Indonesia and Saudi Arabia established diplomatic relations in 1950. Relations are particularly important because Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam, and Indonesia is home to the world’s largest Muslim population; both are Muslim majority countries. Besides Social and Religion, Economy and trade relations are also particularly important, especially on oil (energy) and human resources (migrant worker) sectors.
The historical link between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia was Islam. Numerous Muslim traders and ulamas arrived in the Indonesian archipelago from the Arab World during the coming of Islam around the 13th century. Since the early 20th century, Indonesian Muslims have taken the hajj pilgrimage to Makkah. As the country with the largest Muslim population, Indonesia sends the largest number of hajj pilgrims among Muslim countries.
Due to the Covid pandemic two years ago, this year the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia allowed Indonesia to send 100,510 thousand hajj pilgrims. Indonesia gives its highest appreciation to the government of Saudi Arabia for the provision of a large enough hajj quota for Indonesian pilgrims. Indonesia is the country with the most quotas compared to other countries outside Saudi Arabia. Hajj quota for the year 1440H/2019M, as many as 202,487 people (regular pilgrims) and 15,663 people (special pilgrims). The total congregation is 218,150 people. Indonesian Hajj officers are 2,850 people.
The most important thing to consider for the service of Indonesian pilgrims is to provide food with an Indonesian taste. Catering companies are required to use spices from Indonesia. So, it is expected that there will be an increase in exports of Indonesian products to Saudi Arabia.
Recently, the trade balance between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia also increased by 31.34 percent compared to the same period last year. Indonesia’s non-oil and gas exports to Saudi Arabia also increased in the second quarter of 2021 by 27.24 percent compared to the same period as last year. This year there is an increase in demand, including in such products as fish, wheat, processed food, vegetables, and fats/vegetable animals.
This increase in exports is the result of the development of the business sector in SMEs (small and medium enterprises), with a rapidly growing middle class. This is, to some extent, thanks to modern grocery stores expanding to regions outside Java and other major urban areas, increasing market presence for import products. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased e-commerce transactions. Online shoppers have increased from 75 million to 85 million. It makes Indonesian communities so convenience with the store format fastest growing modern sales channel.
In this year, according to the World Bank, Indonesian economy is projected to recover by 4.4% supported by improving domestic demand and the positive impact of a stronger global economy. We also predict the growth will increase to 5.0% in 2022 driven by reduced uncertainty.
The Indonesian economy in the second quarter of 2021 also grew 7.07 percent compared to the same period last year. This growth was faster than the World Bank projected of 4.4 percent. This is because of improving domestic demand and the positive impact of stronger global economy, it was especially supported by a very significant export growth of 31.78 percent compared to the same period.
In other economic fields, relations between the two countries continue to improve with plans for cooperation in the fields of national product standards, agricultural issues, and counterterrorism. In other economic fields, relations between the two countries continue to improve with plans for cooperation in the fields of national product standards, agricultural issues, and counterterrorism.
In the field of tourism, mutual visits by the people of the two countries are also increasing. this can be seen from the large number of requests for visas by Saudi Arabian citizens to Indonesia. This visit was to cover the G20 meeting, the International Parliamentary Union meeting, and the Global Platform Disaster Risk Reduction meeting and other activities. Moreover, in the field of renewable energy, cooperation continues to increase to increase electricity sources in Indonesia for the development of energy projects in Siguling and Singkarak.
In political relations, related to the implementation of the G20, Indonesia expressed appreciation for the support of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in preparing topic arrangements such as, blended finance for development, adaptation and mitigation of climate change, food security, just and fair energy transition mechanisms. Prince Mohammed Bin Salman confirmed the commitment to announce concrete cooperation for mangrove restoration and conservation during the G-20.
Indonesia’s success in the economic field encourages the trust of the international community, especially the G-20 members to appoint Indonesia to lead the G20 presidency in 2022. The G20 Presidency is an international economic cooperation forum consisting of 19 countries and the European Union. There are 3 things that are the main focus of Indonesia, namely inclusive health care, digital-based economic transformation, and the transition to sustainable energy.
Through these pillar, Indonesia encourage and to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, promoting sustainable and inclusive economic
development which will implemented by SMEs participation and creative digital economy. While also maintaining the aspiration to continue to improve our collective capacity in securing the shared prosperity among nations, through various reforms efforts in global taxation, stronger cooperation, deepening of infrastructure financing, and pushing for a more democratic, and representative international cooperation.
There are 438 activities during the 2022, G20 Indonesia Presidency spread across 25 cities throughout Indonesia. The implementation of the various activities of the G20 Presidency is expected to increase domestic consumption by up to Rp1.7 trillion, increase national GDP to Rp7.4 trillion, as well as involve MSMEs and absorb around 33 thousand workers in various sectors.
The 17th G20 Heads of State and Government Summit will take place in15-16 November 2022 in Bali. The Summit will be the pinnacle of the G20 process and intense work carried out within the Ministerial Meetings, Working Groups, and Engagement Groups throughout the year.
The purposes of G20 as a strategic role in securing future global economic growth and prosperity. Together, the G20 members represent more than 80 percent of world GDP, 75 percent of international trade and 60 percent of the world population.
The immediate past Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, …