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NEWS UPDATES 6 November 2009

UK firms eye Indonesia’s energy, power sectors

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British companies are interested in investing in the renewable energy and electricity sectors in Indonesia, the Jakarta Post reported, quoting Lord Davies of Abersoch, UK Minister for Trade, Investment and Small Business, as saying during his visit on Wednesday.

As one of the world’s leaders in renewable energy businesses, Lord Davies said British companies would want to expand here seeing the country had managed to cope fairly well with the global economic crisis.

“The minister of energy is very keen on that. And we discussed with him a range of ideas of how we can get more partnership between British and Indonesian companies on renewable energy,” he told reporters after meeting Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Darwin Z Saleh.

Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s director general for electricity and use of energy J Purwono pointed to British firm International Power Plc. which has shown interests in a 2x1,000 MW power plant project in Central Java.

“They want to become an IPP [independent power producer] for the 2x1,000 MW project in Central Java,” Purwono said.

As for renewable energy projects, he replied: “We are looking at locations to develop biomass and wind power, among others.”

The UK minister also met Industry Minister MS Hidayat and Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu to discuss increasing bilateral trade between the two countries. Lord Davies said he would invite Indonesian businesspeople to the UK to look for potential partners.

“We agree that we need a symposium on energy and the financing on infrastructure. And we also agree to work with the trade minister where we see examples of protectionism and market access problems,” he said.

Aside from energy and the power sector, British companies are interested in other sectors like life sciences, IT and retails, he said.

In the next few months Lord Davies plans to invite British companies including Royal Dutch Shell, BP, International Power, Rolls-Royce Group and Star Energy UK Onshore Ltd to meet Indonesian ministers.

“The challenge for Indonesia is to simplify the regulations, cut the bureaucracy, and move with great speed on energy security, and inward investment,” he said.

According to UK Trade and Investment data, the UK exported about 391 million pound sterlings of goods last year to Indonesia, a 36 percent increase from 2007.  Exports between January and April this year reached 100 million pound sterlings.

The UK imported 1.14 billion pound sterlings of goods in 2008, a slight increase from almost 1 billion pounds sterling a year earlier. Between January and April this year it imported 435 million pound sterlings of goods.

“When you look around Asia … Asia is a collection of different countries with different stages of economic growth. Indonesia is a very exciting opportunity, it will become a key part of the global economy. It’s maturing, it’s growing and it is a very important trading nation now,” said Lord Davies.



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