Indonesia Update: May 10, 2018

Indonesia Update | May 10, 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
 
 

Ministry to Bring Back Indonesian Language Requirement for Foreign Workers

On May 2, the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower announced that it is currently drafting a regulation to bring back the language requirement for foreign workers. The requirement was previously removed from Manpower Ministerial Regulation No. 16/2015 to accommodate temporary foreign workers with short-term stay in Indonesia. The Ministry is now considering requiring foreign workers who stay for six months or longer to demonstrate Indonesian proficiency in order to obtain work visas.

In a broader context, the government’s recent efforts to simplify the licensing process for foreign worker recruitment through Presidential Regulation No. 20/2018 which was well received by the foreign business community, also triggered an uproar in the run up to the Labor Day demonstration on May 1. Fear of job loss and social unrest have been raised by lawmakers at the House of Representatives and labor unions such as the Confederation of Indonesian Workers Union (KSPI) and the Indonesian Worker Association (Aspek). In addition, several of President Jokowi’s political opponents are turning the policy reform into a political campaign issue ahead of the 2019 presidential election, deeming the indiscriminate flood of foreign workers detrimental to the local economy. The recent announcement to bring back a language requirement regulation therefore seems to be a move by President Jokowi’s administration to appease local critics as the race for presidency heats up with the official campaign starting in September.

Indonesia Issues Regulation Capping Foreign Investment in Insurance

Indonesia publicized Government Regulation No. 14/2018 on Foreign Ownership of Insurance Companies on May 1 after President Jokowi signed the regulation in April. As long expected, the regulation caps foreign investment in insurance companies at 80 percent, but exempts companies publicly listed in Indonesia and non-listed companies that exceeded the cap prior to its enactment. The cap will, however, prevent these companies from raising additional capital from outside of Indonesia if it increases the companies’ foreign ownership ratio further. Though the decision is positive in that it will likely not require significant divestments and is broadly in line with expectations, the limitations on raising additional capital will reduce the ability of insurance companies to expand their presence in the country and increase insurance penetration. Though not nearly as problematic as feared in 2014 and still higher than the caps in some other ASEAN countries, the new ownership restriction, together with recent actions to limit foreign reinsurance and payments services companies, indicates a more difficult operating environment for foreign financial services companies going forward.

In addition to the investment restrictions, the regulation also sets forth criteria that must be met by prospective foreign investors, supervisory measures, and requirements for Boards of Directors. The section on Boards of Directors removes the requirement that foreign owned companies include Indonesian nationals, which had previously been mandated under Government Regulation 73/1992. Government Regulation 14/2018, which entered force on April 18, can be found at this link (in Indonesian).

Indonesian Ministry of Finance Issues New Regulation on Intellectual Property Right Enforcement

On April 16, Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance issued Regulation No. 40/2018 on the Recording, Prevention, Warranty, Temporary Suspension, Monitoring and Evaluation to Control the Import and Export of the Goods which Allegedly Violate Intellectual Property Rights. The regulation grants the Bureau of Customs full authority to enforce intellectual property laws at the border and defines the legal procedures for doing so. In 2017 the Customs Bureau empowered itself through Government Regulation 20/2017 to interdict intellectual property rights-violating imports and exports, however, conflicts with other regulations have limited the policy’s effectiveness. The new regulation clarifies this system, allowing the Bureau of Customs to implement the policy. The core of the policy is the creation of a system allowing Indonesian legal entities to register their IP with the Bureau of Customs, which will then be used to check shipments for possible IP violations. Indonesia remains on USTR’s Special 301 Priority Watch List for insufficient protection of intellectual property, but is in consultation on a workplan to address these problems. The new regulation could be a positive step in addressing smuggling of counterfeit goods, at least for companies that have an official presence in Indonesia. The regulation, which will enter force on June 14 (60 days after its issuance), is accessible at this link (in Indonesian).
 
