US, Indonesian companies sign 11 deals valued at more than $14 billion

US Vice President Mike Pence (left) talking with Indonesian President Joko Widodo during their meeting at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, on April 20, 2017.
US Vice President Mike Pence (left) talking with Indonesian President Joko Widodo during their meeting at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, on April 20, 2017. PHOTO: EPA

JAKARTA (BLOOMBERG) - US Vice-President Mike Pence announced 11 major deals valued at more than US$10 billion (S$14 billion) between US and Indonesian companies, mostly in energy and defence.

The agreements include ExxonMobil Mobil Corp. supplying liquid natural gas, General Electric Co. building electrical infrastructure, and Lockheed Martin Corp. providing technology for F-16 fighter jets, according to a statement on Friday (April 21).

Indonesia is the third stop on Pence’s 10-day swing through Asia.

“These deals represent the tremendous excitement that American companies feel about opportunities in Indonesia,” Pence said during a meeting with Vice-President Jusuf Kalla.

Indonesia has come under scrutiny from US President Donald Trump, who has ordered a country-by-country, sector-by-sector global study of US trade deficits. South-east Asia’s largest economy ran a surplus with the US of  US$13 billion last year, largely via exports of textiles, footwear, fishery products and natural resources.

Trump has said the trade abuse probe will crack down on “foreign importers that cheat.”

That is causing concern in Jakarta, with Iman Pambagyo, the trade ministry’s director general for international trade negotiation, saying recently he was “puzzled with the signals being sent from Washington.”

Other US companies involved in the deals include Greenbelt Resources Corp., Halliburton Co., Honeywell International Inc. and Ormat Technologies Inc.