Indonesia steps up cooperation with Middle East countries hinh anh 1Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Source:
Indonesian President Joko Widodo received President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani in Jeddah during his tour of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar from September 11-15.

At the follow-up press conference, Ahmad Mohamed Ali spoke of Indonesia’s role in IDB as one of the active founding members.

The two sides discussed in depth the Southeast Asian’s role in improving capacity building for IDB members, the work that Indonesia is carrying out in the South-South cooperation.

Dr. Ali revealed that IDB is currently crafting its Member Country Partnership Strategy worth 5 billion USD and it is planning an annual meeting of IDB Board of Governors in Jakarta in May, 2015.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s visit to the three Middle East countries looked to boost bilateral cooperation, especially in economics, energy, migrant worker protection and strategic industry.

Apart from talks with leaders of the visiting countries, Joko’s agenda included the signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) related to visa exemption for diplomatic passport holders of Indonesia and Qatar as well as a trade agreement between Indonesia and the UAE.

In addition, the Indonesian President set to ink an agreement to form a strategic partnership with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

The visit is expected to create favourable conditions for Indonesia’s products to enter the Middle East market while encouraging investment activities in infrastructure, maritime affairs and energy.

Saudi Arabia is Indonesia’s largest trading partner in the Middle East while the UAE is the main destination of Indonesia exporta to the region and Qatar is the biggest investor in Indonesia.

Indonesia’s trade volume reached 8.6 billion USD with Saudi Arabia, 4.25 billion USD with the UAE and 1.68 billion USD with Qatar, in 2014.-VNA