Indonesia seeks increasing economic relations with Middle East countries

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Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said that Indonesia is seeking closer economic relations with countries in the Middle East, particularly in the investment sector, local media reported here on Thursday.

Speaking before departing for a visit to four countries in Africa and the Middle East, President Yudhoyono said that he would encourage improvement of economic relations with Middle East countries with investment being the most expected sector.

"There would be an important event namely a business forum to be held in Jeddah where we would seek potential economic cooperation with the Middle East. As a member of G8 and with regard to global investment we can make more concrete cooperation with the Middle East. Therefore we would use the forum for the benefit of our national economy," the president said, quoted by the Antara news agency.

The president's aide for development and economic affairs, Firmansyah, said that the president would invite Middle East investors to take part in massive infrastructure projects in the country.

"The government has set a target to create 1 million jobs that would certainly require investment," he said.

President Yudhoyono's visit will bring him to Liberia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt between Jan. 30 and Feb. 7. Endi

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