Indonesia hopes for billions from Saudi king's visit

AP News
Posted: Feb 24, 2017 5:07 AM

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia is hoping to ring up investment deals worth billions of dollars when Saudi Arabia's King Salman and an entourage of 1,500 officials, princes and businessmen visit the Indonesian capital next week.

The March 1-9 state visit is the first to Indonesia by a Saudi monarch since 1970. The Indonesian government says Salman will spend most of the nine days vacationing on the resort island of Bali.

Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said this week that Salman and President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo will discuss trade, business and other matters. Salman will meet chief executives and leaders of Indonesia's biggest Muslim organizations and perform Friday prayers at Jakarta's Istiqlal Mosque.

Indonesia has been a source of workers for Saudi Arabia, mostly maids, but in 2011 the government said it would no longer send domestic workers after an Indonesian woman found guilty of killing her Saudi employer was executed by beheading.

Meanwhile, Indonesian victims of haj disasters in Mecca in 2015 are still waiting for compensation promised by the Saudi government.

Anung said the government is targeting $25 billion in investment commitments including a $6 billion project with national oil company Saudi Aramco.

For the Jakarta leg of the visit, Salman's party has booked out four hotels in a posh south Jakarta neighborhood.