Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and visiting Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told a joint press conference after meeting on March 29 that the two countries had many common things in the sectors as both of them are oil producers and vulnerable to the risks of climate change.
Norway’s state oil company will invest around 50 to 100 million U.S. dollars for exploration in Karama block in Indonesia’s South Sulawesi province, said Indonesian Mines and Energy Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro.
The prime minister said that Norwegian oil and gas companies planned to have more projects in Indonesia.
“In oil and gas industry, they (the companies) will now be looking forward different projects in country like Indonesia,” he said.
Norway is the world’s third largest oil exporter and has advanced technology, especially on exploration in deep sea.
Some of Norway’s oil and gas companies have already worked together with Indonesia’s oil and gas company Pertamina.
“We have companies that are investing in Indonesia, particularly I am glad to see that the Norwegian companies are now able to work together with Pertamina to develop the petrol resources of Indonesia,” he said.
“We’re bringing technological competence to the project, and we have long experience in combining national control (and) cooperation with foreign companies,” he continued.
For his part, President Susilo said that technical cooperation between the two countries in the field of energy went very well.
“Our trade and investment figures are improving, especially in oil and gas,” said Susilo.
On the issue of climate change, the President said that the two countries agreed to support each other to reduce the factors that can raise sea water surface.
“On climate changes we also agreed to intensify our cooperation and consult closely, because it is the responsibility of all mankind to control climate change,” said Susilo.
He said that the two countries would jointly prepare for the upcoming UN conference on climate change that will be held in Bali, Indonesia in December.
Indonesia is also important because it has vast rain forests, which are important to protect. “That’s why we (Stoltenberg and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono) have signed a declaration on climate change today,” said Stoltenberg.
“You are vulnerable to the rising of the sea level and the changes in the weather. Norway is also vulnerable, and therefore it is important to fight climate change and an important part of our bilateral relationship,” he said.
Indonesia groups around 17,000 islands, some of them are predicted to be sunk when the sea surface rises.
“I think it would be key measures to try to transfer technology, knowledge from the rich countries to the developing countries and them by both promoting development at the same time being able to reduce their emission of green house gas,” said the prime minister.
Investment Climate in Indonesia
Stoltenberg said corruption is really a big problem for anyone who wants to invest in Indonesia eventhough President Yudhoyono has really been contributing to improving the investment climate.
“So I support the President in his strong efforts to fight corruption because companies have always been afraid and reluctant to invest, even in good and viable projects.” he said.
Stoltenberg also mentioned inter-media dialog, involving people from the media in creating better understanding between different cultures and religions.
“Indonesia and Norway are in a good position to continue to host this inter-media dialog,” he said.