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
Indonesia regrets US decision to withdraw from Iran nuclear deal
Indonesia, Jordan agree to step up defense cooperation
Indonesia provides export-import training for Afghan bizmen
Jokowi, Chinese PM commence Bogor Palace talks
President hopes for more cooperation with Pacific countries
Jokowi chairs bilateral meeting with Brunei delegation
Indonesia-Azerbaijan bilateral trade recorded second-largest in Eurasia
Marsudi meets with South Korean vice foreign minister
Indonesia appoints Al Farisi as ambassador for South Africa

National Affairs
Indonesia not afraid of terrorism, Jokowi says
Mako Brimob standoff ends, all inmates surrender
Five officers dead, one held hostage in Mako Brimob standoff
Kalla calls on police to strengthen ties with religious leaders

Economics
Indonesia still has many poor people: Jokowi
Foreign Ownership of Insurance Companies Finally Regulated
Indonesia’s economy expands 5.06% in first quarter
Ministry to bring back Indonesian language requirement for foreign workers

Energy
Gov't to Axe Complicated Regulations to Boost Oil & Gas Investment

Financial Services
Indonesia affirms cap on foreign ownership in insurers at 80%
Bank Indonesia Says Intervening to Support Rupiah, Preparing to Adjust Rates

Food & Agriculture
Minister Amran Raises Dryer Budget to Rp1 Bn
RI to prioritize trade diplomacy for palm oil
China agrees to increase palm oil imports from Indonesia

ICT
Ministry lifts cap on cellphone numbers
Indonesia moves towards smart buildings
Press, societies launch antihoax website
Indonesia Looks to Blockchain to Fix Its Dodgy Data Challenges

Infrastructure
Indonesia, China sign two MoUs on infrastructure development
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Regional Affairs

Indonesia regrets US decision to withdraw from Iran nuclear deal Antara News 9th May 2018
The Government of Indonesia regretted the decision of the United States to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Agreement between Iran and the UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany (P5+1). Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted in a statement on Wednesday that the JCPOA is an important achievement of diplomacy that can contribute to the promotion of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and maintain peace as well as stability in the region and in the world. "Indonesia hopes other states? parties of the JCPOA would continue to honor their commitment, and the international community would maintain support for the agreement, it stated. Reuters reported on Wednesday that President Donald Trump has made his decision by stating that the US is going to withdraw from the multinational agreement to stop Iran from building nuclear weapons.

Indonesia, Jordan agree to step up defense cooperation Antara News 9th May 2018
The governments of Indonesia and Jordan have agreed to step up bilateral cooperation in the defense field. The relations in the defense sector will be stepped up by the ministries of defense of the two countries. The agreement between the two countries was reached in a meeting between Indonesian Defense Minister, Ryamizard Ryacudu, and Jordanian Defense concurrently Prime Minister, Hani Al Mulki, during the Special Operation Force Exhibition and Conference (Sovex) Jordan Exhibition 2018 on Tuesday. Ryacudu stated that the cooperation was aimed at facilitating exchange of experiences and expertise between the two countries and provide lessons on weaponry systems, which are suitable for dealing with terrorism.

Indonesia provides export-import training for Afghan bizmen Antara News 8th May 2018
Indonesia through the Trade Ministry provides training on export-import procedures for Afghan businessmen on May 7-9, 2018. Director General of National Export Development of the Ministry of Trade, Arlinda, hopes that the training will contribute to improving the trade relations and trade balance of Indonesia-Afghanistan in the future. "The training encourages Afghan entrepreneurs to partner with Indonesian businessmen, which focuses on improving Indonesia-Afghanistan trade balance through export and import activities," Arlinda said in a written statement received on Monday.

Jokowi, Chinese PM commence Bogor Palace talks The Jakarta Post 7th May 2018
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo welcomed Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang at the Bogor Palace on Monday, a visit that marks the fifth year of Indonesia and China’s strategic comprehensive partnership. Following a lavish welcome ceremony, Jokowi and Li planted a camphor tree as a symbol of good bilateral ties, followed by a tête-à-tête on the Palace veranda. The two leaders then proceeded with bilateral talks, which were expected to focus on the countries' economic partnership, including trade and investment. In a press briefing on Friday, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Jokowi aimed to narrow the country's  trade deficit with China through increasing Indonesian exports to China and other measures.

