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New U.S development financing group says eyeing big investments in Indonesia

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Newly established development financier the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is eyeing investments in Indonesia worth $5 billion, according to a statement by the country’s cabinet secretary.

President Joko Widodo has been trying to attract investment to boost economic growth that has hovered around 5% in recent years, below the campaign promise of 7% that he made for his first term in office.

Chief Executive Officer of the DFC, Adam Boehler, said on Friday that he would discuss the deals in the next two months.

President Widodo, who was re-elected for a second five-year term last year, called the investment “significant” in the statement, reiterating his commitment to build new infrastructure projects in his second term.

Boehler and Indonesia’s coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment, Luhut Pandjaitan, told reporters they had discussed possible deals by the DFC in the energy and infrastructure sectors, such as roads.

Boehler did not elaborate on the agency’s plans for Indonesia but said the agency would shortlist certain projects over the next couple of months where the investment would “lead into tens of billions”.

The DFC, which launched last month with a budget of $60 billion, is seen by analysts as an attempt by the U.S government to provide an alternative to Beijing’s sweeping Belt and Road initiative (BRI).

Reporting by Stanley Widianto and Fanny Potkin, additional reporting by Tabita Diela; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Alex Richardson