UK ambassador says Indonesia loves Liverpool's football and culture

Liverpool FC ’s massive fanbase in Indonesia could help bring investment to Liverpool according to Britain’s ambassador to the Asian giant.

 

The Reds have millions of fans in the South East Asian nation. And that, says Moazzam Malik, could help the club’s home city as Indonesia looks to invest money around the world.

Reds fan Mr Malik has been the UK ambassador to Indonesia since 2014 and is working to grow links between the UK and Indonesia in business, the creative industries, higher education, and sport.

Asked what Liverpool meant to Indonesians, he said: “They know about Liverpool football, music and its port. They’re the three things that make Liverpool stand out for Indonesians.”

And he added: “There’s so much potential in this market through football, not only to push football but to push a wider range of business partnerships and relationships.”

Liverpool FC has an estimated 66.1 million followers in Indonesia according to research by SportsDNA in 2014.

The club last visited the country on tour in 2013 when 90,000 people watched the Reds beat the Indonesia XI.

It has one central Official Supporters Club in Indonesia, with 24 sub branches, which is one of the largest in Asia.

The club’s Indonesian language website was launched in May 2013. Its Indonesian Facebook page launched in June 2013 and now has nearly 3 million likes.

Mr Malik said: “They’re football-mad. There’s Liverpool alongside Manchester United, then Chelsea and Arsenal have big fanbases.

“They (Liverpool) have got fan clubs in all the big cities. Membership is going great guns. They’ve got people in very prominent positions in Government and politics who follow LFC.”

Mr Malik said LFC’s sponsorship deal with Indonesian airline Garuda had also “cemented Liverpool’s place in the popular psyche”.

Why Indonesia?

Mr Malik says Indonesia “is going to be a driver of the 21st century”.

Indonesia is made up of more than 17,000 islands, including Java – home to the country’s capital, Jakarta – and the popular holiday destination of Bali.

It’s the 4th most populous country in the world, with a population of more than 250m, and is the world’s largest majority Muslim country.

A report this week from accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers said Indonesia could grow to become the fourth-largest economy in the world by 2050.

That means Britain is going to want to do deals with it, particularly after Brexit – and Liverpool is well placed to benefit.

Mr Malik said Indonesians are interested in Liverpool’s experience in sectors including ports and logistics, advanced manufacturing, renewable energy and the creative industries. And he said Indonesia’s second city, Surabaya, was particularly keen to strengthen its relationship with Liverpool.

He said: “Surabaya is a huge port city, Indonesia’s second-largest port. There are things they can learn from Liverpool. They can partner with Liverpool. In sports, creative industries and higher education, there’s a lot we can do.

“I’m speaking to Mayor Risma, and she says she’s keen to come to Liverpool in spring.”

 

Source: liverpoolecho.co.uk

 

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