Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi and her counterpart from Finland, Elina Valtonen, met in Helsinki on Thursday (June 13) to discuss the strengthening of bilateral cooperation, especially in green energy and smart cities.

"Finland has a strong capacity in the field of renewable energy," Marsudi noted in a press statement that she conveyed virtually from Helsinki.

The Indonesian minister explained that private sector players from the two countries, namely Medco Group and Valmet Technologies, have agreed to cooperate in building a biomass-to-energy processing plant in Merauke, Papua, with a capacity of approximately 3.5 megawatts.

If implemented successfully, the project is estimated to reduce diesel oil use by up to 27.5 million liters in five years.

"We hope this cooperation will be realized as soon as possible. We also agreed to continue to explore other cooperation in the field of green energy," Marsudi stated.

Meanwhile, speaking in connection with the cooperation on smart cities, she noted that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was already in place between the Nusantara Capital Authority (OIKN) and the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs.

She expressed hope that the MoU would pave the way for further cooperation in the development of Indonesia's new capital city, Nusantara, especially Finnish investment in the new capital.

Finland is one of Indonesia's main trading partners in the Nordic region. The trade value between the two countries continues to increase and has exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

According to the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry's data, the trade value of the two countries in 2023 reached US$713 million, increasing by 22 percent as compared to 2019.

In the first quarter of 2024, trade between Indonesia and Finland increased by 40 percent in comparison with the first quarter of 2023.

Marsudi affirmed that she and the Finnish foreign minister agreed to continue to explore existing potentials to encourage increased trade.

"We also agreed to encourage greater investment from Finland in Indonesia, including in the green energy and smart city sectors. There is also hope that the Indonesia-EU CEPA negotiations can be completed soon," she stated.

The two ministers also discussed educational cooperation and welcomed the holding of the 1st Indonesia-Finland Joint Working Group on Higher Education and Teacher Capacity Development in September last year.

"We agreed to continue to push educational cooperation, including through teacher and student exchanges, joint research, and scholarships," she remarked.

She further highlighted that with this year marking the 70th anniversary of the two nations' ties, they have decided to continue to step up bilateral cooperation.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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