President hopes for more cooperation with Pacific countries Antara News 4th May 2018
President Joko Widodo hopes Indonesia will have more cooperation with countries in the Pacific Ocean by enhancing connectivity. "I believe countries in the South Pacific such as Nauru, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tonga are very open to cooperation with Indonesia in various sectors," the President said here on Friday. According to Widodo, areas in which cooperation could be developed were people-to-people relations, culture, education, and investment and trade. The key to improving cooperation, he said, was enhancing connectivity and transportation with other countries in the southern Pacific. Indonesia had a strategic location, lying as it did between Asia and Australia as well as India and the Pacific. Widodo said Indonesia?s foreign policy aimed at developing the economic and politic sectors.

Jokowi chairs bilateral meeting with Brunei delegation Antara News 4th May 2018
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) chaired a bilateral meeting with the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, and his delegation, at Bogor Palace, West Java, on Thursday. The president was accompanied by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Health Minister Nila Moeloek, Labor Minister Hanif Dhakiri, Education and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendi, State Secretary Minister Pratikno, and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung. "We welcome Sultan Bolkiah and the delegation to Bogor City. It is an honor for us to receive our Majesty`s visit to Indonesia," the president said at the opening of a bilateral meeting.

Indonesia-Azerbaijan bilateral trade recorded second-largest in Eurasia Antara News 3rd May 2018
The value of bilateral trade between Indonesia and Azerbaijan is recorded as the second largest among the Commonwealth of Independent States or those located in Eurasia, or Central and North Asia. "In the last five years, the value of trade between Indonesia and Azerbaijan has reached US$7.5 billion," Azerbaijani Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Indonesia Tamerlan Garayev remarked at the 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic here on Wednesday (May 2). The ambassador stated that high-level political relations between both nations are based on the principles of friendship, mutual respect, and cooperation.

Marsudi meets with South Korean vice foreign minister Antara News 3rd May 2018
Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi here on Wednesday received a visit of South Korean First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Lim Sung Nam. "The purpose of his visit was to brief in detail the result of the Inter-Korean Summit," Minister Marsudi said here, Wednesday. To Marsudi, Vice Minister Lim also said South Korea appreciated Indonesia`s support to the peace process on the Korean Peninsula. Lim stated that the future after the summit is optimistic since there has been a personal trust between the leaders of South and North Korea and a sincerity to continue to the next step.

Indonesia appoints Al Farisi as ambassador for S Africa Antara News 3rd May 2018
President Joko Widodo has appointed Salman Al Farisi as Ambassador Plenipotentiary for the Republic of South Africa. The President officially named Salman as ambassador by taking his oath in the State Palace, Jakarta on Wednesday. The designation is put in Presidential Decree No 76 P 2018 relating to the designation of Salman Al Farisi as the Plenipotentiary Ambassador for South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Botswana. Al Farisi said his mission in South Africa and other African countries is to increase Indonesia`s economic cooperation.

National Affairs

Indonesia not afraid of terrorism, Jokowi says The Jakarta Post 10th May 2018
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has underlined that the state and the people of Indonesia will not tolerate terrorism. “The state and all of the people will never be afraid and will never give space to terrorism or any other effort to undermine the country’s security,” he told journalists during a press conference at the Bogor Palace on Thursday. In the brief press conference called after the 40-hour standoff ended, the president expressed appreciation for the work of the police in the prison riot. “All of the terrorist convicts have surrendered to the security officers, and at this opportunity I want to say the biggest thank you on behalf of the people and the state to all of the officers involved in handling this case,” he said.

