Asia Business Channel: Could you give us an outlook on the evolution of Danish-Indonesian politic and economic relations over recent years?
H.E Mr. Rasmus Abildgaard Kristensen: The relation has always been strong. A defining moment was the visit of the Queen of Denmark in 2015 as it was the first visit of a Head of State to Indonesia. She brought a big delegation and In connection with that we signed a partnership of agreement with Indonesia in several sectors. We have a vision over the next 5 years in several areas with about 100 deliverable such as political cooperation, maritime industry, military collaboration, climate change… We have seen a substantial increase of bilateral visits. We have now a complete action plan that gives substance to our relation.
Asia Business Channel: What is the perception of Indonesia and ASEAN countries in regards to Denmark’s priorities in terms of foreign policy?
H.E Mr. Rasmus Abildgaard Kristensen: we have defined Indonesia as a strategic partner. We have these types of agreements with China, Korea, Japan and now also Indonesia. It is an important country for us as we are aware that in 2030 Indonesia is supposed to be among the world top 5 countries.
Asia Business Channel: Could you highlight some of the major Danish investments? Are you involved in President Jokowi infrastructure projects?
H.E Mr. Rasmus Abildgaard Kristensen: In the past, investments were mostly in manufacturing. Now we are hoping for developing some of the traditional Danish brands. Cleantech is one of our big project.
The government of Indonesia has high ambitions to move on to renewable energy and energy efficiency where Denmark is strong. The potential is incomparable here with wind, solar…There will be at some point an escalation in renewable projects.
In terms of agriculture, Indonesia intends to become self-sufficient. We are strong in dairy products with brands like Lurpark and food processing.
In terms of consumer products, we see many Danish companies taking advantage of the growing middle class that looks for nice design furniture in which we have strong companies.
In the maritime industry, there are many of plans but it still unclear to what extent we will be involved. Maersk is of course strongly present and also relies on infrastructure improvements.
Asia Business Channel: Which feedback do you receive from investors?
H.E Mr. Rasmus Abildgaard Kristensen: They all say that the situation in oil and gas has improved and the corruption has diminished. They also say that working permits are easier to obtain. Indonesians are not always realistic in what they expect from us and the expertise we should bring. Danish investors often point the regulations that change too much and are not always appropriate. Investors always have to take into consideration the regulations as it may have a massive cost.
Asia Business Channel: From an environmental angle, would you say that Indonesia is showing an increasing awareness ?
H.E Mr. Rasmus Abildgaard Kristensen: There is a growing awareness of the fundamentals. They see traffic issues, the waste in the ocean, deforestation and the climate changing.