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|Date: 7 May 2010 - Author: Antara (Andi Abdussalam)|
|Jakarta, April 27 (ANTARA) - Indonesia and Finland are holding talks on bilateral, regional and other international issues of mutual concern as part of their efforts to foster closer cooperation in various fields, such as economy, forestry, science and technology.|
|Issues of mutual interest are being discussed by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen who is currently on a three-day state visit to Indonesia from April 26 to April 28, 2010. |
During the Finnish leader`s tour of Indonesia to reciprocate Yudhoyono`s visit to Finland in September 2006, both heads of government discussed cooperation in the trade, investment, forestry, science and technology sectors.
Indonesia and Finland have very good bilateral relations in such sectors as politics, economy, trade and socio-cultural sector. In the 1980s, both countries agreed to form a Joint Commission which supports cooperation in sectors such as forestry, trade, science and technology.
In a meeting on Tuesday with the Finnish Prime Minister who was accompanied by several entrepreneurs from Finland, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono invited Finnish investors to participate in a number of development programs in Indonesia.
The Finnish prime minister`s entourage includes business delegation chief Jarmo Honkamaa and Eeva Kalli, the prime minister`s adviser for the European Union.
"We invite Finnish investors to invest in Indonesia," President Yudhoyono told a press conference. The head of state hoped that investments from Finland would increase significantly.
He said Indonesia was one of few countries which enjoyed positive economic growth during the global economic crisis with economic growth at 4.5 percent.
Some 112 Finnish companies have been engaged in 155 types of businesses with their Indonesian counterparts, among other things in exports, imports, productions, and technical products sale agents.
Among Finnish major companies in Indonesia are Nokia (telecommunication), Vaisala (navigation and meteorology), Kemira (chemical), Wartsila (factory and shipping turbines).
Meanwhile, Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said he was accompanied by a number of businessmen during his three-day visit in Indonesia. The Finnish government always encouraged the country`s businessmen to invest in Asia, he said. Finland has a lot of experience in renewable energy, telecommunication network and the forestry sector, he said.
Therefore, according to Chief Economic Minister Hatta Radjasa, Indonesia and Finland are developing economic cooperation through bio-energy development, forestry management and investment.
"Certainly we will focus on investment, renewable energy and forestry," Hatta Radjasa said on Tuesday. With regard to renewable energy and forestry, regulations have been issued in 2006 and 2008.
"They are already signed by the President. We will use them. Finland will provide the funds for forestry management in Riau and Kalimantan," he said.
Regarding renewable energy development Hatta said Finland was very active in it. "We wish to find the best form or cooperation in the development of bio-energy including biofuels," he said.
"The essence is we will push efforts in investment on bio-energy development and forestry management. We will also offer geothermal energy development," he said.
In the forestry sector, Yudhoyono and Vanhanen discussed cooperation in forest management. "We discussed cooperation in the field of forestry. As you all know, Finland has a lot of experience and expertise in forest management," President Yudhoyono said.
The cooperation is in line with the two countries` commitment to dealing with climate change and ensuring continuity in the proper management of forests. The two countries agreed to continue to develop global cooperation to ensure effective cooperation to meet the challenge of climate change.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Vanhanen said Finland forestry-related matters were important because 70 percent of his country`s land territory was covered in forests.
Finland is trying to achieve a balance between its forest growth and forest exploitation while Indonesia has great potentials in the forestry field. Cooperation between Indonesia and Finland in the forestry field has existed since 1981 when they launched a Forestry Hand Tools Study project.
In January 2010, a meeting was held with Finland`s foreign ministry to discuss Finland`s support for the forestry sector in connection with climate change. Finland has expressed its interest in participating in the Kalimantan Forest and Climate Partnership (KFCP) project in Central Kalimantan currently being carried out by Australia.
Besides in the forestry sector, the two countries also discussed cooperation on logistics system. At his meeting with Vice President Boediono, Matti Vanhannen offered cooperation in national logistics system to Indonesia to support the country`s economic activities.
Vanhannen viewed Indonesia`s economy could grow better if it is supported by a good national logistics system. "Finland although it is a peninsula it consists of several islands and ports. Ninety percent of its trade distribution is done by sea and only 10 percent done by air or land," Vice Presidential Spokesman Yopie Hidayat quoted Vanhannen as saying.
Vanhannen said Indonesia as an archipelagic country needs a good national logistics system. Finland would help Indonesia`s shipping system, shipping lanes and others.
Vice President Boediono supported the implementation of a good national logistic system in the country. "Indonesia has a lot of potential while Finland has knowledge, technology and capital which could be shared with others," he said. (*)