Country focus |

2019 Ambassadors Review

Country Focus | 13 December 2019

2019 ambassadors review

Each month, NOW! Jakarta has a Country Focus section that celebrates the relations between Indonesia and each country in focus on a political, economic and cultural level, making it among the most-read stories of the magazine. The following are some interview highlights from our Ambassadors interviews to once more appreciate their role and contribution in their respective posts. Some of the Ambassadors may have since been relocated.

H.E. Gary Quinlan AO

H.E. Gary Quinlan AO

Ambassador of Australia to Indonesia

Indonesia’s relationship with Australia spans decades and is now stronger than ever. Ambassador Quinlan spoke to NOW! Jakarta about the various areas of cooperation between the two countries.

Indeed, 2018 was a busy year for us. And I think the relationship is in great shape. We concluded negotiations on our free trade agreement, the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), and we elevated the status of our relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Both were announced during a visit by our Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the end of August. We’ve concluded a range of MoUs on the creative economy, transport, cyber cooperation, cooperation on countering narcotics, amongst others. We also held a Sub-Regional Meeting on Counter Terrorism in November that was co-hosted by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Wiranto, and Australia’s Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton. All that has certainly kept us busy.

Read full article: In Conversation with H.E. Gary Quinlan AO​, Australian Ambassador to Indonesia


Leung Kwan Ho

Leung Kwan Ho

Director of Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC)

As the region becomes more aware of Indonesia’s economic potential, power houses like Hong Kong have established offices to facilitate increased partnerships. NOW! Jakarta spoke to Leung Kwan Ho, Director of Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) to find out about the growing link between the two countries.

Indonesia is a close partner. Recently there were 70 to 80 delegates taken to Hong Kong to meet potential partners from other Belt & Road countries. It was to help them meet each other and see if they could connect based on mutual need. The world needs to know more about Indonesia and its products, destinations, etc. It’s time. One more thing I’d like to add is that education is another area of cooperation. We’re seeing more Indonesian students travelling to Hong Kong. It’s a good investment for Indonesians and will help Hong Kong understand the country better too.

Read full article: HKTDC Helps Bridge Indonesian Commerce and Industry with the Asian Powerhouse


H.E. Vegard Kaale

H.E. Vegard Kaale

Ambassador of Norway to Indonesia

The Norwegian Ambassador to Indonesia shares what’s on his busy agenda and highlights main points cooperation between the two countries.

We enjoy a close and fruitful cooperation with several ministries, directorates and other entities. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Kemlu) is always the focal point for our relations with the Government, but we have also excellent cooperation with many other ministries on issues as climate and forest, fishery and oceans issues, trade, energy, planning and financial matters. The operationalization of the new environment fund, Badan Pengelola Dana Lingkuangan Hidup, will be of particular interest for us in the coming months.

Read full article: Insights from The Norwegian Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E. Vegard Kaale


H.E. Olivia Leslie

H.E. Olivia Leslie

Ambassador of Ireland to Indonesia

NOW! Jakarta sat down with Olivia Leslie, Ambassador of Ireland to Indonesia, as she shared her experience in Indonesia so far and other critical issues, including Ireland’s involvement in sustainability and cultural preservation in Indonesia.

Fundamentally, our baseline objectives here will still be around promoting education exchange and increasing two-way trade and investment. One way to promote trade is to develop a double taxation agreement between Ireland and Indonesia. We’re not there yet but we do hope to make progress soon.

Read full article: Up Close and Personal with H.E. Olivia Leslie, the Ambassador of Ireland to Indonesia


H.E. Jari Sinkari

H.E. Jari Sinkari

Ambassador of Finland to Indonesia

In conjunction with the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations, the Finnish Ambassador to Indonesia tells NOW! Jakarta about Finland and Indonesia’s friendship and other positive cooperations between the two countries. 

Indonesia is the most important export market for Finnish goods and services in South East Asia, and in recent years it has also experienced the fastest growth. Large infra companies are well presented in Indonesia. Wärtsilä and Valmet are involved in power generation, Kone provides elevators and escalators, Nokia provides ICT networks, Cargotec and Konecranes cargo handling systems in ports. I feel our economies are very compatible because our industries provide tools and know-how for making Indonesian economy more efficient.

Read full article: Exclusive Interview with H.E. Jari Sinkari


Zamshari Shaharan

Zamshari Shaharan

Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Malaysia

Malaysia and Indonesia have shared a connection for years. NOW! Jakarta spoke to the Chargé d’Affaires about this special relationship and the bilateral connections forged over the years.

Malaysia and Indonesia share strong historical ties. Before the existence of our boundaries, our people freely moved from one place to another in this Malay Archipelago we dearly call Nusantara. The various ethnicities that exist in Indonesia, also exist in Malaysia, albeit smaller in number. We have Melayu, Jawa, Bugis, Batak, Minang, Iban, Dayak and many more. The same goes for Indonesia.

Read full article: A Conversation with Zamshari Shaharan, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Malaysia


H.E. Joseph R. Donovan Jr.

H.E. Joseph R. Donovan Jr.

Ambassador of The United States to Indonesia

People are at the root of our relationship. Increasing the opportunities for Indonesians and Americans to learn more about one another will only enhance our strategic partnership as we move forward.

Indonesia has been a great partner to us. We want to be a great partner with Indonesia. It is important to emphasize that we are not asking anyone to choose between the United States and China. Like the United States, China is an Indo-Pacific country, and we would welcome their constructive participation in upholding the rules and norms of the international trading system. Among other things, this means ensuring that trade and investment is market-based, commercially motivated and transparent.

