The latest Trump Project in Indonesia is part of the Lido City development in Jakarta and is the first to link the US president’s business interests to Beijing’s epic infrastructure plan.
A billion-dollar Indonesian property development with ties to US President Donald Trump has become the latest project in China’s globe-spanning Belt and Road infrastructure project – just as Washington and Beijing are tussling over trade.
A subsidiary of Chinese state-owned construction firm Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) signed a deal with Indonesia’s MNC Land to build a theme park outside Jakarta as part of the ambitious project, the company said on Thursday.
The project includes Trump-branded hotels, residences and a golf course, as well as other hotel, shopping and residential developments.
The deal is the latest to raise questions about the extent of Trump’s financial exposure to Beijing.
The park – expected to be backed with up to US$500 million in Chinese government loans – is part of an “integrated lifestyle resort”, known as MNC Lido City.
Referring to its subsidiary, MCC described the theme park as “the first culture and tourism industry project by the Central Research Institute of Building and Construction” and was “in response to” China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
It is also the first project to link Trump’s business interests to China’s signature infrastructure initiative, which aims to connect the world’s second-largest economy with Africa, Asia and Europe through a vast network of ports, railways, roads and industrial estates.
Furthermore, Chinese companies are expected to put up US$500 million – half of the development’s projected budget – putting its success or failure in the hands of decision makers in Beijing.
It is not clear to what extent the Trump Organisation was involved in the decision to include Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the project.
But marketing materials for MNC Lido City refer to the theme park and Trump properties as flagship elements of the development, and corporate filings and internal documents on the Trump projects in Indonesia show the Trump Organisation and the president’s two sons have been directly involved in various stages of its planning.
Negotiations on the Lido deal began before Trump’s November 2016 election and subsequent pledge that his family business would not engage in new transactions with foreign governments during his presidency.
Trump projects in Indonesia don’t stop here, in fact The Trump Organisation and MNC signed deals in 2015 for Lido and a Bali project, resulting in almost US$3.7 million in licensing and consulting payments for the Trump Organisation, according to MNC’s most recent annual report.