Indonesia Update: October 15, 2018

Indonesia Update | October 15, 2018
Authors: Kim Yaeger, Artha Sirait, Ian Saccomanno and Bryan Yeoh
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 
Oct 30-31 Mission to the 36th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) in Singapore: The US-ASEAN Business Council is now registering senior-level executives for its Business Mission to the 36th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) in Singapore. The mission will take place Tuesday, October 30, to Wednesday, October 31, and will consist of bilateral meetings with ASEAN Energy Ministers and relevant AMEM Dialogue Partners. Deadline for registration is October 16. Click here to register
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Universal Service Obligation for Telecommunications and Informatics Redefined by Government

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (KOMINFO) issued Minister of KOMINFO Regulation No. 10 of 2018 (Regulation 10/2018) which replaces Minister of KOMINFO Regulation No. 25 of 2015 on the Universal Service Obligation (USO) for Telecommunications and Information Technology (KPU TIK). This regulation was issued to meet the growing digital consumption in Indonesia. Indonesia’s digital landscape has grown exponentially in the past years. Between 2015 and 2017 alone, Indonesia added 13 million mobile internet users to reach a user population of 76 million. Internet users are estimated at 132 million as of 2018. KPU TIK sets out obligations to provide telecommunication services to rural, lesser developed regions, non-economically feasible areas and areas which require information technology facilities and infrastructure. Funding for KPU TIK is sourced from KPU TIK contributions and other legal sources in accordance with prevailing laws and regulations. The government is targeting 100 percent 3G network coverage in all villages throughout Indonesia. In addition, the government is also targeting 514 districts and cities to have 100 percent 4G LTE network, which is a 64 percent increase from this year. Indonesia looks to achieve this development through its Palapa Ring Project which is supported by USO. 

There are four stages of KPU TIK implementation: planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and development. Regulation 10/2018 places the Telecommunications and Information Accessibility Development Agency (BAKTI) as the central figure in KPU TIK implementation. Previously, KPU TIK implementation was managed by the Telecommunications and Informatics Financing Provision and Management Office (BPPTI) and by the Director-General for the Organization of Post and Informatics at the Ministry. Although Regulation 10/2018 has been in force since August 30, 2018; cooperation agreements on KPU TIK concluded prior to the issuance of this current regulation will remain valid.

On the sidelines of Indonesia hosting the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings in Bali last week, the government began the tender process for a multifunction satellite project. So far the project involves PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (Persero) as the Lead Transaction Advisor, PT Penjaminan Infrastruktur Indonesia and KOMINFO. The project has attracted the participation of investors from Japan, China, Luxembourg, the U.K. and the U.S. According to the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), the project has a concession period of 15 years with an investment value of IDR 6.7 trillion (US$ 440 million). Once in operation, the satellite is expected to expand broadband functions to underserved areas.

Divestment Procedures for Foreign Mining Companies in Indonesia

Indonesia issued Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR) Regulation No. 43 of 2018 (Regulation 43/2018) to amend the divestment procedures for foreign mining companies as previously regulated under MEMR Regulation No. 9 of 2017. Regulation 43/2018 was issued on September 21, 2018 and came into effect on September 25, 2018. Under this regulation, foreign companies in possession of Production Operation Mining Business Permits (IUP OP) or Special Production Operation Mining Business Permits are required to divest their shares after their fifth year of production. The minimum divestment percentage starts at 20 percent of the total shares during the sixth year and gradually increases to 51 percent by the tenth year. The amendment will now allow issuance of new shares and transfer or sale of existing shares, either directly or indirectly to be considered towards the divestment percentage.

The amendment also affects procedures for the central government, state-owned enterprises (BUMN) and regionally owned enterprises (BUMD). Divested shares must first be offered to the central government, subsequently to the regional governments, state-owned enterprises and national private businesses. The central government will evaluate and negotiate an asking price for the divested shares. In addition, the government can appoint an appraiser to evaluate the offer price. The calculation of divestment prices based on results of government evaluations in the event of disagreements was dropped in the amendment. In addition, the amendment also authorizes the central government to directly engage regional governments, BUMN/BUMD with regards to expressions of interest in the purchase of shares. Collectively, they will determine the divestment scheme and composition of divested shares that will be purchased.

Further, the amendment specifies that shares offered to BUMD must be offered to BUMD specifically established by regional governments where the mining activities take place. In addition, in the event the regional government is not interested, shares must then be offered to BUMN/BUMD within seven days of such rejection by the regional government. To streamline the process, BUMN/BUMD interested in purchasing the shares are still required to submit a statement of interest but no supporting documents are required. In November 2018, Indonesia formed a "Holding of Mining State-Owned Enterprises" consisting of PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum), PT Timah Tbk, PT Aneka Tambang (Antam) Tbk and PT Bukit Asam Tbk. 