Mako Brimob standoff ends, all inmates surrender The Jakarta Post 10th May 2018
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto has announced that the standoff between the security forces and terrorist inmates at a detention center located at the National Police’s Mobile Brigade headquarters (Mako Brimob) in Depok, West Java, is over. The minister said that on Thursday morning the authorities stormed the prison and the inmates, who had seized 30 weapons from the police and killed five officers, had surrendered. “Some 145 inmates gave up without resistance. Another 10 resisted but surrendered in the face of overwhelming force by the authorities.” Previously, the police said that five members of the Police's Densus 88 counterterrorism squad had been killed while another officer was being held hostage following a riot at the detention center that broke out on Tuesday night. 

Five officers dead, one held hostage in Mako Brimob standoff The Jakarta Post 9th May 2018
The police have announced that five members of Police's Densus 88 counterterrorism squad have been killed while another officer is being held hostage, in a standoff between police and terror convicts since rioting broke out on Tuesday evening at the Mobile Brigade headquarters (Mako Brimob) detention center in Kelapa Dua, Depok, West Java. One terror detainee was also killed during the incident after making repeated threats and attempting to steal a police weapon. The Mako Brimob has been in lockdown since rioting broke out at its detention center on Tuesday evening, with local roads cordoned off and affecting traffic on Wednesday. According to National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. M. Iqbal, the officers' bodies have been transferred to the National Police Hospital in Kramat Jati, East Jakarta.

Kalla calls on police to strengthen ties with religious leaders Antara News 4th May 2018
The Vice-President Jusuf Kalla has called on the ranks of the Indonesian Police to establish and strengthen ties with religious leaders, especially in local areas, to check growing radicalism. "We (government) and the police should also understand the principles of a good religion and maintain relationships with religious leaders. Religious leaders should make sure the community does not become radical," he said at the Jakarta Institute of Police Science on Friday. Social conflicts based on religious differences happen easily, he said and pointed to the violence in Ambon in Maluku province in 1999 and in Poso in Central Sulawesi from 1998 to 2001. "Everyone is not being neutral when dealing with religious matters. People side with one side. Then, conflicts (related to religious differences) occur such as in the two areas (Ambon and Poso), which cause casualties," he said.

Economics

Indonesia still has many poor people: Jokowi Antara News 10th May 2018
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) acknowledged that Indonesia still has many poor people who still have to be lifted up from poverty. "The government continues to make efforts to improve the welfare of poor citizens. There are still a lot of people who are poor," the president stated, during the commemoration of the 92nd anniversary of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) Islamic organization here, on Wednesday. Jokowi noted that the government will continue to develop the people`s economy to improve their welfare. The president, on the occasion, was accompanied by the chief of the Presidential Staff Office, Moeldoko, and the head of the Presidential Secretariat, Heru Budi Hartono.

Foreign Ownership of Insurance Companies Finally Regulated Hukum Online 8th May 2018
The Government has finally issued Regulation No. 14 of 2018 on the Foreign Ownership of Insurance Companies (“Regulation 14/2018”), as an implementation Article 7 (3) of Law No. 40 of 2014 on Insurance (“Insurance Law”).

Indonesia’s economy expands 5.06% in first quarter The Jakarta Post 7th May 2018
Indonesia’s economy expanded by 5.06 percent year-on-year (yoy) during the first quarter this year thanks to growth in investments and consumer spending. Data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) show that the first quarter figure at 5.06 percent was a slight increase on the 5.01 percent that was recorded over the same period last year.  “This figure is better than the first quarter of 2017 […] we hope that the figure will continue to increase in the next quarters because there are events that can spur economic growth such as Ramadhan and Idul Fitri, the regional elections and the Asian Games,” BPS head Suhariyanto said during a press release on Monday. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than half of GDP, was recorded at 4.95 percent during the first quarter this year.

