The Swedish Ambassador to Indonesia Ewa Polano commended Indonesia's achievements in human rights aspects during a Swedish National Day ceremony in Jakarta on Wednesday evening, saying that the country remained the biggest democracy in Southeast Asia region.
"We are a bit worried with what we have seen reflected in the media lately. But Indonesia must not lose the fantastic platform that you have reached in more than ten years," she said on the sidelines of the commemoration of the country's national day in Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta.
Polano praised President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for his achievements in sustaining Indonesia's democracy despite the challenges, adding that geographically speaking, Indonesia was "more complex" than other countries.
"We follow and observe the issues, we hope that we can have a dialogue over it," she said, saying that Sweden was one of the few countries that had a human rights dialogue with Indonesia besides Canada, Norway and Switzerland
According to Polano, Sweden’s King Carl Gustaf XVI had invited Yudhoyono to come to the Nordic country next year in a bid to strengthen both country's relations.
She said that besides human rights, the two leaders would also discuss climate change issues, environment and trade relations.
"Our trade has increased by 35 percent of exports from Sweden and by 28 percent of exports from Indonesia despite the crisis. The Swedish economy is very sustainable," she said.
There are around 44 Swedish companies, including big corporations like Volvo, Ericsson, Oriflame, ABB, Electrolux, SKF and Tetra Pak, operating in Indonesia.
In addition, IKEA will open three department stores in Indonesia in February 2014.
June 6 was the day on which Gustav Vasa was crowned king of the independent Swedish state in 1523.
Sweden also adopted its new constitution on June 6, 1809.
From 1916 Sweden celebrated June 6 as Swedish Flag Day, but in 1983 declared June 6 as its National Day.
Indonesia's Deputy Health Minister Ali Ghufron Mukti was representing the Indonesian government at the ceremony. (asa/iwa)