings an economic diplomacy mission, which is quite positive for Indonesia.

"We know that since 2016, Saudi Arabia is eager to diversify its economy to reduce dependence on the oil and gas sector. One of the steps is to actively conduct cooperation in the field of investment," he affirmed.

Zon remarked that the Asian region has become an attractive investment destination in line with the developments in Europe and the US.

In this context, Zon also viewed Indonesia as holding a special position in the eyes of Saudi Arabia. Apart from Asia, Indonesia is also a Muslim-majority country and a member of the G20 along with Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

This condition makes Indonesia an increasingly strategic target for investment from Saudi Arabia.

He expressed hope that the momentum offered by the kings visit should be truly optimized by the Indonesian government by providing details of the agenda on all forms of economic cooperation that would be established.

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