President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has said he was only joking when he said he was "a little disappointed" that Saudi Arabia had made a meager 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 after inaugurating the KH Hasyim Asy'ari Grand Mosque in West Jakarta on Saturday,
The President said the fact that the kingdom had made a larger investment in China was a wake-up call for world's largest Muslim majority country to improve its investment climate. It showed that the Saudis were more comfortable investing in China, he said.
"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.
On Thursday, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said he was disappointed to learn that Saudi Arabia had invested US$65 billion(S$90 billion) in China, almost ten times the Rp 89 trillion pledged to Indonesia.
"[Saudi] investment in Indonesia is big, but I am surprised that when the King went to China, he signed [contracts worth over] Rp 870 trillion," Jokowi said.
"I even held up the umbrella for the King, but we got a smaller amount. I am a little bit disappointed, just a little," he said.