Developments in Indonesian–Saudi Relations Under President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo

Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat

When a former furniture store owner and mayor of the small city of Surakarta, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, was elected as Indonesia’s seventh president in 2014, his limited experience in foreign affairs left many observers thinking his ‘presidency would see few significant breakthroughs in the country’s foreign policy.  However, despite these presumptions, Jokowi has succeeded in strengthening Indonesia’s relationship with various Middle Eastern partners, including Saudi Arabia. As a result, over the past decade, ties between Jakarta and Riyadh have solidified and become more multifaceted, with the scope of cooperation expanding from the diplomatic and energy spheres to include security and cultural ones as well.

This report provides a broad analysis of the relationship between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia under the administration of Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. The report is divided into three sections. The first reviews the key political and security developments in the Indonesia–Saudi relationship, while the second analyzes shifts in economic relations. Finally, the third section examines growing cultural exchanges between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia since 2014.