January 23, 2020
The daughter of President Trump’s Indonesian business partner, who joined the Indonesian government late last year, is now in a position to bring her father’s Trump-linked developments closer to the Indonesian government.
On January 13, Angela Tanoesoedibjo, who in October was appointed Deputy Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, attended a meeting hosted by her father’s company, MNC Group, to discuss opportunities to boost tourism around the small island nation. MNC Group was founded by Hary Tanoesoedibjo, Trump’s business partner who still serves as the company’s President Director. The massive conglomerate is building two Trump-branded properties in Bali and Lido, Indonesia.
During the meeting, a company director mentioned the theme park at the company’s Lido City development, which also has Trump-branded elements, as a tourism draw. Presumably the theme park will also bring business to the adjacent Trump-branded properties, like the planned Trump Country Club & Hotel, as well as the Trump Luxury Residential Villa, Trump International Golf Course, and Trump Luxury Condominium. If the Indonesian government invests in boosting tourism to the theme park, it will also likely have the effect of bringing business to those properties.
A map of the entire MNC Lido City development shows the MNC Theme Park in close proximity with the Trump properties
According to MNC Group’s press release after the meeting, Angela Tanoesoedibjo noted that “[The Ministry] and MNC Group have great opportunities to establish cooperation in the future.” The Indonesian government’s potential partnership with MNC Group may benefit properties from which President Trump makes money, creating another conflict of interest arising from his decision to retain his stake in the Trump Organization while serving as president. In this case, the potential conflict could impact an especially sensitive issue area, given the unique powers the president of the United States has when it comes to foreign policy and how Trump, in particular, might weigh U.S. national interest against the impacts it might have on his businesses.
Even before Tanoesoedibjo joined the Indonesian government, the two developments were marred with a host of conflicts of interest for President Trump: One of the firms working on the Lido project is partly owned by the South Korean and Saudi Arabian governments. Last year CREW discovered a presentation from MNC stating that “aggressive global expansion” of the Trump brand is underway. This past summer Donald Trump Jr. attended a launch event for the two properties in Jakarta, where he mingled with Indonesian government officials.
While Tanoesoedibjo gave up her position at MNC when she joined the government, she still planned to dedicate her work to creating infrastructure and boosting tourism around the country. To the extent that her official work also serves to benefit her father’s company, that benefit will likewise extend to President Trump’s bottom-line.