Jokowi says comment about Saudi Arabia’s small investment just a joke

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has said that he was only joking when he said he was “a little disappointed” that Saudi Arabia pledged more investment in China than in Indonesia despite the fact that he “held up the umbrella” for King Salman bin Abdul Aziz during his recent visit to Indonesia, according to Jakarta Post Online report on Sunday.

“The statement was not serious as they were made during an informal forum,” he said on Saturday.

Jokowi explained that the fact that Saudi Arabia made larger investment in China was a wakeup call for Saudi to improve its investment climate and it also showed that the Saudis were more comfortable investing in China.

“Why can’t we get investment? It is because our investment climate and investment ratings are still low. Not to mention legal certainty which needs to be improved,” said the president.

On Thursday, Jokowi said he was disappointed to learn that Saudi Arabia had invested US$65 billion in China, almost ten times the Rp 89 trillion ($6.71 billion) pledged to Indonesia.