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Former head of Rio Tinto Indonesia Noke Kiroyan ponders free trade and how to sell more coal

Posted by gmarkets on 10 September, 2007

Noke Kiroyan, the former head of Rio Tinto Indonesia, said the energy sector was failing to prepare ade­quately for the amount of coal storage required to power domestic growth over coming decades, reported The Australian (5/9/2007, p. 13). Think coal, not oil: “For the foreseeable future we should be depending on coal, and coal power needs coal storage, but we’re still not talking about that today,” he said. “We’re still thinking oil when we should be thinking coal.”

Australia-Indonesia free trade on agenda: Kiroyan sat on the three-member APEC Business Advisory Council appointed by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to advise on how best to operate within the Asia-Pacific forum. He ran a private communications company in Jakarta and was president of the Indonesia Australia Business Council, which he described as “one of the most dynamic” of Indonesia’s bilateral partnerships. He would also be on the exploratory committee for the fledgling Indonesia-Australia free-trade agreement, which he described confidently as having “very few hurdles” to success.

Australian expertise acknowledged: In July, John Howard met Dr Yudhoyono in Bali, where the two men announced agreement on initial exploration into an FTA. “Energy is probably an area Aus­tralia could invest in further here — you have the experience with coal, and on the issue of how to do this in environmentally friendly ways, Aus­tralia has the advantage,” he said.

The Australian, 5/9/2007, p. 13

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