Thursday, 28 August, 2008 | 17:17 WIB
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:The Government wants to raise US$10 billion in investments from the Middle East to fund energy and food projects, small-and-medium-sized businesses and syariah banking, the vice-chairman of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD), Irman Gusman, said yesterday.
“Since oil prices went up, Middle Eastern countries can afford to invest up to US$ 9 trillion,” he told reporters following a meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Irman has just returned from leading the Indonesian delegation to the World Islamic Economic Forum in Kuwait.
Indonesia plans to invite more than 100 Middle East entrepreneurs when it hosts the fifth forum, next February. "We can make good use of their investments," said Irman. "They are ready to invest. We just need to manage the supporting systems."
Also attending the meeting were Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, State Enterprise Minister Sofyan Djalil and former foreign minister Alwi Shihab, Indonesia's special delegate to the Middle East.
Addressing a separate issue, Alwi said telecommunications company Qatar Telecom is interested in incrsasing its stake in PT Indosat. Minister Sofyan, however, has made it clear the firm will have to wait for a Supreme Court ruling.
Qatar Telecom previously bought 40.81 per cent of Indosat’s share from ST Telemedia subsidiary Asia Mobile and now wants to increase it to more than 50 percent. But it will have to wait until the court hears an appeal from the Business Competition Oversight Commission (KPPU) over ST Telemedia's monopoly in Indosat.
Ninin Damayanti | Anton Aprianto