(Yicai Global) May 7 -- Investors from China's southeastern province Fujian made Indonesia their biggest investment destination among the 10 member countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN, with CNY17.8 billion (USD2.8 billion) worth of foreign direct investment, reported state-run news agency China News Service. The new data come as China’s Premier Li Keqiang pays an official visit to the country to talk about trade.
The Fujianese firms established 69 enterprises in Indonesia, as of last year, Zhang Jinxiong, executive chairman of the Indonesian Chinese entrepreneur association told a Fujian-Indonesia business matching event on May 5. Indonesia has the most overseas Chinese in the world, with about 20 million people of Chinese origin, of which more than half are from Fujian, he added.
China’s Premier Li Keqiang is visiting Indonesia May 6-8 to improve economic relations between the two countries. China was the third-largest foreign investor in Indonesia last year after Singapore and Japan, with a total investment of USD3.4 billion, according to Indonesia’s investment agency. China's FDI to Indonesia dwarfed that of the US by USD1.4 billion.
"China will support Indonesia in building regional economic corridors and upgrading its infrastructure and industrial development to make the maritime bond between the two countries even stronger," Premier Li wrote in a signed article entitled "Embarking on a new voyage of China-Indonesia friendly cooperation," published in the Jakarta Post, a leading Indonesian newspaper, on May 5.
The economic and trade exchanges between Fujian and Indonesia have become increasingly close, said Huang Dezhi, deputy director of Fujian's department of commerce. Indonesia has become Fujian's second-largest trading partner with a total foreign trade volume of USD5.9 billion, an annual increase of 42 percent. Fujian firms could still increase the imports of Indonesian aquatic products, natural rubber, palm oil, fruit, and minerals through the ports and land passages in the coastal province, he added.
Huang also called on more Indonesian entrepreneurs to start businesses in Fujian. Indonesia has invested in 290 projects in the province, with a total investment of USD540 million.
Indonesia is one of the countries along the Belt and Road route. Beijing and Jakarta signed five contracts worth USD23.3 billion for several infrastructure projects last month. President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative is a grand plan for a vast infrastructure and trade route boasting a major network of railroads, highways, ports, and pipelines embracing the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa.
Editors: Emmi Laine, Mevlut Katik