As she settles into her role as Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E. Marina Berg speaks to Ranjit Jose about ways in which Sweden can help Indonesia achieve its targets with regard to energy efficiency and effective transportation.

H.E. Marina Berg, the Ambassador of Sweden in Indonesia. Photo by Raditya Fadilla/NOW!JAKARTA

Welcome to Jakarta! How have these past few weeks been? What has surprised you the most—that you didn’t expect?
Thank you! First of all, I’m delighted to be here in this wonderful country. Stunned by its richness in opportunities when it comes to culture and traditions, businesses and tourism. There are so many places to visit and to explore.

What has surprised me the most is perhaps the size of the Swedish community in Indonesia. I knew that many Swedish people like to visit Indonesia and its islands but that we have so many Swedes living permanently in this country came as a surprise.

As you begin your term here, what are you most excited about with regard to fostering the development of the Sweden-Indonesia relationship?
Sweden and Indonesia have a broad based long-standing relationship. My most important task is to preserve our relationship and to develop the cooperation’s we have. Over the years our relationship has developed, and given the fact that the Swedish diplomatic mission is relatively small in Indonesia, we have to focus. I will continue making sure that we make the best use of our comparative advantages in our cooperation. It is a challenge not to spread thin but rather to deepen in areas where the relationship can be fostered. It is going to be exiting to develop some of the ideas that I have on how this could be done. I look forward to coming back to you on how I manage!

Recent ministerial visits between the two countries have resulted in the signing of Memoranda of Understanding in a number of areas. Can you tell us how Indonesia can benefit from Sweden’s experience with excellent transportation as it seeks to improve transportation options in this country?
Clean and sustainable transport is a key component in combating the threat from climate change that we all face together. For being successful and reaching the Paris agreement and the SDG all countries must think inclusive sustainable economic growth. And it is not only the Governments responsibility, also companies have to contribute and do their part. I’m proud to say that Swedish companies offer world-leading solutions, some of which we already see in Indonesia. In addition, Swedish companies and the Swedish government also have a long history of working with technology transfers, allowing countries to build up their own industries.

I will continue working to promote Swedish clean technology in the Indonesian transportation- and infrastructure sectors. It is not just for the benefit of the Swedish companies it is also for the benefit of Indonesia, the region and the world. We must work together, Swedes and Indonesians alike, and deliver a sustainable future for all.

How can Sweden help Indonesia achieve its goals regarding energy efficiency and renewable energy?
Sweden and Indonesia have cooperated on energy issues for quite a few years. In 2017 a MoU was signed between our ministers for energy. The cooperation on energy is all about energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The Swedish industry in this sector acknowledge Indonesia as a central market and important for future cooperation. Swedish companies are front runners when it comes to sustainability and inclusive economic growth; not only when it comes environment issues, but also regarding social sustainability, including gender and workers’ rights. Our cooperate responsibility also includes transparent and fair business practices.

Another area of cooperation between our two governments within the energy sector is on higher education and research. We transfer knowledge and exchange expertise between our countries. In addition, Indonesia has been invited to take a more prominent role within the International Energy Agency (IEA), where Sweden is one of the founding members. Through IEA and the Clean Energy Transition Programme, Indonesia can gain access to expertise on energy efficiency and renewable energy policy development. Sweden will be supportive in this.

Last but not least, our government authority, The Swedish Energy Agency, has a well established relationship with Indonesian counterparts and invest in cleaner energy in your country. The Energy Agency is promoting knowledge sharing as well as business to business cooperation in the fields of waste-management, climate-financing and energy efficiency, just to name a few examples.


This article is originally from paper. Read NOW!Jakarta Magazine November 2018 issue“Travel Issue”. Available at selected bookstore or SUBSCRIBE here.

Ranjit Jose

Ranjit Jose

Ranjit is a previous Editor of NOW! Jakarta. A cultural journalist and anthropologist by training, he has reported on arts and culture for a variety of publications in the USA and Indonesia.