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
Regional Affairs
Indonesia, Singapore announce currency swap agreement

National Affairs
ERP to be implemented after MRT starts operating in 2019
You can now get up to Rp 200 million for reporting graft
Survey Shows Jokowi's Re-election Prospects Rising, While Support for Prabowo Weakens
Virtual Singapore project could be test bed for planners - and...
Jokowi's Electability Remains High, Running Mates May Determine Election Outcome: Survey
Millions Left Out as Indonesia Pushes Land Reform, Activists Say
2019 Election Campaigns Kick Off With Commitments to Peace

ASEAN
Singapore`s Investment in Indonesia Up 38 Percent
Amazon planning $1.3b investment in Indonesia

Customs
Government to increase airport tax: Minister
Govt: Luxury Tax to Boost Car Export

Economics
Twin deficits hamper IDX growth, says analyst
Bank Indonesia sees full-year inflation at 3.4 percent
Rising Debt at Indonesian SOEs Poses Indirect Fiscal Risks: OECD
IMF Cuts Indonesia's 2018, 2019 Growth Forecast
Economic stability first, growth next: Minister
Indonesia hikes rates again to prop up slumping rupiah
Current account deficit to continue through Q3: Finance Minister
World Bank: Indonesia`s Imports Faster than Its Export

Energy
Indonesia, Finland seeks further partnership in renewable energy
Indonesia wants to export more coal, buyers ignore the call 
LIPI Offers Bio-refinery to Support Bio-energy Use
Bloomberg - Are you a robot?
Pertamina to sign two deals at IMF-WB Annual Meeting
Here's why Indonesia's renewables scene slowed down in 2018
Pertamina operates avtur depot in West Kalimantan's airport
Freeport, Rio Sell Majority Stake in Grasberg Mine to Indonesia
Indonesia imports more fuel in 2018
UPDATE 1-Indonesia 2018 coal output target now around 507 mln T...
Indonesia's 2018 Coal Output Target Now Around 507m Tons: Energy Ministry
Inalum Officially Take Over 51 Percent of Freeport Share
Pertamina EP Finds New Oil Gas Reserves
Indonesia's Pertamina backs $100 bln spend to boost oil output
Indonesia 2018 coal output target now around 507 mn tonne: Energy ministry
Indonesia eyes higher power consumption rate

Financial Services
Mandiri Group introduces new investment product for infrastructure
OJK’s new policy package strikes balance between growth and stability
Indonesia banking: Time to revisit the sins of the fathers
Is Indonesia's bloated bank network prime for foreign takeover?
Gov't Urged to Tighten Rules on Foreign Investment in Indonesian Startups
Indonesian authorities taking on aggressive Chinese online lenders

Food & Agriculture
Negative Campaigns Against Palm Oil Hurt Indonesia's Economy: Lawmaker, Analysts
Abandoned by Banks, Indonesia's Poor Farmers Turn to Crowdfunding
Indonesia, New Zealand to Strengthen Food-Industry Cooperation
Garudafood sets IPO price
Agriculture ministry guarantees surplus rice stock
Indonesia to host int’l halal lifestyle conference
Jokowi Imposes Three-Year Moratorium on New Palm Oil Plantation Licenses
State Palace Defends Decision to Increase Rice Imports, Says Needed to Stabilize Prices

Health & Life Sciences
Indonesia Set to Step Up Fight Against Tuberculosis
EU Offers Support to Indonesia After Quake, Tsunami in Sulawesi
Methanol poisoning: 1,603 raids, 129 arrests in crackdown on bootleg liquor
Kalla: Indonesia Rejects US Hospital Ship Aid for Quake Victims
Indonesia Tsunami Death Toll Rises to 925
Government Urged to Increase Aid to Quake-hit Victims
Quake Toll Jumps to 832 Dead as Rescuers Struggle
Damaged Roads Hinder Distribution of Aid Supplies

