(MENAFN - Arab News) Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono yesterday called upon Saudi businessmen to invest in his country, making use of its growing economy and attractive investment opportunities in vital sectors including energy, minerals, automobiles, ITC and agriculture.
Speaking to Saudi businessmen and officials on the sidelines of the Saudi-Indonesia Business Forum at Jeddah Hilton, he emphasized the importance channeling more investments to ensure energy and food security.
Mazen Batterjee, vice president of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the meeting with the president was encouraging as he promised all support and incentives to Saudi investors.
Speaking to Arab News after his meeting with Yudhoyono, Batterjee said a Saudi business delegation would soon visit Indonesia to explore investment opportunities in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country with a population of 240 million and a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
"There is a desire from both sides to expand trade and investment relations," Batterjee said, adding that the present two-way trade does not reflect the potentials and ambitions of the two countries. In 2011, Saudi-Indonesian trade stood at 6.84 billion with Saudi exports to Indonesia reaching 5.42 billion.
Yudhoyono, who attended the forum on his way to the Islamic Summit in Cairo, offered his support for boosting cooperation between the two economic powerhouses in the Muslim world, who are members of the G20.
But the president could not address the forum's main session attended by more than 200 Saudi and Indonesian businessmen because of engagement in other important meetings, said Indonesian Ambassador Gatot Abdullah Mansyur.
During his meeting with Yudhoyono, Batterjee highlighted the historic relations between the two countries, dating back to more than eight decades. "We are interested in transfer of Indonesian technology to the Kingdom. We don't need any funds," he said.