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Ignasius Jonan, the Indonesian minister for energy and mineral resources, is discussing the business relations between Indonesia and Finland with Kimmo Tiilikainen, the Finnish minister of the environment, energy and housing, at the Government Banquet Hall on May 21, 2018. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Indonesia is a fast developing growth economy and one of the most interesting energy-sector markets in the world. The country is currently implementing a major investment program. There is demand for capital goods, machinery and equipment, which are among Finland’s most important export products.

On Monday evening, dozens of Indonesian delegates, lead by Ignasius Jonan, the minister for energy and mineral resources, entered the festive reception by the Finnish Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing Kimmo Tiilikainen at the Government Banquet Hall, close to the corner of the Market Square in Helsinki.

Minister Jonan and Tiilikainen raised a glass to the improving business relations between the respective countries. The Finnish exports to Indonesia were 256 million euros in 2017, while imports amounted to 151 million euros.

There is a strong focus on economic and commercial cooperation between Indonesia and Finland. When the Finnish President Sauli Niinistö visited Jakarta, the capital of the country in October 2015, the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of energy.

Similar MoUs have been signed in the field of education and the sustainable use of natural resources in the forestry sector.

In addition, Tiilikainen signed the MoU on cooperation in the forestry sector on behalf of Finland when Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Indonesia’s minister of environment, visited Finland in April 2017.

“I personally believe that our companies have many kinds of know-how and innovations that can be useful in Indonesia.” -Minister Tiilikainen

There are around 20 Finnish companies operating in Indonesia at the moment. Four of them (Valmet, Wärtsilä, Chempolis and AW-Energy) presented their expertise and activities to Jonan’s delegation on Mondy afternoon.

Jonan seemed impressed by the presentations of the Finnish companies. At the banquet hall, he marveled at the size of such as a productive country: only 5.5 million! In Indonesia, there are 261 million people.

“I personally believe that our companies have many kinds of know-how and innovations that can be useful in Indonesia,” Tiilikainen said and continued, “and like minister Jonan said, we are a population of only 5.5 million people. That’s why we are not exporting our people, instead, we are exporting our innovations.”

In the evening, the discussions were to continue over a dinner hosted by Tiilikainen, where even other Finnish companies operating in Indonesia will be represented.

Another Team Finland trade mission to Indonesia, focusing on the health and energy sectors, is planned for October 2018.

On Tuesday, the Indonesian delegation will visit Fortum’s Circular Economy Village in Riihimäki and learn about its waste sorting and recycling facilities and waste-to-energy power plant.

After his visit to Finland, Minister Jonan will travel to Copenhagen to attend the international Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM9) on 24 May. Minister Tiilikainen will be there, too.