JAKARTA • Indonesian President Joko Widodo has said he was only joking when he said he was "a little disappointed" that Saudi Arabia had made a meagre investment in Indonesia even though he had gone the extra mile in courting King Salman bin Abdul Aziz during his recent visit to Jakarta.
"The statements were not serious as they were made during an informal forum," he said on Saturday.
Mr Joko, who is popularly known as Jokowi, said the fact that the kingdom had made a larger investment in China was a wake-up call for Indonesia to improve its investment climate. "Why can't we get investment? It's because our investment climate and investment ratings are still low. Not to mention legal certainty, which needs to be improved," he said.
Last Thursday, Mr Joko said he was disappointed to learn that Saudi Arabia had invested US$65 billion (S$91 billion) in China, almost 10 times the amount pledged to Indonesia.
"I even held up an umbrella for the King, but we got a smaller amount," he had said.
JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK