Indonesia Update: May 3, 2018

Indonesia Update | May 3, 2018
Authors: Kim Yaeger, Artha Sirait, Ian Saccomanno, and Jade Hoang
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 

May 14-23 - Global Coal-Fired Power Emissions Control Technologies Reverse Trade Mission: The U.S. Trade and Development Agency is hosting the Global Coal-Fired Power Emissions Control Technologies Reverse Trade Mission to introduce energy regulators and coal plant operators to innovative U.S. technologies, equipment, and best practices for observing and controlling emissions from coal-fired power plants. As part of the visit, USTDA will host a Business Briefing for U.S. companies on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at the Embassy Suites, 535 Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh, PA from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with a networking reception to immediately follow at the Embassy Suites. The delegation from Indonesia include Ridwan Tamin, Erlangga Hassan and Anton Poernomo from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. The registration fee for this Business Briefing is $50 and includes lunch and admission to the networking reception. Please click here for more information.

 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Indonesian DPR Approved Perry Warjiyo as Central Bank Governor

On April 3, Indonesia’s Parliament officially endorsed Perry Warjiyo as the Governor of Bank Indonesia, succeeding the incumbent Governor Agus Martowardojo whose five-year term ends this month. Mr. Warjiyo, currently the Deputy Governor of Bank Indonesia, is President Joko Widodo's sole nominee for the position and his nomination was subsequently approved by Parliament’s financial commission. In taking up the new leadership, he has been urged by several lawmakers to focus on the rupiah exchange rate as part of broader efforts to maintain macroeconomic stability. Mr. Warjiyo has pledged to direct monetary policy to support both economic growth and financial stability, as reported at a hearing on March 28. He predicted that Indonesia’s economy will likely grow between 5.2 and 5.3% in 2018 but foresaw various global risks that could complicate efforts to maintain stability, including the Federal Reserve’s plan to raise U.S. interest rates this year, fluctuating oil prices, and protectionist policies by some countries.

Mr. Warjiyo has a PhD in monetary and international economics from Iowa State University. He first joined Bank Indonesia in 1984 and has established a long career within the central bank, especially in areas of economic research and monetary policy, international issues, foreign exchange and foreign debt management. Mr. Warjiyo was appointed as Deputy Governor based on Presidential Decree Number 28/P of 2013 serving for the period of 2013-2018. The Council met with Mr. Warjiyo during our 2018 Indonesia Business Mission and will continue to establish channels of communication with the office of the new Governor in order to continue ongoing advocacy efforts in areas under the jurisdiction of the central bank.

Indonesia to Open University Sector to 100% Foreign Ownership

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has recently ordered his cabinet to open the country’s university sector to 100% foreign ownership and allow overseas institution to open campuses in Indonesia. According to Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Chairman Thomas Lembong, this decision is part of the administration’s effort to ease ownership rules to attract more overseas investment. Chairman Lembong has not announced a timeline for when the policy will take effect.

Indonesia has had long-standing restriction towards higher education and currently only permits foreign universities to operate in the country if they collaborate with local partners and meet certain requirements. According to an International Student Assessment ranking for science in 2015, Indonesia was put in 61st place, well below its ASEAN neighbors Singapore and Vietnam. The government’s move to open up the sector could help improve Indonesia's higher education curricula, standards and the quality of the country’s workforce. Improvements in these areas are critical to strengthen the human capital development component of Indonesia’s ecosystems for supporting emerging next generation growth areas related to Industry 4.0, innovative startups, and e-commerce.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

Call for Input: U.S. Reviewing Trade Preferences for Indonesia

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it is reviewing the eligibility of Indonesia, along with India and Kazakhstan, in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) based on non-compliance concerns. These reviews are the result of country eligibility petitions submitted by interested stakeholders and an assessment of the 25 Asian and Pacific Island GSP beneficiary countries conducted by the GSP Subcommittee. The review on Indonesia will focus on whether it meets the following two GSP criteria:

(1) The GSP criterion that requires a GSP beneficiary country to assure the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to its market, and

(2) the GSP criterion that requires a GSP beneficiary country to reduce trade-distorting investment practices and reduce or eliminate barriers to trade in services. As described in the Indonesia Chapter of the 2018 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, Indonesia has implemented a wide array of trade policies which created negative effects on U.S. commerce.

The existing review of Indonesia's compliance with the GSP criterion related to intellectual property rights is separate, and will continue.

The Council is seeking your input as to how your business is specifically affected, and how we can support the continuation of Indonesia’s compliance with the GSP. Please contact Artha Sirait at asirait@usasean.org with your specific input by May 25. Public hearing at USTR will take place on June 19.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
Regional Affairs
Jokowi wants ASEAN to play active role in Indo-Pacific partnership
Indonesia to lead 12th Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Summit
Jokowi holds meeting with Myanmar President
Indonesia, South Australia discuss people-to-people contact
Indonesia-Australia CEPA negotiators to solve differences: Trade minister  
Indonesia targets to conclude RCEP negotiations this year
Jakarta, Casablanca strengthening ties
President Joko Widodo to attend ASEAN Summit in Singapore
Indonesia, S Korea open new phase of strategic partnership
Indonesia enhances trade with African countries
Indonesia backs global efforts to promote Ugandan farmers` welfare

National Affairs
INASGOC Earmarks Rp165 Bn for 2018 Asian Games Promotions
KSPI Supports Prabowo in 2019 Presidential Election
May Day rallies to be attended by 200,000: Unions
Setya Novanto: Finally Sentenced After Decades of Scandals
Jokowi Turns to Populist Policies Ahead of Tough 2019 Election
Penal code revision to solve overcrowding in prisons: Minister
Gerindra seeks to meet requirements for Prabowo`s presidential bid
DPR Declares Balikpapan Oil Spill as Extraordinary Occurrence
Govt drops 14 strategic projects
Understanding the 212 Movement
Jokowi listed among world's most influential Muslims

Defense & Security
Indonesia asks Vietnam to wrap up talks on maritime border
A Peek at Southeast Asia's Strongest Military

Economics
Foreign Direct Investment in Indonesia Picks Up in Q1
Jokowi upbeat about economic fundamentals
Govt Urged to Form Supervisory Task Force on Foreign Workers
Inflation recorded at 0.12% in third week of April
Economic chief calls for calm as rupiah weakens against US dollar
Government issues revised regulation on tax holidays
Ministry holds product design competition to boost exports 
Indonesia considers joining TPP-11
Indonesia's Economy Shows Real Signs of Acceleration
State enterprises should look for alternative financing
Immigration Office boosts protection of prospective migrant workers
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani to Attend IMF-WB Spring Meeting
Indonesian foreign debt reaches $356.2b in February: BI
Draft Bill on CSR
Jokowi calls for integration of national strategic projects with regional development
Indonesia records 16.21 percent growth in Q1 tax revenue

Energy
PLN to phase out diesel-fueled power plants
50 upstream oil, gas projects to start production in 2018-2027
Pertamina chief executive replaced
All eight oil and gas blocks go to Pertamina
New Regulation on Procedures for the Granting of Areas, Licensing and Reporting for the Minerals and Coal Sectors

Financial Services
BI tells SOEs to refrain from buying too many US dollars to help stabilize rupiah
BI prepares second line of defense for rupiah
Indonesia shines as beacon in race for financial inclusion
Bill on cash transaction limit ready for Jokowi’s approval

Food & Agriculture
Indonesia prepares steps in response to EU's biofuel phase-out plan
Govt urged to strengthen protection of plantation workers
Jokowi Comments on Buwas` Appointment as Bulog Chief
Coffee producers enjoy only 10% of consumption value, says Darmin
Budi Waseso named Bulog chief
Palm oil exports fall by 14% in February: Gapki
Indonesia, Vietnam discuss cooperation in fisheries and maritime affairs
Indonesia to create more rice fields until 2045
Producers protest supermarket chain’s ban of palm oil products

Health & Life Sciences
Indonesia in Urgent Need of Blood Supply  

ICT
Indonesia proposes e-commerce tax application at Asean Summit
Indonesia Proposes Three Cities to be ASEAN Smart Cities
President Jokowi stresses need to stay alert for cyber attack
Blockchain INDO Conference: How Blockchain will Change Indonesia's Digital Economy
Indonesian Motorcycle Taxi Drivers Protest Low Online Tariffs
Indonesia’s booming tech startup scene
Government, marketplaces team up to encourage SMEs to go online
President Jokowi optimistic about electric cars in Indonesia
indonesia offers to transfer train technology to senegal
Minister invites ride-hailing apps to discuss change of status
Rudiantara: Deadline for Prepaid Card Registration Not Changed
Minister demands better screening process for ride-hailing drivers
BlockJakarta: May 9, 2018 Indonesia Blockchain Conference?
ICT plays crucial role in social behavior changes

Infrastructure
Greater Jakarta Area to have Integrated Mass Transport System
Govt to Continue 13 Port Construction Projects
Transportation Ministry takes over KEK Sei Mangkei railway
Government slashes number of strategic projects
State Construction Firm PP Sells Indonesia's First Perpetual Bonds
Revised regulation to accommodate giant seawall project
Indonesia seeks ways to speed up China high-speed rail project
Building Jakarta
Indonesia to use Japan loans and private capital for $4.5bn railway
Indonesia scales down investment target in energy, mining sectors
Indonesia expected to drop 264t rupiah worth of infrastructure projects

Manufacturing
Boost in automotive exports to create more jobs: President
Indonesian automotive industry growing rapidly: Minister
Vietnam reopens market for Indonesian export of automotive products
Indonesia's Dependence on Silk Affects Production  
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Regional Affairs

Jokowi wants ASEAN to play active role in Indo-Pacific partnership Antara News 29th Apr 2018
President Joko Widodo called on ASEAN to maintain active role including in the development of Indo- Pacific regional cooperation concept. Development of Indo-Pacific cooperation should be based on the principle of transparency and inclusive, with emphasis on cooperation and friendship, Jokowi said addressing the 32nd summit meeting of the regional grouping here on Saturday. In addition, the Indo-Pacific cooperation concept should underline the ASEAN centrality, he said. "ASEAN must be able to play its role including in the development of the cooperation concept of Indo-Pacific. The concept is important to keep ASEAN relevant, always able to play its centrality and show its capability in managing strategic environmental change," he said.

Indonesia to lead 12th Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Summit Antara News 29th Apr 2018
Indonesia will replace Thailand as chairman of the 12th Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Summit (IMT-GT) to be held on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Thailand in 2019. The change in chairmanship was announced by Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at the 11th IMT-GT Summit. The summit was also attended by Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Musa Hitam following the implementation of the 32nd ASEAN Summit in Singapore on Saturday. In Singapore, the IMT-GT leaders held a discussion on developing green cities and sustainable tourism in addition to enhancing regional connectivity.

Jokowi holds meeting with Myanmar President Antara News 27th Apr 2018
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) held a bilateral meeting with Myanmar's President, U Win Mynt, in Singapore on Friday on the sideliness of the Asean Summit. "I want to congratulate Mr U Win Mynt for his appointment as the new President of Myanmar," President Jokowi stated on their meeting held at the Shangri-la Hotel. President Jokowi expressed the hope that the new leader would bring prosperity and welfare to Myanmar. U Win Mynt was elected in March 2018. The Coordinating Minister of Politics, Law and Security, Wiranto, the Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs, Darmin Nasution, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, the Minister of Trade, Enggartiasto Lukita, and the Head of Presidential Staff, Moeldoko, were present at the bilateral meeting.

Indonesia, South Australia discuss people-to-people contact Antara News 25th Apr 2018
Indonesian Consul General in Sydney, Heru Hartanto Subolo, recently has met with South Australian Governor Hieu Van Le to discuss further efforts to strengthen people-to-people relations, particularly in South Australia. "South Australia has a strong relationship with Indonesia, especially under the framework of West Java-South Australia sister province," Governor Van Le said in a statement from the Indonesian Consulate in Sydney received by Antara here on Tuesday. According to the governor, efforts to strengthen cooperation and people-to-people relationships should not stop. "We need to make it stronger through programs like youth exchanges," the governor continued.

Indonesia-Australia CEPA negotiators to solve differences: Trade minister   The Jakarta Post 24th Apr 2018
Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita has said negotiators of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA CEPA) will meet to settle the differences that could not be resolved in previous meetings. "The negotiation team will sit together with their Australian counterpart. The team has to finalize discussion by the end of this month," the minister said after a Cabinet meeting on the economic partnership at the Vice Presidential Office in Jakarta over the weekend. The minister did not reveal the exact date and place of the negotiations. The negotiations were originally planned to conclude in November 2017, but the countries had failed to reach an agreement on a number of issues. Enggartiasto said President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had targeted to finalize the unsolved issues, particularly in regard to taxes, in August and planned to ink the agreement in October or in November.

Indonesia targets to conclude RCEP negotiations this year The Jakarta Post 24th Apr 2018
Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita has said that the government is planning to finish negotiations over the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) this year, as, currently, progress in negotiations stands at about 80 percent. The RCEP involves 10 ASEAN countries and six ASEAN partner countries – Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. Enggartiasto stressed the importance of ASEAN countries coming to a solid agreement over certain issues before the end of negotiations. "We need to make agreements among ASEAN countries first. Then, we [will] take [the agreements] to ASEAN partners. New Zealand and Australia have set a high priority on goods while, for India, it is a lower priority. We have to act as a coordinating party [during negotiations],” he added.

Jakarta, Casablanca strengthening ties Antara News 21st Apr 2018
The Indonesia`s capital city governor of Jakarta, Anies Baswedan visited Morocco and Turkey this week, as his first overseas visit after being inaugurated as the governor. Anies Baswedan along with Sandiaga Uno in October 2017, were inaugurated as the governor and vice governor of Jakarta for the 2017--2022 period. The Baswedan`s visit to Morocco and Turkey was aimed to strengthen relations in various fields. Baswedan, who was once the Indonesian Education Minister, held separate meetings with Casablanca Mayor, Abdeelaziz Omari, and President of the Prefecture Council of Casablanca-Settat Region, Mustapha Bakkauri, on Wednesday (April 18) to discuss the efforts to step up relations between the two cities.

President Joko Widodo to attend ASEAN Summit in Singapore Antara News 20th Apr 2018
President Joko Widodo will attend the the 32nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Singapore on April 27-28, 2018. Singapore as the host country of this year`s summit picks "Resilient and Innovative ASEAN" as the theme, Foreign Ministry`s spokesperson Arrmanatha Nasir told the journalists in Jakarta on Friday. The ASEAN Summit will be preceded by a meeting of representatives from permanent member countries on 25 April and Senior Official Meeting on 26 April. It then be followed with the ASEAN ministerial meeting on 27 April. President Joko Widodo is scheduled to attend a plenary session on April 27 and a retreat session on 28 April.

Indonesia, S Korea open new phase of strategic partnership Antara News 19th Apr 2018
Indonesia and South Korea have opened a new round of bilateral ties, after President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and President Moon Jae-in agreed to elevate the partnership between the two countries into a special strategic partnership in November 2017. South Korean Ambassador to Indonesia, Kim Chang-beom, told Antara in Jakarta on Thursday that the two countries have been natural partners since the start of the diplomatic relations in 1973. "We have never been involved in issues or conflicts but just ideas of collaboration and collaboration," he stated. Moon`s visit to Indonesia last year was considered as a prelude to a further jump in a more intensive and substantive strategic partnership. South Korea, he continued, has been working intensively with Indonesia, especially in industry, culture, and research and development.

Indonesia enhances trade with African countries Antara News 17th Apr 2018
In its efforts to build economic ties and enhance trade cooperation with African countries, Indonesia hosted a two-day Indonesia-Africa Forum (IAF) to bring nations in the continent closer to trade and economic cooperation. Held on April 10-11, the forum facilitated a total trade agreement potential of US$2.3 billion. On the first day of the forum (April 10), as many as 10 trade agreements valued at $586.56 million were signed while on the second day it managed to record additional trade transactions worth nearly US$500 million. "This is a remarkable (achievement) that has been recorded in a short period of time," Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita noted in a joint statement with Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on the sidelines of the IAF in Bali on Wednesday (April 11). The IAF also concluded the announcement of business plans from 11 Indonesian companies, with a potential trade value of $1.3 billion.

Indonesia backs global efforts to promote Ugandan farmers` welfare Antara News 17th Apr 2018
Indonesia strongly supports global efforts to promote the living standard of Ugandan poor farmers through the National Oil Palm Project (NOPP), a diplomat said. The project will be realized through fund assistance from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Indonesian Ambassador to Italy and Permanent Representative to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, Esti Andayani said during the opening of the 123rd session of IFAD Executive Board in Rome, Italy, on Monday. IFAD must not fail to improve the income and living standard of poor farmers in backward rural areas by taking advantage of large potential and economic benefit of palm oil farming, she said. The Indonesian ambassador made the remarks during the session which discussed the Uganda National Oil Palm Program.

National Affairs

INASGOC Earmarks Rp165 Bn for 2018 Asian Games Promotions Tempo 30th Apr 2018
Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC) has earmarked Rp165 billion, or 2.5 percent from all the funds it has collected so far, to promote the 2018 Asian Games. “It’s around 2.5 percent from Rp6.6 trillion,” said INASGOC head Erick Thohir after attending a coordination meeting at the Coordinating Human Development and Culture Ministry in Jakarta on Monday, April 30. Erick said all the ministries and government institutions had agreed on working on collective endeavors to promote the 2018 Asian Games. “We will synchronize the promotions for the Asian Games, which were previously run separately, and now everything will be in unison,” he said.  Erick said each ministry had its own budget to promote the Asian Games in various media, while INASGOC would allocate some Rp10-15 billion from the total Rp800 billion it had acquired from multiple sponsors. 

KSPI Supports Prabowo in 2019 Presidential Election Tempo 30th Apr 2018
The Indonesian Confederation of Labor Unions (KSPI) in a national working meeting on Sunday unanimously decided to vote for Prabowo Subianto in the forthcoming presidential election. Prabowo is the most potential rival of incumbent President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to win the presidential election in April next year. "So far only Prabowo Subianto is committed to meeting the people's and workers' demands. Therefore, KSPI members would vote for Prabowo in his presidential bid in 2019," KSPI President Said Iqbal said in a statement issued on Sunday. The decision was taken after all representatives of labor unions affiliated to KSPI and participant of the meeting spoke in favor of Subianto to be the country's next president. However, almost all polling held so far showed that Jokowi led over all potential contenders. KSPI also took side with Prabowo in the 2014 elections when the founder and general chairman of Gerindra party lost to Jokowi. Iqbal said Prabowo pledged to implement KSPI's 10-point proposal put forward in a political contract.

May Day rallies to be attended by 200,000: Unions The Jakarta Post 29th Apr 2018
The president of the Confederation of Indonesian Labor Unions, Andi Gani Nena Wea, has estimated that some 75,000 to 85,000 people will attend a May Day rally in front of the Presidential Palace on May 1, or May Day, in Jakarta. “Meanwhile, around 200,000 people will rally across Indonesia,” said Gani in Kemang, South Jakarta, on Saturday, as reported by tempo.co. Gani said this year the rallies would raise several concerns including the methods used to calculate minimum wages, protections for ride-hailing app drivers and stricter law enforcement and monitoring of foreign workers. (gis/evi)

Setya Novanto: Finally Sentenced After Decades of Scandals Jakarta Globe 29th Apr 2018
Last week, the Jakarta Corruption Court sentenced lawmaker Setya Novanto to 15 years in prison for his role in one of Indonesia's largest corruption cases. The lengthy prison sentence is likely to end Setya's long and volatile career, over which he built a reputation as a capable political operator and treasurer. At his peak, Setya served as chairman of the Golkar Party and as speaker of the House of Representatives. But, his rise to the top has been marred with several corruption allegations and ethical breaches, which he successfully dodged until last week's ruling, cementing his shady reputation among political opponents.

Jokowi Turns to Populist Policies Ahead of Tough 2019 Election Jakarta Globe 26th Apr 2018
Soon after taking office in 2014, Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo made a landmark decision to cut subsidies on politically sensitive fuel prices to boost the economy, but a year out from a tough re-election campaign, his reformist zeal may be waning. Markets cheered Jokowi's gamble to free up billions of dollars to build much-needed infrastructure, while the former furniture salesman also unveiled a series of reforms to slash regulations holding back Southeast Asia's biggest economy. Now, less than a year from an expected hard-fought 2019 election, Jokowi has made a "strategic policy shift," say senior government officials, dropping nearly $20 billion of infrastructure projects to focus on social welfare.

Penal code revision to solve overcrowding in prisons: Minister Antara News 19th Apr 2018
Law and Human Rights Minister, Yasonna Laoly, stated here on Thursday that the revision of the penal code bill (RUU KUHAP) would offer an alternative penalty for the prisoners, in order to trim overcrowding in jail. "We should alter our method of punishing criminals. The penal code revision is now introducing a new paradigm of imprisoning the inmates outside the jail," Laoly remarked during a national seminar in Jakarta. Overcrowding in prisons, he emphasized, is part of the violation to human rights. "Hence, the minister is seeking to change the country`s prison system in order to assure that all inmates would have access to basic human rights, such as health services," Laoly noted, without delivering details on the alternative.

Gerindra seeks to meet requirements for Prabowo`s presidential bid Antara News 19th Apr 2018
Gerindra is busy meeting the requirements needed for the party to be able to nominate its general chairman, Prabowo Subianto, as its candidate for the presidential election next year, Secretary General Ahmad Muzani said. Muzani, who has recently been appointed as the deputy chairman of the People`s Consultative Assembly, stated here on Thursday that Gerindra now has 73 seats in the House of Representatives, and it still needs 39 more seats to be able to nominate a presidential candidate. "So we must be able to meet the requirement first, and only after that will we be able to discuss about a vice presidential candidate," he stated when asked about Prabowo`s potential running mate. Prabowo, who is a former army general, had recently expressed his readiness to be nominated by his party to run for president again in the election next year.

DPR Declares Balikpapan Oil Spill as Extraordinary Occurrence Tempo 17th Apr 2018
The House of Representative (DPR) has set the oil spill in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan as an extraordinary occurrence. The status declaration was conveyed by the DPR Commission VII chairman Gus Irawan Pasaribu in a work meeting with state oil and gas company Pertamina, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, and East Kalimantan Police, Monday, April 16. “We considered this case as an extraordinary occurrence which must not be happened again,” said Gus. Read: House Convenes Meeting on Balikpapan Oil Spill According to Gus, there are three reasons behind the status. First, the oil spill has claimed five lives. The second reason is that the oil has caused an environmental disaster. Environment Ministry recorded 13 hectares area were contaminated due to the oil spill.

Govt drops 14 strategic projects Antara News 17th Apr 2018
The Indonesian government has decided to drop 14 of its national strategic projects considering that no physical construction of the projects will be seen until the third quarter of 2019. "If no physical construction of a project is seen not to begin until the third quarter of 2019 we will consider it as being canceled or dropped," Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution said here Monday at a press conference at the presidential office after a cabinet meeting to evaluate implementation of national strategic projects in the first quarter of 2018. Based on the evaluation some of the projects have been found not progressing well such as the Jambi-Palembang railway project, the railway development project in East Kalimantan, regional drinking water supply system in North Sumatra, Pelosika dam project in Southeast Sulawesi and special economic zone project in Merauke.

Understanding the 212 Movement Jakarta Globe 17th Apr 2018
The religiously charged rally that drew hundreds of thousands to central Jakarta in December 2016, has shown the great impact of religion upon politics and arguably marked a shift on the national landscape of power. On Dec. 2 — from which the mass demonstration took its numerical "212" tag — Muslim groups came to the streets demanding the arrest of then Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama on blasphemy charges. It was the third anti-Ahok rally since October and the largest demonstration in the country's history. The rally and its participants became known as "the 212 movement" formed to defend Islam. They proved successful and managed to bring down Ahok, who was  found guilty in a controversial trial and sentenced to two years in jail in May last year.

Jokowi listed among world's most influential Muslims The Jakarta Post 16th Apr 2018
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has been ranked in the top 20 on this year's list of the world's most influential Muslim figures in the annual publication, the Muslim 500. The 2018 edition, published by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center based in Jordan, ranked Jokowi 16th on its list, slightly below his rank of 13th last year and 11th in both the 2016 and 2015/2014 edition. Presidential Chief of Staff Gen. (Ret.) Moeldoko was quick to use the moment to lambast critics who challenged Jokowi’s Islamic credentials. He said the President's ranking reflected his efforts to accommodate the interests of Muslims, ranging from officially designating Oct. 22 as National Santri (Islamic students) Day, to introducing mikro waqf banks, which aim to improve the economy of pesantren (Islamic boarding schools). "It is an indication that [Jokowi] is well accepted by the Muslim community, thus I think anyone who makes [contradictory] statements about the President should stop," Moeldoko said on Monday.

Defense & Security

Indonesia asks Vietnam to wrap up talks on maritime border Antara News 29th Apr 2018
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on Saturday asked Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to immediately wrap up negotiations on the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) between the two neighboring countries. President Jokowi raised the border issue at a bilateral meeting with the Vietnamese Prime Minister on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit conference being held in this city country. Jokowi said a number of the results of the Joint-Council-Bilateral-Cooperation (JCBC) meeting need immediate follow up talks include issue of maritime borders between Indonesia and Vietnam. Conclusion of the border talks would prevent unnecessary incident and would help promote fishery and maritime cooperation.

A Peek at Southeast Asia's Strongest Military Jakarta Globe 23rd Apr 2018
Indonesia has maintained its position as the largest military power in Southeast Asia, according to Global Firepower's latest rankings, released this month. Global Firepower, established in 2006, provides analyses of the military capabilities of hundreds of countries across the globe. According to its website, a country's ranking is determined by its ability to project military power on land, sea and in the air, based on resources, finances and geography.

Economics

Foreign Direct Investment in Indonesia Picks Up in Q1 Jakarta Globe 30th Apr 2018
Foreign direct investment in Indonesia grew at a slightly faster pace in the first quarter of 2018, but the investment board warned of possible slowdown as the government scales back its electricity program. The government needs FDI not only to help create jobs and grow Southeast Asia's largest economy, but also to fund a widening current account deficit. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has rolled out a series of regulatory changes intended to attract investment and last year he promised to cut permit issuance to within one day.

Jokowi upbeat about economic fundamentals The Jakarta Post 30th Apr 2018
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has expressed his faith in Indonesia’s macroeconomic fundamentals, saying they remained sound amid increasing external pressure on the rupiah. “I believe that our [macroeconomic] fundamentals are good. We are recording growth, our inflation is also under control, and our exports are staying strong,” Jokowi said in Jakarta on Monday. He attributed the current rupiah depreciation to economic developments in the United States, including the expectation that the Federal Reserve will increase the federal funds rate. He stressed that depreciation against the dollar also affected other currencies across the world. Jokowi reiterated that the government would not intervene in monetary policy, which was under the authority of Bank Indonesia. BI Governor Agus Martowardojo had previously said that the central bank kept open the option of increasing its reference rate – the BI seven days reverse repo rate – should the rupiah continue to weaken.

Govt Urged to Form Supervisory Task Force on Foreign Workers Tempo 28th Apr 2018
The House of Representatives (DPR) urged the government to immediately form a supervisory task force on foreign workers as to prevent the emergence of illegal labors. “We have suggested the government to establish the task force as to monitor, inspect, and review the uproar in the employment issue of unskilled foreign workers,” said the House’s Commission IX deputy speaker Ichsan Firdaus in Warung Daun, Central Jakarta today, April 28. The recommendation, Ichsan said, has been issued in the work meeting of Commision IX with the Manpower Ministry a few days ago. It concluded that the government should form the task force three months since the meeting took place considering the Presidential Decree No. 20/ 2018 on Foreign Workers will be valid by June 2018. Ichsan mentioned that the government has already formed Expatriate Monitoring Team (Timpora) under Immigration Directorate General. However, the team did not fully monitor the foreign workers and the authority was limited.

Inflation recorded at 0.12% in third week of April The Jakarta Post 27th Apr 2018
Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo has said that inflation was recorded at 0.12 percent in the third week of April, while year-on-year inflation stood at 3.44 percent.   Agus said in Jakarta on Thursday that the increase in the prices of red onions, red chili and garlic would contribute significantly to the April inflation, but he expressed optimism that the inflation would still be in the range of the BI estimate – between 2.5 to 4.5 percent – by the end of 2018. Previously, the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded that inflation stood at 0.2 percent in March, slightly higher than the 0.17 percent recorded in February, while year-on-year inflation was at 3.4 percent. Agus said the country’s economic growth was gradually improving, supported by improvements in household consumption, investment and exports.

Economic chief calls for calm as rupiah weakens against US dollar The Jakarta Post 24th Apr 2018
Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution has called for calm over the rupiah weakening against the US dollar, saying that such a development has both a positive and negative impact. “I will say, there is such a development. But don’t worry too much,” Darmin said at his office in Jakarta on Monday as quoted by kontan.com. He said the rupiah weakening was caused by the strengthening US dollar, which also affected other currencies. On Monday morning, the rupiah was quoted at 13,890 against the US dollar at the Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate (JISDOR), the weakest figure in the last two and a half years. Meanwhile, according to Bloomberg, the rupiah spot exchange rate was quoted at 13,921 against the US dollar at the Tuesday morning opening from 13,975 at the Monday closing position.

Government issues revised regulation on tax holidays The Jakarta Post 23rd Apr 2018
The Indonesian government has issued a revision of the tax holiday regulation to simplify the process for granting the fiscal incentive, Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) head Thomas Lembong said in Jakarta on Monday. The new tax holiday scheme is stipulated in Finance Ministerial Regulation No. 35/2018 on corporate income tax cut or tax holidays. With the new regulation, the government has cut the steps for applying for a tax holiday from nine steps to only two steps. Thomas said investors could begin submitting their tax holiday applications to the BKPM office. He added, however, that the Finance Ministry would decide the number of years a tax holiday would be granted for.

Ministry holds product design competition to boost exports  The Jakarta Post 23rd Apr 2018
As part of efforts to improve product competitiveness, the Trade Ministry will hold its annual Good Design Indonesia (GDI) product design competition for the second time.   The ministry’s national export development director general, Arlinda, said better designs would boost non-oil and gas exports. “We hope winners offer better-quality designs this year so that we will have a bigger international market,” she said during the launch of the competition in Jakarta on Monday. Registration is open from April 17-May 15. Participants can submit designs for furniture, home appliances, transportation and electronics, among others. The ministry has teamed up with Japan Institute of Design Promotion to hold the event, with support from the Japan External Trade Organization.

Indonesia considers joining TPP-11 The Jakarta Post 21st Apr 2018
Indonesia is considering plans to join the Trans-Paicific Partnership (TPP) without the United States, known as TPP-11. The country will discuss the matter during the 32nd ASEAN Summit in Singapore on Wednesday, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said. He added that as Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Brunei had entered the trade pact, the remaining countries, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines, could get input from them. "We are studying the new TPP because without the US, it will be different. ASEAN countries will sit together and those four countries that are already in the TPP will brief the remaining six countries," Enggar said on Friday. (ahw)

Indonesia's Economy Shows Real Signs of Acceleration Jakarta Globe 18th Apr 2018
Economic data released so far this year shows a pick-up in the growth of Indonesia's economy. The government collected more taxes in the first quarter this year than it did in the same period last year, while the growing number of capital goods and raw materials suggest bustling investment and manufacturing activities. Motorcycle sales expanded at their quickest rate in four years in the last quarter of 2017, as purchasing power recovered across the country, in line with rising prices of the country's main commodities like coal and palm oil. Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said she estimates gross domestic product (GDP) to expand by 5.2 percent in the first quarter this year from the same period a year ago, which would be the country's fastest expansion in the last four years.

State enterprises should look for alternative financing Antara News 18th Apr 2018
A deputy at the office of the Minister for State Enterprises (BUMN) Aloysius Klik Ro said BUMNs should be active in seeking to utilize long term public funds as an alternative financing scheme. Aloysius said alternative financing could reduce BUMN dependence on state budget in carrying out its assignment in building infrastructure project. "Perpetual Securities (SBP) issued by PT. PP (Persero) for PLTU Meulaboh is expected to inspire other BUMNs to use a similar concept in financing infrastructure projects with domestic and foreign public fund," he said.

Immigration Office boosts protection of prospective migrant workers The Jakarta Post 18th Apr 2018
The Directorate General of Immigration has boosted its supervision over the issuance of passports and flight documents for prospective migrant workers (“CTKI”). This marks a breakthrough by the directorate in support of the work of the Manpower Ministry and the Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI) to protect CTKI, a program the ministry and the agency started in January 2017. The policy is aimed at strengthening the joint work in the One-door Service (LTSP) program established by the BNP2TKI in cooperation with the administrations of regencies and cities many CTKI hail from. The same activity is also found at the Public Service Mall established by the Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform. The ‘mall’ merges immigration services, especially the issuance of passports, and other services, including those provided by the BNP2TKI, the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS) and the National Police, related to migrant workers.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani to Attend IMF-WB Spring Meeting Tempo 17th Apr 2018
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati will leave for Washington DC to attend the International Monetary Fund-World Bank (IMF-WB) Spring Meeting that is set to be held from April 20-22. “The Finance Minister will fly to Washington DC to attend the spring meeting,” said Finance Minister Spokeswoman Dina Anandita on Monday evening. The IMF–WB spring meeting will unite the IMF Board of Governors and the World Bank Group with central bankers, finance and development Ministers, members of the parliament, the tourism sector, and representatives of mass-organizations and academicians. The meeting is scheduled to discuss current global issues such as the prospect of the world economy, eradication of poverty, economic development, and effectiveness of grants and presenting investors.

Indonesian foreign debt reaches $356.2b in February: BI The Jakarta Post 17th Apr 2018
Bank Indonesia has announced that Indonesia’s foreign debt reached US$356.2 billion in February, up 9.5 percent growth from the preceding month. The headline figure includes $181.4 billion of government and BI debt as well as $174.8 billion of private company debt. “The foreign debt management is in line with the fiscal policy to accelerate economic growth through productive activities and investment,” BI said in a statement issued on Monday. Government debt alone amounted to $177.9 billion at the end of February, consisting of government debt papers held by foreigners ($121.5 billion) and the debt from foreign creditors ($56.3 billion). Without mentioning figures, BI said the government’s foreign debt costs were now lower than in the past, in line with investors’ greater trust in Indonesia due to the country’s improved economic fundamentals and upgraded credit ratings.

Draft Bill on CSR Hukum Online 17th Apr 2018
The House of Representatives is currently deliberating the Draft Bill on Corporate Social Responsibility (“Draft Bill”) with the ultimate objective of unifying corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) standards, which are currently addressed by numerous laws and regulations (collectively referred to as “Existing Regulations”), including:[1] Law No. 19 of 2003 on State-Owned Enterprises (“SOE Law”); Law No. 40 of 2007 on Limited Liability Companies (“Company Law”);[2] Regulation of the Government of Indonesia No....

Jokowi calls for integration of national strategic projects with regional development Antara News 16th Apr 2018
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) asked the relevant ministries to integrate national strategic projects with regional development. "National strategic projects must be integrated with development of leading sectors carried out by Indonesian regions. For example, it should be ensured that sea toll road program can actually reduce logistics costs and impact the decline in prices of basic commodities, especially in archipelagic areas," he remarked, in his opening remarks during a limited meeting of the Evaluation of National Strategic Project Implementation at the Presidential Office, Jakarta, on Monday. According to Jokowi, every national strategic project should have an impact on increasing the added value of the regional economy and alleviating poverty and development imbalances. He called on his cabinet to immediately complete the unfinished development of national strategic projects in 2017.

Indonesia records 16.21 percent growth in Q1 tax revenue The Jakarta Post 16th Apr 2018
Indonesia recorded double-digit growth in tax revenue in the first quarter of 2018, excluding income from last year’s tax amnesty, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati announced on Monday. Tax revenue reached Rp 244.5 trillion (US$ 17.76 billion), or a 16.21 percent year-on-year (yoy) growth. The tax office collected Rp 12 billion from the tax amnesty in the first three months of 2017. “Our tax revenue has shown progress; it reflects our upward economic development,” Sri Mulyani said. The figure suggests that the tax office has collected 17.17 percent of its Rp 1.42 quadrillion target for this year. The mining sector contributed Rp 11.78 trillion, or a 70.88 percent growth from last year. Meanwhile, tax revenue paid by the manufacturing industry reached Rp 63.91 trillion, a 6.72 percent yoy growth. Revenue from the trade sector grew by 28.64 percent yoy to Rp 53.1 trillion. (bbn)

Energy

PLN to phase out diesel-fueled power plants The Jakarta Post 27th Apr 2018
State-owned electricity company PLN is gradually reducing the use of diesel-fueled power plants (PLTD) to improve efficiency. According to PLN’s electricity procurement business plan (RUPTL) for the 2018-2027 period, the contribution of oil-fueled power plants is expected to fall to just 0.4 percent of the total electricity production by the end of 2027. Meanwhile, coal-fired power plants (PLTU) are projected to contribute the lion’s share of 54.4 percent, followed by renewable energy (23 percent) and gas (22.2 percent). “We will slash the basic cost of production by reducing the use of PLTD, which are replaced by plants that use other sources of energy,” said PLN corporate communication head I Made Suprateka in Jakarta on Friday, as reported by kontan.co.id. He added that such a move was important given the volatility of global oil prices.

50 upstream oil, gas projects to start production in 2018-2027 Antara News 25th Apr 2018
As many as 50 upstream oil and gas projects are targeted to start operations within the next 10 years by 2027. The projects have a total production capacity of 84,700 barrels per day of oil and 6,100 million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas. "It will need the support of all stakeholders for the projects to start production on time and contribute to the nation`s oil and gas production," Amien Sunaryadi, head of the Special Force for Upstream Oil and Gas Business Activities (SKK Migas), noted at the forum of oil and gas production facility (FFPM 2018) here on Wednesday. Of the total projects, 20 are onshore while 30 others are offshore projects.

Pertamina chief executive replaced Antara News 20th Apr 2018
The Government has replaced Chief Executive of the energy company PT Pertamina Elia Massa Manik at an extraordinary shareholders` meeting of the country`s largest state company here on Friday. Deputy for Mining, Strategic Industry and Media of the State Enterprise Ministry Fajar Harry Sampurno said there are a number of reasons for the dismissal of the Board of Directors of PT Pertamina "The process was conducted together with inputs from the Board of Commissioners," Fajar said. The first reason was related to the recent process of making Pertamina a holding company for state-owned oil and gas companies, he said, adding the government wants to strengthen and speed up the implementation. The second reason was the change in the management of Processing and Petrochemical mega project of Pertamina and other officials of the company.

All eight oil and gas blocks go to Pertamina The Jakarta Post 17th Apr 2018
After months of assessment, the government has given state-owned company Pertamina the authority to take over operations at eight oil and gas blocks with expiring contracts. The eight blocks are North Sumatra Offshore, Ogan Komering, Southeast Sumatra, Tuban, East Kalimantan, Attaka, Tengah and Sanga-Sanga. “After long discussions, all of them [eight blocks] are given to Pertamina,” Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Special Task Force (SKKMigas) head Amien Sunaryadi said on Monday evening. Amien added that the existing operators had been offered to continue their operatorship of those blocks but had rejected the offer. He added that any oil and gas companies interested in jointly operating the blocks could directly talk to Pertamina in a business-to-business (B2B) framework.

New Regulation on Procedures for the Granting of Areas, Licensing and Reporting for the Minerals and Coal Sectors Hukum Online 17th Apr 2018
The Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (“Minister”) has issued Regulation No. 11 of 2018 on Procedures for the Granting of Areas, Licensing and Reporting for Minerals and Coal-Mining Business Activities (“Regulation 11/2018”) in a bid to unify the provisions which address these various minerals and coal-mining business activities, which were previously addressed under several regulations (collectively referred to as “Previous Regulations”), specifically: Decision of the Minister No. 1453.

Financial Services

BI tells SOEs to refrain from buying too many US dollars to help stabilize rupiah The Jakarta Post 30th Apr 2018
Bank Indonesia has asked state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to be conservative in their purchase of United States dollars to help stabilize the rupiah exchange rate against the US currency. BI Governor Agus Martowardojo estimated that the pressure on the Indonesian currency would persist up to the middle of May in line with the estimation that the Federal Reserve would increase the Fed Fund Rate. If SOEs purchase US dollars now as part of preparations to pay their debts, which would mature in September, they move would put pressure on the rupiah.      “If they need to pay the debts in September, November or December, they do not need to buy the foreign currency now,” Agus said as reported by kontan.co.id in Jakarta over the weekend. Data shows Indonesian corporations had US$46.06 billion in mature foreign debts up to December.

BI prepares second line of defense for rupiah The Jakarta Post 27th Apr 2018
Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo has said that the central bank has prepared a second line of defense for the rupiah, with pressure against the currency expected to continue. Indonesia would cooperate with other countries through bilateral swap agreements and bilateral currency swap agreements (CSAs), Agus told journalists at a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday evening as reported by kontan.co.id He said such cooperation existed in the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM), which is a multilateral currency swap arrangement between ASEAN+3 members. It came into effect on March 24, 2010. The three non-ASEAN countries are China, Japan and South Korea. “This is a form of defense that we will implement to ensure that we can handle the world economy, which is heating up due to the increase of the US Treasury yield, trade disputes and geopolitical risks,” Agus said after speaking at the press conference.

Indonesia shines as beacon in race for financial inclusion Enterprise Innovation 24th Apr 2018
Across East Asia and the Pacific, Indonesia has made the most progress in bringing its citizens into the formal financial system in the past three years. These recent efforts, accelerated by electronic money, branchless banking and digitization of social benefit transfer, have brought new economic opportunities for millions of Indonesians. The Global Findex (Financial Inclusion Index) database published by the World Bank revealed that 48.9% of the adults in Indonesia now own a bank account, a marked improvement from its 36% of account ownership in 2014 and 20% in 2011. Between 2014 and 2017, Indonesia also saw the biggest account ownership increase of any developing economy in the East Asia and Pacific region. Indonesia also boasts a strong use of accounts for saving, 10% higher than the developing world average with 42% of account owners using a formal financial institution such as a bank or microfinance institution.

Bill on cash transaction limit ready for Jokowi’s approval The Jakarta Post 17th Apr 2018
A bill that aims to set a limit on cash transactions as part of an effort to crack down on money laundering is set to be presented to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. Should the President approve it, the bill, which is currently being finalized by several government institutions, will be sent to the House of Representatives for deliberation. Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK) chairman Kiagus Ahmad Badaruddin said preparations for the bill began in April 2014, involving the PPATK, National Law Development Agency (BPHN) and Law and Human Rights Ministry, among other groups. "Other countries, such as Italy, Mexico, France, Belgium, Armenia, the United States, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Brazil, have already issued laws against money laundering that limit cash-based transactions," he said during a workshop on the bill in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Food & Agriculture

Indonesia prepares steps in response to EU's biofuel phase-out plan Antara News 30th Apr 2018
Indonesia is preparing steps in response to the European Union`s (EU`s) plan to phase out the use of palm oil-based biofuel energy that will affect palm oil-producing countries. Indonesia, as the world`s largest producer of crude palm oil (CPO), has called on other CPO-producing nations, such as Malaysia and Ghana, to outline a strategy in the face of the EU`s phase-out plan. CPO producers believe that the European Parliament`s resolution, signed on January 17, 2018, to phase out biofuel made from palm oil in 2021, is discriminatory, as it singles out palm oil from other food crops.

Govt urged to strengthen protection of plantation workers The Jakarta Post 30th Apr 2018
Environmental group Sawit Watch has called on the government to issue a special regulation for oil palm plantation workers, arguing that the 2003 Manpower Law does not adequately address their needs. “A special regulation on oil palm plantation workers is needed. […] Their jobs have unique characteristics, while current regulations mainly focus on industrial sector or manufacturing workers,” Sawit Watch labour expert Hotler Parsaoran told journalists at a press conference about palm oil workers on Sunday. Hotler said almost all oil palm plantation laborers in Indonesia experienced problems, such as an unclear working status, child labor practices, a lack of health and safety protection, low wages and union busting. He was speaking on the eve of International Workers Day, also known as May Day, when workers across Indonesia are expected to take to the streets to fight for their rights. This year, they specifically call on the government to revoke Government Regulation No. 78/2015 on wages, which they deem unfair.

Jokowi Comments on Buwas` Appointment as Bulog Chief Tempo 30th Apr 2018
President Jokowi has commented on his recent decision to install former National Narcotics Agency (BNN) chief Comr. Gen. (ret) Budi Waseso, popularly known as Buwas, as the new head of the State Logistics Agency (Bulog). Jokowi said Bulog must be spearheaded by a tough figure, like Buwas. “We need a tough figure, someone who is fearless, and honest, someone who has a clear track record in managing Bulog,” Jokowo said at the Grand Sahid Hotel in Jakarta on Monday, April 30, 2018.  Read: Bulog Unloads 10 Thousand Tons of Imported Rice from India Jokowi said the rice issues called for serious attention as they affected the people’s stomach. “So we need a particular figure that I mentioned,” he said. The installation of Budi Waseso as Bulog head referred to the State-owned Enterprises Minister’s Decree No. SK-115/MBU/04/2018 on the Removal and Installation of Bulog Board of Directors.

Coffee producers enjoy only 10% of consumption value, says Darmin The Jakarta Post 27th Apr 2018
Coordinating Economy Minister Darmin Nasution has said that Indonesia and other major coffee-producing countries only saw 10 percent of the value of world coffee consumption. Darmin explained that total global exports of the commodity was US$24 billion, but world coffee consumption reached $240 billion. “So, coffee-producing countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil and Colombia only enjoy about 10 percent of the total value of the coffee they produce,” Darmin said on Thursday in Jakarta as quoted by kompas.com. The coordinating minister was speaking during the book launch of Arah Kebijakan Kopi Indonesia Menghadapi Tantangan Kompetisi, Perubahan Iklim dan Kondisi Kopi Dunia (Indonesian coffee policy guidance in facing the challenges of competition, climate change and world coffee conditions). Darmin remarked that the book was the “coffee roadmap” for increasing the country’s coffee productivity. Darmin said most coffee producers could only export dried coffee beans, because the roasted coffee had a relatively short shelf life.

Budi Waseso named Bulog chief Antara News 27th Apr 2018
The Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (SOE), Rini Soemarno, has appointed Budi Waseso as the president-director of the state-owned logistics board, Bulog, in an effort to accelerate the government`s programmes and strengthen food security. "This is a form of refreshment of the company`s management. The government continues to encourage Bulog to carry out its role in maintaining the basic unhusked rice purchase price, distributing rice assistance for the poor (Rastra), and managing food stocks," said Wahyu Kuncoro of the Agro Industry Business and Pharmacy of the SOE Ministry, in a statement on Friday.

Palm oil exports fall by 14% in February: Gapki The Jakarta Post 23rd Apr 2018
The country's palm oil exports, excluding biodiesel and oleochemical products, declined to 2.37 million tons in February, or 14 percent less than the 2.74 million tons exported in January, the Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki) has said. The global price of palm oil stands at between US$652.50 and $685 per metric ton. Gapki said in a statement The Jakarta Post received on Monday that the decline in exports was caused by the Chinese New Year holiday and the fewer days in February, when a lower export volume was recorded each year. Meanwhile, cumulative exports from January to February reached 5.1 million tons, a 3 percent year-on-year decrease compared to 5.3 million tons in 2017. Export demand rose 41 percent among Middle Eastern countries to 209,000 million tons in February from 148,060 tons in January. “The increased demand in the Middle East is a regular monthly cycle,” Gapki said.

Indonesia, Vietnam discuss cooperation in fisheries and maritime affairs Antara News 18th Apr 2018
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi discussed cooperation in maritime affairs and fisheries with her Vietnamese counterpart, Pham Bihn Mihn, during the third joint commission meeting between the two countries. The third Indonesia-Vietnam joint commission meeting was held in Hanoi, Vietnam, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said in a press statement released on Tuesday. At the meeting, Marsudi stressed that illegal, unreported, and undocumented (IUU) fishing posed a serious threat to the food security of a country. For its part, she called on the Vietnamese government to step up cooperation to eradicate IUU fishing while, at the same time, encouraging sustainable fishery management. In response, the Vietnamese government vowed to respond immediately to the "Draft Joint Communique on IUU Fishing" proposed by Indonesia.

Indonesia to create more rice fields until 2045 Antara News 16th Apr 2018
Indonesia will intensify efforts to create more rice fields until 2045 with regard to achieving its target of becoming the world`s food barn, an agriculture ministry official said here on Monday. This year there will be an addition of one million hectares of rice fields, head of Agricultural Land Resource Development and Research Center, Prof. Dedi Nursyamsi, said after a coordination meeting on swamp and dry land development. He said rice field development was done in stages and this year there would be one million hectares of swamp and dry land that have not been maximally exploited so far to be developed. Prof. Nursyamsi said to achieve the target of becoming the world`s food barn in 2045 Indonesia would need 14 million more hectares of fields.

Producers protest supermarket chain’s ban of palm oil products The Jakarta Post 16th Apr 2018
The Council of Palm Oil Producer Countries (CPOPC) has expressed dismay over the decision of UK-based supermarket chain Iceland Foods to stop selling palm oil products. CPOPC executive director Mahendra Siregar said the ban was an act of discrimination against palm oil products and could turn into a global campaign against the commodity. In a letter to Iceland Foods managing director Richard Walker dated April 13, Mahendra said palm oil had the highest productivity among vegetable oils, making it the most sustainable commodity in the use of land. He said 1 hectare of land yielded only 0.3 tons of rape seed oil or 0.6 tons of soybean oil and sun flower oil, while 6 tons of palm oil could be produced in the same space. Such a discriminative measure would speed up land degradation, cause more flora and fauna damage and boost CO2 emission, he added.

Health & Life Sciences

Indonesia in Urgent Need of Blood Supply   Tempo 24th Apr 2018
The Indonesian healthcare agency is finding it difficult to fulfill the country`s annual blood needs of 5.1 million bags. Therefore, the blood transfusion services should be expanded across the country. The Director-General of healthcare services at the Health Ministry Bambang Wibowo accentuated this blood crisis and further revealed that nine percent deaths of mothers giving birth are caused by the lack of blood supply. “Based on WHO records, Indonesia’s blood needs each year reaches 5.1 million bags. Meanwhile, we could only provide around 4.2 million,” said Bambang today, April 24, in Medan, North Sumatra. It is hoped that the central and regional governments, hospitals, and the Indonesian Red Cross would work together in solving the blood scarcity the country is currently experiencing. Furthermore, Bambang reminded regional general hospitals to pay attention to the quality of the blood supply that will later be used by the patients.

ICT

Indonesia proposes e-commerce tax application at Asean Summit Antara News 30th Apr 2018
Indonesia highlighted two issues in the field of digital economy at the 32nd ASEAN Summit held in Singapore. The issues covered a level playing field aimed at reaching a balance as well as tax and custom tariffs during e-commerce transactions. Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita stated at the summit in Singapore on Saturday that in the midst of development, ASEAN member countries have agreed to intensify solidarity in the economic and trade fields. "We are all preparing to enter the era of digital economy," he noted. He also revealed that Indonesia had brought up two issues, including the notion that all parties involved in the ASEAN need to offer an equal, level playing field between conventional and digital businesses.

Indonesia Proposes Three Cities to be ASEAN Smart Cities Tempo 30th Apr 2018
Three cities in Indonesia: Jakarta, Makassar in South Sulawesi and Banyuwangi in East Java, are proposed to be included in the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN). The concept of ASCN was designed to achieve a shared goal of smart city development in ASEAN network cooperation program. "Each country delivers three cities and Indonesia proposes Jakarta, Makassar and Banyuwangi," Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said during a press conference on the 32nd ASEAN Summit in Singapore. The foreign affairs minister said that in the plenary of the ASEAN Summit, President Jokowi delivered several things, among others, ASEAN is a centered and people-oriented organization so that people should be the focus in the development of the ASEAN community. "And innovation to strengthen the ASEAN community in the midst of a very complex urban problem needs to be encouraged, so the ASCN is one of the answers to the challenge," the foreign minister quoted the president as saying.

President Jokowi stresses need to stay alert for cyber attack Antara News 29th Apr 2018
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has underscored the need for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to stay alert for cyber attack during the 32nd ASEAN Summit held in Singapore from April 25 to 28. To that end, ASEAN member states need to work more closely in digital technology and cyber security. he said while addressing a plenary session of the 32nd ASEAN Summit on Friday night. "We know there has been abuse of personal data by Facebook users. In ASEAN, we need to ensure the framework of cooperation in cyber security which also contains the protection of personal data. Hence, cooperation in the cyber field is a must," he said. The Indonesian leader went on to say that ASEAN has very large potentials in the e-commerce field.

Blockchain INDO Conference: How Blockchain will Change Indonesia's Digital Economy BTCMANAGER 28th Apr 2018
The volume of Indonesia’s digital economy will reach about $130 billion by 2020, which will make this country one of the leaders in digital development among the countries of South-East Asia. This was stated by the authorities of the country just last week. New technologies, blockchain, and transformation of the IT-sector will play an important role in this process. From this perspective, the Blockchain INDO conference in Jakarta, which will be held on 11-12 May in Kempinski Hotel, becomes even more relevant. Apart from the usual cryptocurrency players, this international event will bring together players in digital business, IT Startups, Internet application Developers, digital Marketers and companies with a FINTECH base to create new networks and expand already existing ones. 40 speakers from different parts of the world – USA, Germany, Russia, Japan, Switzerland, China and other countries, will tell the participants about their international experience in blockchain technologies. Among the prominent speakers who have confirmed their presence are Gebhard Scherrer (co-founder of DATUM), Ville Oehman (investment funds registered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore), Matthew J. Martin (Director General Blossom of Finance), Robert Ryu (the Korean company crypto-Fund) and Dr. Zaharuddin A. R (Malaysia Shariah ICO), Matthew Joseph Martin (CEO of Blossom Finance).

Indonesian Motorcycle Taxi Drivers Protest Low Online Tariffs US News 24th Apr 2018
Hundreds of Indonesian motorcycle taxi drivers working for start-ups Grab and Go-Jek called on Monday for an end to low online fares and demanded tighter regulation of ride-hailing companies. Around 1,500 drivers - wearing the green jackets and helmets associated with Singapore-based Grab and Indonesia's Go-Jek - briefly disrupted traffic outside parliament in the capital Jakarta. "There must be legal and social protection for online 'ojek' drivers as part of the national workforce," a group of drivers for both companies said in a statement that used the Indonesian word for motorcycle taxi. Startups like Grab and Go-Jek have been locked in price wars to capture market share in Indonesia, Southeast Asia's biggest economy. The firms have slashed prices for car rides, motorcycle trips and a raft of other services.

