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Foreign Visit, Jokowi Accelerates Domestic Investment

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By: Abdul Karim )*

President Joko Widodo succeeded in bringing in investment from abroad during a working visit to the United States. The trust from investors is expected to increase the positive image of investment in Indonesia in the eyes of the world.

Some time ago, President Jokowi made a working visit to the United States (US). During the working visit, Jokowi met with the Chairman and CEO of Air Products, Seifi Ghasemi, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Washington DC.

President Jokowi said it was important to realize the investment plan of the company from Uncle Sam’s country and hoped that the investment plan could be followed up. In his official statement, Jokowi welcomed the signing of the MoU in Dubai in November 2021. As an implementation of the plan on January 24, 2022, Jokowi has conducted a groundbreaking for the downstream coal to DME industry in Bukit Asam.

Bahlil Lahadalia as the Minister of Investment said, from Air Products’ investment plan of 15 billion US dollars, for now the first phase of 7 billion has been realized or Rp. 12.2 trillion (this figure is based on the assumption of an exchange rate of Rp. 14,667/USD). Bahlil mentioned about the DME project, methanol in Balongan and also wanting to build methanol in Cepu, the rest his party will make hydrogen which will be built in Indonesia by utilizing state-owned dams.

From the results of the discussion between the President and the CEO of Air Products, there is also a plan to develop an industry from upstream to downstream in the petrochemical sector. Now the task of the Indonesian government is to immediately carry out the execution. Because the money is already there, the project is already there. Bahlil assessed that the meeting between President Jokowi and Seifi showed that investment in Indonesia was not only controlled by a certain country but was evenly distributed.

President Jokowi and a number of ASEAN country leaders met with United States (US) businessmen at the Intercontinental the Willard Hotel, Washington DC. In his remarks, Jokowi said that Indonesia, as the G20 Presidency, wanted to ensure that the G20 could work as a catalyst for global economic recovery, especially for the progress of developing countries. Jokowi also hopes for concrete, profitable cooperation with ASEAN, especially Indonesia.

Specifically with Indonesia, Jokowi emphasized Indonesia’s potential strength in the supply of raw materials for the green energy supply industry and the digital economy. The former mayor of Surakarta explained that as one of the largest nickel ore producing countries in the world, Indonesia is growing rapidly in the iron and steel industry. Currently, Indonesia is the second largest stainless steel producer in the world.

According to Jokowi, Indonesia is also rich in mines such as copper and bauxite for aluminum, which will form the backbone of the new and renewable energy industry, including lithium batteries and electric cars. In addition, Indonesia is also very rich in green energy potential. Hydro, solar and geothermal power plants are very abundant.

It ensures that the production of essential goods will be produced from environmentally friendly power plants. Jokowi also invited American business people to invest in Indonesia.

Jokowi added that Indonesia is also serious about developing a digital economy that is fair and beneficial for all. Currently, Indonesia has 2,346 start-ups, the fifth most in the world. He also hopes for the contribution of American businesses in developing digital infrastructure, facilitating digital capacity-building, and supporting Indonesia to enter the global value chain through digitalization.

On the occasion of the meeting, the US Trade Minister Gina Raimondo, US ASEAN Business Council Ted Osius, Special Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry and a number of US company leaders including Google, Chevron, Boeing, Qualcomm, ConocoPhilips, Marriot International and others were present. President Jokowi was also accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Menlu) Rento Marsudi and the Indonesian Ambassador to the US Rosan Roeslani.

The government is targeting investment realization of Rp 1,800 to Rp 1,900 trillion next year. This figure is certainly higher than this year’s target of Rp 1,200 trillion. The government will also continue to work on investment projects seriously, so that investors will not hesitate to invest in Indonesia. The realization of this investment is of course a breath of fresh air for the revival of the national economy.

)* The author is a contributor to the Press Circle and Cikini Students

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