Mrs Polano is currently coordinator at the office of Minister for Trade Ewa Björling and chairs the Ministry for Foreign Affairs promotion team. She has previously served as Sweden’s Ambassador to Mexico, EU Issues Coordinator at the European Union. Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Minister at the Swedish Embassy in Berlin, Germany. Mrs Polano will take up her duties as Ambassador in Jakarta in September.
The Swedish Government Offices Regeringskansliet has talked with Ewa Polano about her upcoming job and duties.
What will be the most important aspects of your work as Ambassador in Jakarta?
Our work at the Embassy will now primarily focus on the Swedish EU Presidency and relations between the EU and Indonesia, but at the same time we will take the opportunity to raise the profile of Sweden in the country. Trade development and promotion is also important. Indonesia has a great potential that has not yet been fully realised. In recent years Indonesia has made great political and economic progress. Democracy is gaining ground and Indonesia has the best economic growth in South East Asia – despite the crisis! I want to promote our trade relations. Some 60 Swedish companies currently have a presence there, and I want to help more companies discover the large market that Indonesia represents.
You have served abroad before. How does it feel to do so again?
I look forward to working abroad again. Working at home at the MFA during the past three years has been very useful to me in getting a feeling for current Swedish outlooks and in becoming acquainted with the fresh ideas that have emerged in different areas. I got a lot out of working at the Ministers Office – not least the interesting experience of working close to the political leadership. It’s good to come home now and again.
How do you think your previous experience will help you in Jakarta?
I have broad experience from several different countries: Mexico, Syria, Germany and Argentina. Indonesia and Mexico also share many similarities. They are both large countries and important regional actors. Both countries have, in recent years, gone from being dominated by one political party towards a clear democratic development – but with many similar problems concerning the judicial system, human rights and corruption.
In addition to serving as Sweden’s Ambassador in Indonesia, Ms Polano is also expected to be accredited in Timor-Leste and to ASEAN.