Thursday, March 11, 2010

Rupert Murdoch looking to invest in Indonesia?

In his speech in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, Rupert Murdoch made an intriguing reference to a recent dinner he had with Mari Elka Pangestu, the Indonesian trade minister, where she told him of her desire to double the size of her nation's creative industries.

It's hard to imagine that Murdoch and Mari merely bumped into each other in the supermarket and decided to go for dinner, so I decided to dig a little.

By the power invested in me by Google, I soon discovered that the dinner Murdoch was likely referring to took place in Washington D.C. on September 30th last year.

On that day, Murdoch's News Corporation hosted an "Evening Celebrating Indonesia" and Mari was the guest-of-honour. In her speech that evening (PDF online here), she described the event as a "tribute to Indonesia’s democracy and unique culture, food, music, and film".

Accompanied by a delegation of government officials and businessmen, Mari spoke about her desire to attract more US investment into Indonesia's emerging film and entertainment industry.

And she was most grateful to Murdoch for sponsoring the event, saying: "I want personally to congratulate the Chairman of News Corporation, Mr. Rupert Murdoch and CEO of News Corporation, Mr. James Murdoch who make this important event happened. May you have continued success and hope this is a starting point for Indonesia and US film cooperation."

Call me a cynic but Murdoch does not normally entertain political leaders just for fun. It can never hurt to keep the government of the world's fourth most populous country, which has a large and rapidly growing domestic media market, on side.

But I wonder if the wily old fox has some more specific investment plans for Indonesia.



No comments:

Post a Comment