Read full article: Exclusive Interview with H.E. Joseph R. Donovan Jr., US Ambassador to Indonesia


H.E. Rasmus Abildgaard Kristensen

Ambassador of Denmark to Indonesia

The Ambassador of Denmark to Indonesia shares Nordic value and principles in cultivating strong bilateral ties with Indonesia.

One highlight is how Indonesia joined the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals (P4G), which is a Danish initiative started a few years ago with the purpose of fostering public-private partnership through implementation of sustainable development goals. We are happy to welcome Indonesia into this global partnership in September. We think there’s a lot of potential for the country to benefit from this.

Read full article: A Minute with H.E. Rasmus Abildgaard Kristensen


H.E. Helene Steinhäusl

H.E. Helene Steinhäusl

Ambassador of Austria to Indonesia

NOW! Jakarta sat down with Ambassador Helene Steinhäusland discuss the solid bond between Austria and Indonesia as well as future hopes for Indonesia.

Concerning tourism, I am pleased to note that Indonesians are more and more discovering Austria as a holiday and business destination. We can observe this at the Embassy from a strong increase in visa applications, which have more than doubled during the last three years.

Read full article: Mutual Respect Key to Strong Bilateral Relationship: A Conversation with Austrian Ambassador Helene Steinhäusl


H.E. Kurt Kunz

H.E. Kurt Kunz

Ambassador of Switzerland to Indonesia

NOW! Jakarta welcomed H.E. Kurt Kunz, Swiss Ambassador to Indonesia, and discussed Indonesia’s prospect as “a market for the future”, the new SwissCham and sustainable tourism development.

Indonesia is already a big market. But for sure, we live in the present, and at the same time always preparing for the future. Last year, we signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between EFTA and Indonesia, and we are negotiating a new bilateral Agreement to promote and protect investments and we want to update our Agreement to avoid double taxation.

Read full Article: Making a Difference: In Conversation with H.E. Kurt Kunz, Swiss Ambassador to Indonesia


H.E. Marina Berg

H.E. Marina Berg

Ambassador of Sweden to Indonesia

Swedish Ambassador to Indonesia, Marina Berg tells NOW! Jakarta about the Swedish ways and how it led to strong diplomatic ties between Sweden and Indonesia.

Presently we have more than 90 Swedish companies established in Indonesia. We see more and more companies showing interest in the market. A lot of them are high-tech start-up companies. If the regulations for investing in Indonesia as a foreign company were to be reformed and Indonesia become a more friendly country for FDI, we would for sure see even more Swedish companies entering the Indonesian market.

Read full article: In Conversation with H.E. Marina Berg, the Swedish Ambassador to Indonesia


H.E. Rob Swartbol

H.E. Rob Swartbol

Ambassador of the Netherlands to Indonesia

Indonesia and the Netherlands have been established agreements in several fields including cyber security and water management. NOW! Jakarta spoke to Ambassador H.E. Rob Swartbol about the development of this connection.

The proudest I am is of the increase in the depth of the people-to-people content. I know it seems vague but if you look at the recent refurbishment of the Erasmus Huis, the revamp of programmes that have more attendance, with a focus on a younger public, the cooperation on higher education with more Indonesians going to the Netherlands to study, these are a few achievements. 

H.E. Rob Swartbol has since completed his tenure in Indonesia.

Read full article: A Conversation with the Ambassador of  the Netherlands, H.E. Rob Swartbol


H.E. Vittorio Sandalli

H.E. Vittorio Sandalli

Ambassador of Italy to Indonesia

Italian Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E. Vittorio Sandalli spoke to NOW! Jakarta about the importance of cultural exchanges, the increasing interest of Italian businesses towards Indonesia and an exhibition that paves the way for even brighter diplomatic ties.

We register an increasing interest by Italian companies in the Indonesian market, attracted by its great potential for future expansion and diversification in almost all areas. Right now I would say that the most significant and successful presence of Italian operators, such as ENI, SAIPEM or ANSALDO, is in the energy sector, although we also have several companies active in sectors such as machinery, retail, consumer goods, infrastructure, automotive, chemicals, tourism, financial services and so on.

Read full article: Italian Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E. Vittorio Sandalli: Closer Ties through Culture and Business


H.E. Dr. Peter Schoof

H.E. Dr. Peter Schoof

Ambassador of Germany to Indonesia

A seasoned skipper both at sea and of global politics, German Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E. Dr. Peter Schoof talks to NOW! Jakarta about his current duties, Germany’s significant sustainability contribution in Indonesia and other bilateral issues to address.

One of our main focuses is energy. Indonesia is growing by 5 per cent per year at time. This results in a higher energy demand, and we have to work jointly to decouple this growth in terms of finding circular solution while reducing dependency on fossil fuels. Indonesia’s target to increase its share of renewable energy from today`s 13 per cent to about 23 per cent by 2025 is very ambitious, and some believe this is very difficult to achieve.

Read full article: Sailor and Diplomat: German Ambassador to Indonesia H.E. Peter Schoof


H.E. Peter MacArthur

H.E. Peter MacArthur

Ambassador of Canada to Indonesia

At the steering board of a flourishing bilateral relations, H.E. Peter MacArthur talks to NOW! Jakarta about Canada’s impactful policies in Indonesia, blue economy and hopes for the upcoming presidential term.

I’m happy to say the government of Indonesia is determined to make progress in reducing the amount of plastic waste through reusing, recycling or incinerate the plastics so they don’t pollute the ocean for hundreds of years.

H.E. Peter MacArthur has since completed his tenure in Indonesia.

Read full article: Exclusive Interview with Canadian Ambassador H.E. Peter MacArthur Exclusive Interview with Canadian Ambassador H.E. Peter | NOW! JAKARTA