Norwegian Homme to leave RI with a legacy, memories
Hundreds of foreign diplomats come to Indonesia every year and go after three or four years. But only a select few who go the extra mile will be remembered.
The outgoing Norwegian Ambassador to Indonesia Eivind S. Homme is one of those few.
Homme, who started his service in 2008, will be leaving Jakarta on Friday. During his tenure, the relationship between Indonesia and Norway has been transformed into a strategic one.
“The signing of Letter of Intent on climate and forestry in 2010, a bilateral Partnership Agreement in 2011 and establishment of a security policy dialogue in 2011 are important milestones in our partnership,” Homme told The Jakarta Post recently.
As bilateral relations are growing at a rapid speed, Homme convinced Oslo to expand its embassy in Jakarta.
“Now we have doubled our diplomatic staff to 10 and opened a new chancellery. In August, we are going to open the office of Innovation Norway and a trade office in September,” the ambassador said.
At the political level, both countries made a big progress through frequent high-level visits and numerous new agreements. “President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono already visited Norway two times and our prime minister also visited Jakarta twice. More than a dozen ministers visited each other’s country during the last four years. All these visits show how close we are,” he said.
Indonesian and Norwegian leaders signed the historic letter of intent in May 2010 in Oslo regarding reducing emissions from deforestation, forest degradation and conversion of peatlands.
“Norway has pledged US$1 billion on the condition that Indonesia delivers tangible results on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pursuing more sustainable forest policy,” Homme said.
Furthermore Homme focused most of his energy in developing cooperation in the energy sector. “We have a regular platform called the Bilateral Energy Dialogue to discuss possible cooperation in the energy sector, especially, oil and gas, deep water exploration, hydro power and floating regassification.”
Norway’s oil and gas company Statoil, which entered the Indonesian market in 2007, won the Kuma and Karama oil and gas blocks in the Makassar Strait off South Sulawesi under a production sharing contract. “In 2011, Statoil won seven new concessions in North Makassar Strait, Halmahera, Kofiau, West Papua, Obi, North Ganal and Halmahera II,” Homme added.
In the economic field, according to the Central Statistics Agency, bilateral trade surged to $309.52 million in 2011, a huge jump from $132.98 million in 2007.
“In fact, our trade value is much bigger. Some of our goods reach Indonesia through third countries and their value is not included in Indonesian statistics,” Homme said.
Norway is the world’s 23rd biggest economy with a $450 billion GDP. The oil-rich country has $573 billion in its Petroleum Fund, which owns around 1 percent of global shares in capital markets across the globe. The fund has already invested in 29 Indonesian companies.