Sweden Trade Minister to Visit Indonesia

During his visit, which began 25 May 2005, Tolgfors was scheduled to meet with his Indonesian counterpart Mari Elka Pangestu, to discuss ways to improve trade and investment between the two countries, according to the Swedish Embassy. He also plans to meet with ASEAN Secretary-General Ong Keng, to update recently launched talks and negotiations on a free trade agreement between the Southeast Asian grouping and the European Union.
Bilateral trade between Indonesia and Sweden amounted to US$781.5 million in 2006, up 28 percent from the previous year, according to the Indonesian Trade Ministry.
From 2001 to 2005 bilateral between the countries has risen annually by an average 13 percent. Trade figures have been in Sweden’s favor, by up to $510.7 million last year.
ASEAN and EU, meanwhile, are each other’s third largest trading partners, with two-way trade totaling $140.5 billion in 2005. The EU enjoyed a $23.1 billion trade surplus in 2005.
An ASEAN-EU free trade agreement could further increase EU exports to ASEAN by 24 percent, and ASEAN exports to the EU by 18 percent, according to a study.
Heading a business delegation of Swedish telco firms, Tolgfors expects the telecommunications sector to be the main focus in improving trade relations with Indonesia. The sector has accounted for more than half of Sweden’s exports to Indonesia.
Tolgfors on 28 May is scheduled to address, along with Indonesian Communications and Information Minister Mohammad Nuh, a telecom seminar in Jakarta, organized jointly by PT Ericsson Indonesia, the Swedish Trade Council and the Swedish Embassy.
Cellular phone maker and solutions provider Ericsson is Sweden’s leader in mobile telecommunications, including third generation (3G) technology.
Indonesia is Ericsson’s third largest market globally. Its main competition in the Indonesian market is Finland’s Nokia, Motorola of the U.S. and South Korea’s Samsung.
The local market is seen as particularly promising, because of Indonesia’s more than 220 million people, only about a quarter already own a cell phone.
While in Jakarta, Tolgfors also will meet Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, to discuss Sweden’s latest technical assistance grant to support improvements in Indonesia’s tax office.
After this Tolgfors will visit Singapore on 30 May 2007 and Malaysia for two days starting from the 31st of May 2007.

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