Indonesia’s booming tech startup scene The ASEAN Post 24th Apr 2018
Indonesia’s strong economic growth in recent years has led to the flourishing of the nation’s digital economy. Over the past decade, Indonesia has been growing at a steady rate of at least 5 percent and is forecasted to become the fourth largest economy by 2050. Along with economic growth comes a growing middle class. The growing middle class in Indonesia is young and in touch with the latest trends and technologies. As such, the number of internet users in Indonesia is growing every year. A study from Hootsuite shows that Indonesia has 88 million people online and 79 million of them are active social media users. In a report by McKinsey & Company titled “Unlocking Indonesia’s digital opportunity”, it was revealed that if Indonesia fully embraces digitalisation, it can gain an estimated US$250 billion in economic growth by 2025. Indonesia’s digital economy, while currently growing, isn’t reflective of its full potential yet. One particular industry within this economy however is reaching new heights. Indonesia’s tech startup scene is quietly becoming one that we should all keep our eyes on.

Government, marketplaces team up to encourage SMEs to go online The Jakarta Post 24th Apr 2018
Several government institutions and six online marketplaces launched on Tuesday a national campaign to help small and medium business enterprises (SMEs) operate online. The movement, called "Ayo UMKM Jualan Online" (Let SMEs Sell Online), is aimed at attracting and persuading SMEs across Indonesia to sell products via online marketplaces to increase profits and prosperity. The government bodies that have taken part in the campaign include the Communications and Information Ministry, the Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Ministry and the Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf). Online marketplaces involved include Blibli.com, Tokopedia, Bukalapak, Shopee, Lazada and Blanja.com. Through the campaign, the government has set the goal of seeing 8 million SMEs go online by 2020, Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Ministry marketing service director Emilia Suhaemi said.

President Jokowi optimistic about electric cars in Indonesia The Jakarta Post 20th Apr 2018
Automotive industry players held their breath as President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo elaborated on the consequences of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), including the transition to electric cars, for the industry. “I was informed that the amount of automotive components in an electric car is only one-tenth of the [common] car that we currently use,” Jokowi said during the opening ceremony of the Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS) 2018 at JIEXpo Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, on April 19. “Meaning that, if tomorrow all cars in Indonesia are replaced with the electric ones, the automotive industry would shrink up to 90 percent.” The President then continued that the electric cars might require less maintenance compared to the conventional ones as their engines were simpler. President Joko Widodo visits the Honda pavilion at the 2018 Indonesia International Motor Show at JIEXpo Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, on April 19.

indonesia offers to transfer train technology to senegal Antara News 17th Apr 2018
Indonesia will transfer technology to Senegal to support the implementation of its freight railway project in the African country. Indonesia will help Senegal to possess the necessary equipment and skills in the field of operation and maintenance of freight trains. Indonesian Ambassador to Dakar Mansyur Pangeran informed Antara in London on Tuesday that Senegal`s interest in the Indonesian railway industry is high. Senegal is currently in the process of reviving the mode of rail transport that once existed. Indonesia needs to quickly seize this investment opportunity before other countries, he emphasized. He added that Senegal is developing two types of railway transport modes: fast trains or called Regional Train Express and freight trains.

Minister invites ride-hailing apps to discuss change of status The Jakarta Post 16th Apr 2018
Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said on Monday he would summon representatives of ride-hailing apps Grab and GO-Jek after the two companies ignored the deadline set by the ministry for them to change their company status to transportation operators. "There are technical difficulties related to regulations such as percentage of [foreign ownership of the companies]. So, I’ve still given them time and we will discuss it," he said at the State Palace in Jakarta. Under Government Regulation (PP) No 44/2016 on the negative investment list (DNI), foreign ownership of non-route transportation companies is limited to only 49 percent, while most of the ride-hailing apps are financed by foreign investors. Budi said he would discuss the issue with the two companies this week. Initially, the ministry set April 13 as the deadline for Go-Jek and Grab to change their company status to transportation operators, but the companies ignored the deadline. “It would be better to ask the minister [about the deadline],” Grab Indonesia spokeswoman Dewi Nuraini said last week."

Rudiantara: Deadline for Prepaid Card Registration Not Changed Tempo 30th Apr 2018
The Minister of Communications and Informatics Rudiantara asserted there is no revision on the Ministerial Decree No. 12/2016 on the registration of telecommunication users which is due on May 1, 2018. “No changes in the policy on the registration of prepaid phone card,” he said in Jakarta, Friday, April 27. Thus, Rudiantara appealed the people to immediately register their prepaid phone number before the total blockade issued. The Home Affairs Ministry’s Population and Civil Registration Agency (Dukcapil) will then able to collect the real data in accordance with the operator service by the middle of May this year. The blocking includes the short message (SMS), call, and internet service as stipulated in the Decree of Indonesia Telecommunication Regulatory Board No. 1/2018 on the instruction of prepaid cellular phone number. However, the customer who experienced the blocking could register the prepaid phone number via SMS to 4444 or contact the provider service center while the number still in the active period. By the registration, all the service will be returned to normal.

Minister demands better screening process for ride-hailing drivers The Jakarta Post 29th Apr 2018
Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has demanded that ride-hailing companies carry out a more thorough screening process for its drivers. His order was made in response to several criminal incidents allegedly involving ride-hailing drivers. The latest incident occurred on April 23 to a woman, identified only as SS, in West Jakarta. The West Jakarta Police reportedly arrested the perpetrator. “Driver candidates should not apply for the job online; the management should meet them in person,” Budi Karya said during his visit to the West Jakarta Police office on Saturday, tempo.co reported. By conducting a face-to-face interview, Budi added, the company's management could better assess character and body language. 

BlockJakarta: May 9, 2018 Indonesia Blockchain Conference? BitcoinExchangeGuide 20th Apr 2018
The 7th Edition of the Blackarrow Blockchain Series conference ‘BlockJakarta’ will be held on the 9th of May and it is looking more promising than ever. For most participants in Indonesia, the Blackarrow conference is the best place to connect with startups that are shaping the future of blockchain, network with blockchain regulators in the country, and meet with the best blockchain influencers from all around the world. Businesses with ready blockchain products can also get space at the conference to showcase their products and reach new markets or investors. Individuals can also showcase their expertise and attract the attention of recruiters and talent scouts. BlockJakarta Indonesia May 9, 2018 Blockchain Conference Details Everyone agrees that the new defining structures of our economic, legal, and political systems are records, contracts, and transactions. The world is gradually but steadily embracing the new blockchain technologies because of their practical applications such as protecting assets and setting organizational boundaries.

ICT plays crucial role in social behavior changes The Jakarta Post 17th Apr 2018
The rapid growth of information and communication technology (ICT) has generated a wide range of new, digitally focused approaches to address social and behavioral change. During the second day of the International Social Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, abundant ideas and initiatives on how to achieve social and behavioral change — including through the use of mobile phones, video, television soap operas and social media platforms — were explored. Georgia Arnold, executive director of MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation and MTV Shuga, shared her experience in working and training youth-led projects in over 70 countries and raising funds of over US$6 million to support 200 HIV-based organizations around the world. “Our programs have shifted the behavior of millions of youths around the world toward staying healthy, active and productive, especially in HIV prevention efforts,” she said.

Infrastructure

Greater Jakarta Area to have Integrated Mass Transport System Tempo 30th Apr 2018
The government hopes to create fully integrated transport system in the Greater Jakarta area in 2023-2024 that could transport up to 5 million passengers a day. More roads are required in Jakarta from year to year , therefore, the requirement has to be met with adequate mass transport facilities, Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said here when inspecting speed light rail transit (LRT) on Sunday. Budi said currently the government continued to build mass transport facilities like LRT, commuter trains and mass rapid transport(MRT) in the Greater Jakarta area. Based on evaluation by the government, the busiest access roads to Jakarta are Cibubur-Jakarta, Bekasi-Jakarta, and Bogor-Jakarta.

Govt to Continue 13 Port Construction Projects Tempo 28th Apr 2018
The Ministry of Transportation ensured ten to thirteen of 33 port construction projects listed in the budget period of 2009-2014 are still afoot. While the rest projects had been changed the functional and even several projects had been stopped due to the terrible planning and execution. “The central regulation should be stern. Until 2019, there are 306 planning projects, but the fiscal capacity is only 35 percent of the total need,” said the Ministry’s Inspector General Wahju Satrio Utomo, yesterday, April 27. Wahju explained the government will prepare several options so that the 33 port project constructions that cost Rp2.8 billion would not be in vain. He called on the regional government who willing to continue the project or shift the project’s function to contribute the effort by providing the land. The Ministry’s Sea Transportation Director General Agus H. Purnomo mentioned some regional governments have requested to continue the port project including Berau Regency (East Kalimantan), Pacitan Regency (East Java), and West Sumatra Province.

Transportation Ministry takes over KEK Sei Mangkei railway The Jakarta Post 17th Apr 2018
The Transportation Ministry signed an agreement on Tuesday with the Industry Ministry and state-owned plantation firm PTPN III to take over the operations of a newly constructed railway connecting the special economic zone (KEK) of Sei Mangkei with Perlanaan Station in Simalungun, North Sumatra.  The 2.95-kilometer railway is part of a 30-km track connecting KEK Sei Mangkei to Kuala Tanjung Port, which is being developed into one of the largest ports in the country. "With the agreement, we are responsible for maintaining the railway track to help improve operations at KEK Sei Mangkei," Transportation Ministry railway director general Zulfikri said after the signing ceremony in Jakarta.  Before the agreement, the railway was under the management of the special economic zone, while the PTPN III was the land owner. Under the deal, state-owned railway operator KAI will take over the railway’s operations.

