A Growing Relationship
Category: Issues & Ideas By : Aastha Saboo Read : 295 Date : Wednesday, July 01, 2017 - 09:41:44




Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

Finland has plenty to celebrate. This year marks its 100th year of independence. The country, famous as the birthplace of Nokia, has also carved out a niche in online games, such as Angry Birds and Supercell, the maker of Clash of Clans. Finland also boasts natural beauty, high quality education and green technologies—all this from a country of only five million population. The Finland Ambassador in Indonesia, Päivi Hiltunen-Toivio, talked to Forbes Indonesia about ways the two countries can cooperate and grow their friendship.

Forbes Indonesia: What are a few things Finland can learn from Indonesia and vice versa?

Päivi Hiltunen-Toivio: Finland can learn optimism and drive for development from Indonesia. Conversely, education and technology are some areas where Finland is doing very well.

FI: How do you see the trade relationship developing?

PHT: According to statistics, Finnish exports to Indonesia were almost €100 million, an increase of 105% from last year, during the first quarter of 2017. Finnish imports were more than €44 million, an increase of 56% from last year, also in the first quarter. I believe that Finland will become a larger trading partner with Indonesia in the future. First of all this is due to the fact that Indonesia’s needs and Finnish supply complement each other. For instance, Finland has energy-based technology in general, and new and renewable energy in particular. Opportunities can be found in education and training, health, well-being and arctic tourism. Finland also has a strong digital service sector that has interesting solutions to offer. However, the most important point is that the interest in Indonesia has started to growing in Finland and the things are already moving in the right direction.

FI: What are the sectors with potential to strengthen relations between the two countries?

PHT: Lately the energy sector and power generation have been one of the most dynamic areas of cooperation. Most Finnish companies in Indonesia are in a way or another involved in energy and infrastructure related projects, which matches Indonesia’s development plans. Their projects are going forward and growing. It is one sector that has a huge potential if we take note of Indonesia’s energy needs.

Our two countries have broad cooperation prospects in many other fields. Education and training is another sector. Education has always been important for Finland and it is based on the principle of equal opportunities. I already mentioned infrastructure, but construction and logistics have great potential as well. In the digital economy, Finland can offer plenty of services, including cyber security. In addition, sustainable forestry production management, pulp,  paper and mining continue to offer much potential in the future. 

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