Eight companies from Sweden have expressed interest in investing up to $500 million in total in Indonesia, Industry Minister M.S. Hidayat said on Sunday.
The minister, who is part of an envoy of Indonesian officials led by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono that traveled to Sweden and the United States, said that Swedish companies interested in investing in Indonesia are from the heavy equipment, automotive, furniture, mining and renewable energy sectors.
“There were eight chief executive officers who met the president in Sweden. All were interested to invest in Indonesia,” Hidayat said at the Halim Perdanakusuma airport.
The envoy left last Monday and returned to Indonesia on Sunday.
In Sweden, Yudhoyono met with King Carl XVI Gustaf, parliament speaker Per Westerberg and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.
Also in Sweden, at the Grand Hotel Stockholm, Yudhoyono met top executives from giant multinationals, including Hans Vestberg, the chief executive of Ericsson, and Mikael Ohlsson, the president of furniture maker IKEA.
Hidayat said he and Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan are pushing for these companies to promote more local content use for their investments.
Total bilateral “two way” trade between Indonesia-Sweden reached $1.46 billion last year, according to government data cited by Hidayat. In 2011 trade rose 28 percent to $1.05 billion.
Investments from Sweden in Indonesia were small last year. Realized investment from Sweden totaled $5.2 million in 2012, on 11 projects. Still, that was a sharp increase from $916,000 in 2011 on nine projects.
Some Swedish companies are already setting investment plans in Indonesia.
ABB, a power and automation technology group, is preparing to invest in two power plants in Java at a cost of $25 million each. IKEA plans to open its first shop in Indonesia, in Alam Sutera, Tangerang in Banten on July 2014.