Government slashes number of strategic projects The Jakarta Post 17th Apr 2018
The government has announced that it will slash the number of National Strategic Projects (PSN), mostly related to infrastructure, from 245 to 222. Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said in Jakarta on Monday that certain projects could be maintained in the list of strategic projects because their construction could start in the third quarter of 2019. “We have invited related ministers to [check their] progress. If the ministers say the projects could not be implemented by Q3, 2019, it is the job of the next government to carry out evaluations,” Darmin said after a meeting on project evaluations at the State Palace. Darmin did not list all the projects that were dropped but mentioned several examples, including the railway track from Jambi to Palembang in South Sumatra, railway tracks in East Kalimantan, clean water facilities in North Sumatra, a dam in Pelosika in Central Sulawesi and a special economic zone (KEK) in Merauke, Papua.

State Construction Firm PP Sells Indonesia's First Perpetual Bonds Jakarta Globe 17th Apr 2018
State-owned construction firm PP launched a sale of perpetual bonds on Tuesday (17/04), aiming to raise Rp 1 trillion ($73 million) in the course of a year, a company executive said. The perpetual bond issuance is the first in Indonesia and marks another effort by state companies involved in infrastructure projects to raise funding through unconventional instruments. Companies such as toll road operator Jasa Marga and Wijaya Karya have raised funds through sales of the country's first ever London-listed, rupiah-denominated bonds. Jasa Marga also pioneered the sale of asset securitization in Indonesia last year.

Revised regulation to accommodate giant seawall project The Jakarta Post 16th Apr 2018
Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution has said the government is now revising Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 54/2008, which is, among others, to allow for the construction of a giant seawall. He said the revision, which was expected to be completed this year, was urgently needed because of increasingly complex problems resulting from fast changes in the economic, environmental and demographic conditions in the provinces of Jakarta, West Java and Banten. “The government has been long paying special attention to the Jabodetabekpunjur areas,” said Darmin in Jakarta on Monday, as reported by kotan.co.id, referring to an acronym for Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi, Puncak and Cianjur. The revision of the regulation, officially known as Perpres Jabodetabekpunjur, was important because of the regions' large contributions to the national economy (19.93 percent), Darmin said, adding that their population growth was 2.9 percent annually with a land conversion rate of 32.06 percent from 2012 to 2015.

Indonesia seeks ways to speed up China high-speed rail project The Straits Times 2nd May 2018
Indonesia said on Wednesday (May 2) it is seeking ways to accelerate a US$5 billion (S$6.68 billion) high-speed rail project - being built by a consortium of local and Chinese state firms - which is facing obstacles from land ownership issues. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is due to meet President Joko Widodo next Monday during a trip to Jakarta to mark the 15th anniversary of China's partnership with Asean. The Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail line, the first for the country, is a flagship project of Mr Joko and was awarded to China in 2015 after a contentious race with Japan.About 2,700 sq m of ground has been compacted for the first tunnel of the 150km line, the ministry said. But ownership rights for nearly 40 per cent of land has yet to be resolved, it said. CRC has promised the project will be completed within three years of land clearance being completed, although it was not clear when that would happen, Mr Ridwan Jamaluddin, deputy coordinating minister of maritime affairs, said after meeting Mr Lu and China's ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Xiao Qian.

Building Jakarta Inside Indonesia 28th Apr 2018
Many of Jakarta’s infrastructure issues stem from a failure to implement urban planning and design strategies following independence. Poor implementation (caused by inertia, corruption and lack of capacity) and lack of agility in responding to new challenges has left Jakarta unprepared to accommodate its current population. Though there are many issues, the main ones relate to traffic, flooding and housing – three problems with a clear link to infrastructure and to each other.Belatedly, a multitude of projects have been launched to address the problems, including the construction of a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) rail line. The project’s first phase ought to be completed in 2019, and will link Lebak Bulus in the south-west to the Hotel Indonesia Roundabout in the city centre. The MRT is meant to reduce the number of cars on the roads, but sceptics urge caution – they are weary of big promises and spectacular failures like the Jakarta Monorail (started in 2004, abandoned in 2008, revived in 2013 and abandoned again in 2015, due to financial difficulties). While flooding tends to be a seasonal issue (the rainy season is around October to April), rising sea levels have made the problem more frequent and acute. There are even concerns that Jakarta is sinking, and that more than 40 per cent of the city is already underwater. Attempts to address the issue have included mass relocations that have been very unpopular with some residents, especially those mostly poor people who had close ties to the land and communities they were forced to leave. Housing issues are less well-known and more complex. Many of Jakarta’s middle class families are turning to high-rise living, with implications for how resources are used and putting further pressure on existing infrastructure. The availability of affordable housing is decreasing with rapid urban growth, particularly for the urban poor who find themselves increasingly pushed out to the margins of the city. Housing and population pressures also have a flow-on effect for the environment. For instance, almost 50 per cent of residents do not have access to piped water, instead relying on wells for their needs, which drains the local aquifer and further causes Jakarta to sink.

Indonesia to use Japan loans and private capital for $4.5bn railway Nikkei Asian Review 26th Apr 2018
Indonesia will seek funding from the Japanese government and private sector for a $4.5 billion railway project stretching across the island of Java. Basuki Hadimuljono, Minister of Public Works and Public Housing, told Nikkei on Friday that the project involved upgrading 750km of existing track on the Jakarta-Surabaya line and building around 300 flyovers at an estimated cost of 62 trillion rupiah ($4.46 billion), which will be financed by Japanese loans. Elements such as the construction of station buildings and surrounding facilities, on the other hand, will be developed through public-private partnership schemes.

Indonesia scales down investment target in energy, mining sectors The Jakarta Post 20th Apr 2018
The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has revised its investment target this year by 27 percent to only US$37.2 billion, with the biggest cut of more than 50 percent coming from the electricity sector. The ministry initially aimed to realize investments worth $50.96 billion this year, of which $24.88 billion was expected to be in the electricity sector, $16.76 billion in the oil and gas sector, $7.31 billion in the mining sector and $2.01 billion in the renewable energy sector. However, the latest data from the ministry show the targeted investment currently stands at $37.2 billion. Of the figure, the electricity and mining sectors are projected to get $12.2 billion and $6.2 billion, respectively. Meanwhile, the targets for the oil and gas and renewable energy sectors remain unchanged.

Indonesia expected to drop 264t rupiah worth of infrastructure projects The Business Times 17th Apr 2018
Indonesia's chief economic minister said on Monday that 14 infrastructure projects, worth 264 trillion rupiah (S$25.1 billion), are expected to be dropped from the government's strategic development plan due to lack of progress. These projects will be dropped if they don't meet some requirements by the third quarter of 2019, Darmin Nasution said, which is the end of President Joko Widodo's current term.

Manufacturing

Boost in automotive exports to create more jobs: President Antara News 19th Apr 2018
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) opined that increased exports of automotives and their components will create more jobs in the country. "Exports of automotive components will open huge job opportunities, especially for small- and medium-scale industries, which produce both main and supporting components," Jokowi remarked at the Indonesia International Motor Show 2018 held at the JI Expo here on Thursday. Jokowi noted that Indonesia`s automotive industry had grown at a fast pace, and it could target other markets in addition to that in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The president has also encouraged the modified motorcycle industry to penetrate the export market.

Indonesian automotive industry growing rapidly: Minister Antara News 19th Apr 2018
Industry Minister, Airlangga Hartarto, stated that Indonesia`s automotive industry is growing rapidly, with a very significant contribution to the national economy. "This can be seen from the production figures of four-wheeled vehicles, which has increased to 1.216 million units in 2017 compared to two years earlier, which only reached 1.177 million units," he noted here on Thursday. Hartarto conveyed this while giving a speech at the opening of the Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS) 2018 at Jakarta International Expo, Kemayoran, Jakarta. According to Hartarto, the rapid growth of the automotive industry is also reinforced by an increase of 231 thousand units of Completely Built Up (CBU) vehicles in 2017, where there were only 194 thousand units in 2016.

Vietnam reopens market for Indonesian export of automotive products Antara News 17th Apr 2018
Vietnam has agreed to reopen its market for Indonesia`s automotive products during the Third Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation of Indonesia-Vietnam (RI-Vietnam JCBC) in Hanoi on Tuesday. "I am glad that Indonesia`s export of automotive products can reenter Vietnamese market," Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi noted in a statement, after co-chairing the 3rd RI-Vietnam JCBC in Hanoi, on Tuesday. At the end of 2017, the Vietnamese Government issued regulation 116/2017 on import of motor vehicles. Indonesia could continue the exports of automotive products in the form of completely built-up (CBU) vehicles to Vietnam after the Indonesian government agreed to comply with the Vietnamese policy on imports of motor vehicles.

Indonesia's Dependence on Silk Affects Production   Tempo 17th Apr 2018
The Royal Silk Indonesia Foundation revealed that Indonesia's dependence on silk materials from China has a major impact on batik craftsmen and other markets that rely on silk as its main production material. Currently, 98 percent of the raw silk materials used by Indonesian craftsmen are originated from China. "Within the past two to three years, Chinese imported silk cords were sold for IDR 1.3 million per kilogram, which is a significant increase compared to a decade ago when it was valued at  IDR 250,000 per kilogram," said Fitriani, the Royal Silk Indonesia Foundation Chairman in Yogyakarta on Monday, April 16, 2018. Fitriani made her statement in reference to a research conducted by Kuroda Masato, a researcher from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) who focuses on local product promotions. Kuroda discovered that the price hike has affected Indonesian craftsmen that use silk as their base material.