Nordic Companies Eye Bigger Share in Indonesian Market
A delegation representing dozens of companies from Nordic countries met on Monday with Vice President Jusuf Kalla to seek firsthand information on Indonesia’s economic agenda and determine their intentions surrounding business activities in the country.
At least 65 CEOs from different business sectors met the Vice President. Among the companies were leading Stockholm-based corporate bank Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB), Nordic Capital, Finland-based power source manufacturing and servicing company Wartsila Abp, automotive manufacturer Scania AB, EF Education First, Ericsson, Quvat/Principia Management and renewable diesel supplier Neste Corporation.
The delegation was led by SEB, said Swedish Ambassador to Indonesia Johanna Brismar Skoog.
“They came here with very big business delegations, with CEOs and chairmen of the boards of some of the largest Swedish and Nordic companies. They are here to learn about the country,” Skoog told reporters after the meeting.
Indonesia’s growth and changing policies were the main reasons that encouraged the executives to group together and visit the country, said SEB chairman Marcus Wellenberg.
“This is a kind of field trip to get to know more about opportunities that we see here as we see Indonesia is adapting and reforming a lot of its economic policies. It’s obvious to us and more opportunities will be here going forward,” Wellenberg said.
He pointed out that a number of companies in the delegation had been operating in Indonesia for years, such as Ericsson, which has been in Indonesia since 1907.
“It’s the first time that we have had so many companies joining us at the same time. We’re excited. We think this is a great possibility for us to do more here,” he said.
Ericsson is currently one of the largest suppliers of LTE technology with around 40 percent of global LTE traffic passing through an Ericsson network.
Despite having a presence in the country for years, investment from Nordic countries remains smaller compared to other countries.
Figures from the Investment Coordinating Board (BPKM), for example, showed that the realized investment from Denmark reached US$2.02 million in 2015. Realized investment from Norway, meanwhile, reached $1.83 million last year.
Kalla’s head of expert staff, Sofjan Wanandi, highlighted that the Nordic companies wanted to better understand Indonesia’s economic situation and the government’s growth policies.
“They want to increase their investments here because they see Indonesia is a big market. Amid slowing growth in China and other parts of the world, they see Indonesia as a basis for investment. They want to see the situation here, look at the prospects and what the government is planning,” Sofjan explained.
He cited that a number of ongoing projects had attracted Nordic firms, including the government’s program to develop 35,000 megawatt power plants.
“Many companies want to invest, especially in power plant development along with the grids. They are seeking certainty on whether the program will be implemented and want to take part in open bids for the projects,” Sofjan said.
Apart from power plant development, according to Sofjan, companies have also noted their interest in developing the pharmaceuticals sector, building up biomass-based energy sources and expanding further their education networks.