Ministry to bring back Indonesian language requirement for foreign workers The Jakarta Post 3rd May 2018
The Manpower Ministry is now preparing a regulation to bring back the requirement for foreign workers to speak Indonesian, an official has said. “We will issue a ministerial regulation [on deliberation of the requirement]. It is being discussed and drafted,” said Manpower Ministry legal bureau head Budiman in Jakarta on Wednesday as reported by kompas.com. The requirement was previously removed from Manpower Ministerial Regulation No. 16/2015. Budiman said the requirement was previously removed because certain foreign workers, like technicians installing machinery in Indonesian factories, only traveled to the country for several days at a time. “Such workers do not need to be able to speak Indonesian because they are in fact employed by owners of the machinery,” the official said, adding that if such workers were required to speak Indonesian, it could discourage investment.

Energy

Gov't to Axe Complicated Regulations to Boost Oil & Gas Investment Jakarta Globe 3rd May 2018
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo told the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources on Wednesday (02/05) to continue axing several complicated regulations in a bid to accelerate more petroleum investment into Indonesia. "I told the [Energy Ministry] that our regulations are still not conducive. There are still [many regulations] that are complicated, and require a lot of procedure. The regulations should be axed and simplified. I want to discuss that at this forum, what kind of regulations that still give us a headache," Jokowi said at the 2018 Indonesian Petroleum Association (IPA) conference at the Jakarta Convention Center on Wednesday. "We expect to increase [oil and gas] production every year because it has been years that we have not been conducting large-scale oil exploration. Our production keeps declining, and we keep importing oil. That is the expectation," Jokowi said. Once a founding member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Indonesia is now only able to produce oil about 800,000 barrels per day (bpd), half of its daily need, and has since relinquished its place in OPEC.

Financial Services

Indonesia affirms cap on foreign ownership in insurers at 80% Allen & Overy 10th May 2018
ndonesia has enacted Regulation no.14/2018 on Foreign Ownership of Insurance Companies, which came into force on 18 April 2018 and confirms a maximum threshold for foreign ownership of an Indonesian insurance company of 80%. The new regulation provides welcome clarification of the law relating to ownership and foreign participation in the Indonesian Insurance Industry. However, as the OJK has already been applying many of the features of the new regulation in practice in recent years, no material impact is anticipated as it amounts to an affirmation of existing policy.

Bank Indonesia Says Intervening to Support Rupiah, Preparing to Adjust Rates Jakarta Globe 10th May 2018
Indonesia's central bank said on Wednesday (09/05) it was intervening in the markets to support the rupiah and was preparing to adjust its benchmark interest rate, suggesting it may hike rates to shore up the currency, now at its weakest in two and a half years. In a statement, Bank Indonesia (BI) said it was "in the middle of preparing firm and consistent monetary policy steps including by adjusting the seven-day reverse repo rate," its key rate. BI said it was also "optimizing other monetary operation instruments" to ensure enough rupiah and dollar onshore liquidity.

Food & Agriculture

Minister Amran Raises Dryer Budget to Rp1 Bn Tempo 9th May 2018
Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman has increased the budget to procure 1,000 rice dryers worth Rp1 billion. “It is expected that there will be no more complain about the high of water content. This is based on the President’s instruction,” he said at the National Logistics Agency (Bulog) on Wednesday, May 9. Amran explained one unit of dryer can dry 10,000 to 15,000 tons of unhulled rice per day. The dryers will be provided for the farmers in eight main granaries. According to Amran, the dryers could reduce the distribution time to Bulog and reduce the price. In addition, the price of unhulled rice from farmers is expected to be higher. Therefore, Amran hopes that farmers, business owners, and consumers will gain benefits from the program. Furthermore, Amran guaranteed the availability of food stock during Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr holiday. “Our [food] stock is safe. Sugar, meat, onion, eggs, and other foods are safe,” he added.

RI to prioritize trade diplomacy for palm oil Antara News 9th May 2018
The government would prioritize trade diplomacy for Indonesian palm oil sector, after the European Union Parliament`s decision to exclude palm oil as biofuel source in the region by 2021. Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, stated that the government would prioritize dialogue and lobbies, especially regarding the EU Parliament`s decision discriminating palm oil products. "The Indonesian government would prioritize trade diplomacy that puts forward dialogue and lobbies, and explain the government`s measures to apply sustainable palm oil sector," Pandjaitan noted here on Tuesday.

