Indonesia’s newly-enacted Omnibus Law may play a significant role in attracting more Qatari foreign direct investments (FDIs) into the fast-developing Southeast Asian nation, Indonesian ambassador Ridwan Hassan said in a webinar Tuesday.
“One of the objectives of the Omnibus Law is to improve the ease of doing business in Indonesia and attract investment, thereby boosting job opportunities and economic growth.
“This should be seen as one of the positive signs for Qatari businessmen to expand their presence in Indonesia,” Hassan said in a speech during a virtual dialogue and business matchmaking titled ‘Trade and Investment Opportunities for Indonesia & Qatar in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Calendar of Events’.
During the webinar, Hassan was joined by his Qatari counterpart, ambassador Fawziya Edrees Salman al-Sulaiti, as well as Qatar-Indonesia Business Council president (QIBC) Farhan al-Sayed; Indonesia-Qatar Business Council (IQBC) president Hendra Hartono Turman; and Kadin KT30KI chairman Fachry Thaib.
“Qatar’s investments in Indonesia, through the presence of Ooredoo, QNB, Nebras Power, and the Qatar Investment Authority, is something that we should be grateful for,” said Hassan, who noted that Qatar-Indonesia trade volume stood at almost $1bn in 2020 despite Covid-19.
“I believe there is still a lot of room for improvements and I am convinced that our trade volume and mutual investments could be increased. Aside from power and energy, there are a lot of opportunities to explore, such as in banking and finance, as well as other sectors,” Hassan explained.
He added: “It is very important to dig deeper and identify what sectors would be of interest between the two parties. So far, investments in Indonesia are coming from government-related business activities, hence I would like to encourage the private sector to explore opportunities in both countries.”
Al-Sulaiti said, “Qatar and Indonesia share strategic relations; both countries are keen to promote growth through the signing of different agreements and MoUs, which form the foundation that would elevate the trade and investment indicators.
“I encourage the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and IQBC to promote the Indonesian economy to open a new horizon for Qatari businessmen and encourage them to invest in Indonesia.”
Thaib said Qatar-Indonesia trade grew from $828mn in 2015 to $1.1bn in 2019. He said both countries could forge investment ventures in halal and agriculture industries, tourism infrastructure, paper and stationery, garments, automotive spare parts, and tyre and car batteries.
He said both sides should look into areas of co-operation with travel and tour agencies, and restaurants and hotels, in anticipation of tourists that would attend the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
“Restaurants and hotels will not only serve the World Cup event but will be essential for future tourism activities and growth in Qatar and the region. In the last five years, Indonesian and Qatari companies have contributed to several joint ventures in Indonesia; and being one of the G20 countries, Indonesia is geared to be one of the most promising destinations for investments, especially in the tourism sector,” Thaib said.
Al-Sayed said the focus of the webinar was to determine which areas would contribute further growth in non-oil and gas revenues in line with Qatar’s efforts to diversify its economy away from the hydrocarbon sector.
Turman added that the business matching aspect of the webinar will explore investment opportunities in the fields of processed foods, beverages, fisheries, cables and fibre cement, wood and paper, jewellery and pearls, ceramics, oud, and handwoven products.