“World’s largest Muslim population and enormous economic potential” are words we hear often these days from Middle Eastern investors as Indonesia gets more and more of the world’s attention. This time it’s Qatar, with the world’s second largest GDP per capita (US$121,000) and huge oil and natural gas reserves, expressing a keen interest in making more deals.
Qatar’s Ambassador to Indonesia Ahmed A. Al-Mohannadi gave an interview to the Jakarta Post in which he said investments and trade were growing rapidly. This follows high level visits in 2009 by the leaders of both countries and efforts by the corporate sector to strengthen the relationship. Qatari telecommunications firm Qtel owns a 65%, $3 billion stake in PT Indosat and Qatar Holdings, part of the Qatar Investment Authority, recently set up a $1 billion Indonesia fund. Indonesian energy companies are also active in Qatar.
Chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Gita Wirjawan, welcomed the increased activity and hoped that more foreign money would flow into developing Indonesia’s infrastructure, seen as fundamental to further economic development.