“Indonesia is rich of natural resources, supported by abundant human resources and high market potential, thus attracting Norway to improve economic relations,” said Trond Giske, Minister of Trade and Industry of Norway, during a meeting at the Indonesian Ambassador Residence on 23 March 2012, Oslo. The meeting was organized to announce Norwegian Government’s plan to open an Innovation Norway Jakarta Office, covering South East Asia with Indonesia as the main focus.
Innovation Norway is Norway’s official trade representative abroad, tasked also to support Norwegian companies’ businesses and investments, as well as to promote Norway as a tourist destination country.
“Indonesia has developed rapidly with many unexplored potentials. Norway wants to be a part of Indonesia’s development, and the presence of Innovation Norway Jakarta Office becomes important to bridge investments and trade,” Giske added.
Norway’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Eivind Homme, who was also attending the meeting, added, “Indonesia has become one of the few countries with trillion dollar income, following China, India, and Korea, and this is the right time to increase cooperation by establishing an Innovation Norway Jakarta Office.”
“The reform has changed Indonesia,” said Gunn Ovesen, CEO of Innovation Norway, “Indonesia is a promising country with a high economic growth, and is a leader in many international initiatives. These have become attractions for investments and a promising market for trade.”
Esti Andayani, Indonesia’s Ambassador to Norway, was enthusiastic with the plan, and added, “Indonesia has become more conducive for industry, with now having a national comprehensive development plan divided into six corridors based on areas. The Government supports and facilitates investment, and is highly committed to good governance with the Commission on Corruption Eradication (KPK) and the whole Indonesian population behind it.”
The establishment of Innovation Norway Jakarta Office was also warmly welcomed by Oslo Chamber of Commerce International Market Manager Astri Platou and some of the major industry leaders in Norway, including CEO Hoegh & Co. Thor Jørgen Guttormsen, CEO Q-Free Øyvind Isaksen, and Board Director Norwegian Tunnelling Network Ola Woldmo.
The value of Norway’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Indonesia within the period of 2006 – 2010 reached 24.9 million USD. In addition, the Government of Norway also invested their oil fund in Indonesian companies, which in December 2011 valued to about 775 million USD.
Meanwhile, 2011 trade volume showed a surplus for Indonesia, with an increase of 13% in the export value to Norway, amounted to 986 million NOK. Commodities such as apparels, shoes, communication and sound equipment, as well as wooden and metal products showed increasing demands. Indonesia’s import value from Norway, on the other hand, dropped about 31% in 2011, to 565 million NOK.
The Innovation Norway Jakarta Office will work closely affiliated with the Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta, and is scheduled to commence its operation within the last quarter of 2012.
KBRI Oslo, 27 March 2012