China agrees to increase palm oil imports from Indonesia The Jakarta Post 7th May 2018
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang agreed on Monday to bolster trade between their two countries, including to increase Indonesia's crude palm oil (CPO) exports to China. Jokowi received Li at the Bogor Palace on Monday in a visit that marked the fifth year of the Indonesia-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The two leaders held a bilateral meeting and discussed ways to improve cooperation. "Premier Li Keqiang has especially agreed to increase [Indonesia's] palm oil exports to China by up to 500,000 tons [per year]," Jokowi said in a joint statement after the meeting on Monday.

ICT

Ministry lifts cap on cellphone numbers The Jakarta Post 8th May 2018
The Communications and Information Ministry has lifted the restriction on cellphone numbers from three per person to unlimited following protests from shop owners. Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara issued a letter, which was distributed to telecommunication service providers, to lift the cap on cellphone numbers per citizenship identity number (NIK), kompas.com reported. The government previously issued a regulation that required all cellphone owners to register their numbers along with their NIK. The ministry then proceeded to issue a regulation restricting the ownership of cellphone numbers to three per person The previous regulation stated that while one NIK may have more than three cellphone numbers, the telecommunication providers should file a report once every three months on NIKs that were registered to multiple numbers.

Indonesia moves towards smart buildings The ASEAN Post 7th May 2018
Indonesia is one of the largest countries in the world in terms of both land area and population. Over the past five years, Indonesia’s urban population has increased by 53.5 percent, more than half of its total, according to Statistics Indonesia. The impact of urban population growth is directly proportional to the rise in demand for both infrastructure and living facilities in urban space, such as buildings and roads. As such, the Republic is now looking at the construction of buildings that are energy-efficient so as to minimise negative environmental impacts and to be more cost-effective in both the short and long run. This is in line with a greater and more far-reaching plan of establishing smart cities within the country. Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and the Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS), along with other local organisations have initiated a smart city programme which is called the 100 Smart City Movement. The programme will be carried out by 2019.

Press, societies launch antihoax website The Jakarta Post 5th May 2018
In an unprecedented move, 22 national and regional news media organizations and a number of associations have launched a website to debunk false news and hoaxes ahead of the 2019 elections. The name of the website, cekfakta.com, translates to “fact check” in English. The joint project was initiated by the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), the Indonesian Cyber Media Association (AMSI), the Indonesian Anti-Slander Society (Mafindo), Internews and Google News Initiative. The news media organizations--most of which are online news media or the digital version of established dailies--comprise tirto.id, viva.co.id, swara.com, detik.com, kompas.com, liputan6.com, merdeka.com, katadata.co.id, beritajatim.com, kbr.co.id, bisnis.com, beritasatu.com, kabarmedan.com, kabarmakassar.com, antaranews.com, timesIndonesia.co.id, riauonline.co.id, thejakartapost.com, republika.co.id and mafindo.or.id, which is run by the Mafindo association.

Indonesia Looks to Blockchain to Fix Its Dodgy Data Challenges US News 7th May 2018
Indonesia, like other emerging markets, has historically struggled to keep accurate records due to a lack of expertise and resources, but the public and private sectors are now looking at blockchain technology to overcome some of these challenges. Blockchain, the digital data structure best known for underpinning cryptocurrencies, provides a shared record of information maintained and updated by a network of computers rather than a centralized authority. This approach to data management could help Southeast Asia's largest economy, which has difficulties keeping accurate data and control over everything from food output to personal information for its 250 million people across 17,000 islands.

Infrastructure

Indonesia, China sign two MoUs on infrastructure development Antara News 8th May 2018
Indonesia and China have signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) on cooperation in infrastructure development during Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang`s visit in Indonesia on Monday. Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, and his Chinese counterpart from the Chinese National Reform and Development Commission signed a MoU on the promotion of cooperation in the development of regional comprehensive economic corridors at the Bogor Presidential Palace in the presence of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Prime Minister Li Keqiang.