ICT
Indonesian co-working startup GoWork lands $10 million
Indonesia To Assist Fiji With Broadband Connectivity
SoftBank Deepening Ties to Ride-Hailing Firm Grab With $500m Funding: Sources
Indonesia set to tighten noose on online merchants evading tax
IoT Training to prepare Indonesia for Industrial Revolution 4.0
Google to Build Cloud Facility in Indonesia
Gov't Pushes More SMEs to Use Online Marketplace
New Online Service Attracts Tech-Savvy Muslims With Trusted Umrah Packages
Global Consortium Completes First Phase of Subsea Cable Connnecting Australia, SE Asia
Indonesia Must Improve Internet Infrastructure to Boost Online Sales of Consumer Goods: Nielsen
Indonesian government to hold weekly 'fake news' briefings
New Cryptocurrency Mining Malware Pose Emerging Cybersecurity Threat: McAfee
China Goes for Broke in Indonesian E-Commerce
E-commerce could widen Indonesia's trade-current deficit and hurt the rupiah, analysts warn

Infrastructure
14 SOEs sign deals on $13.5 b worth of infrastructure projects  
Construction on MRT's Sarinah-Kampung Bandan route to begin in three months
10 more strategic projects to be completed this year
BI governor says private infrastructure financing could boost growth to 6.5%
Pasar Jaya to continue Blok A market construction
Britain Offers West Java Loan to Reactivate Railroad

Manufacturing
African countries interested in buying Indonesian aircraft
ABB opens new manufacturing facility in Indonesia
PT Inka manufactures 31 driverless trains for LRT

Travel & Tourism
Indonesia must focus on accessibility to boost tourism: Minister
Ridwan Kamil Disburses Rp50bn for Kalimalang Revitalization
Hilton hotel chain strengthens operations in Indonesia
Tauzia Hotels Joins Hands With Ascott for Southeast Asia Expansion
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Regional Affairs

Indonesia, Singapore announce currency swap agreement The Jakarta Post 11th Oct 2018
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have agreed that Bank Indonesia (BI) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) would have a currency swap agreement in facing the global uncertainty.

National Affairs

ERP to be implemented after MRT starts operating in 2019 The Jakarta Post 11th Oct 2018
The Jakarta Transportation Agency has revealed that the city will, again, try to implement the long-delayed electronic road pricing (ERP) system.

You can now get up to Rp 200 million for reporting graft The Jakarta Post 10th Oct 2018
The administration of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has signed a regulation to give informants financial rewards for blowing the whistle on graft.

Survey Shows Jokowi's Re-election Prospects Rising, While Support for Prabowo Weakens Jakarta Globe 8th Oct 2018
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's chances of winning re-election next year have increased, while support for rival Prabowo Subianto has weakened, the result of a new survey showed on Sunday (07/10).

Virtual Singapore project could be test bed for planners - and... Reuters 27th Sep 2018
With the click of a button, Singapore’s security forces could soon use a digital version of the city-state to simulate a bomb threat at a sports stadium - and learn how to respond if there was a real attack.

Jokowi's Electability Remains High, Running Mates May Determine Election Outcome: Survey Jakarta Globe 27th Sep 2018
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo's electability in next year's election remains high compared with that of his rival, Prabowo Subianto, with the incumbent generally perceived as having more desirable qualities, the results of national survey showed this week.

Millions Left Out as Indonesia Pushes Land Reform, Activists Say Jakarta Globe 24th Sep 2018
Bandung. Millions of landless peasants and indigenous people in Indonesia are being left out of an ambitious push by the government to give land titles in a process that campaigners say ignores the concerns of the country's most impoverished people.

2019 Election Campaigns Kick Off With Commitments to Peace Jakarta Globe 24th Sep 2018
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo and Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto declared their commitments on Sunday (23/09) to campaign peacefully for next year's presidential and legislative elections.

ASEAN

Singapore`s Investment in Indonesia Up 38 Percent Tempo 24th Sep 2018
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Singapore`s new investment in Indonesia reached US$5.04 billion or rose 38 percent in the first half of the year compared with the same period last year.

Amazon planning $1.3b investment in Indonesia The Straits Times 23rd Sep 2018
JAKARTA • American tech giant Amazon is planning a 14 trillion rupiah (S$1.3 billion) foray into Indonesia, in another major investment in the South-east Asian digital economy.

Customs

Government to increase airport tax: Minister The Jakarta Post 2nd Oct 2018
The government plans to increase fees for airplane passenger services, widely known as airport taxes, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said in Jakarta on Monday.

Govt: Luxury Tax to Boost Car Export Tempo 25th Sep 2018
The Industry Ministry revealed it will discuss the luxury vehicle tax (PPnBM) in a limited meeting as the proposal related to the tax scheme has yet to see an improvement.

Economics

Twin deficits hamper IDX growth, says analyst The Jakarta Post 11th Oct 2018
A securities analyst has said that the Indonesian bourse was not as attractive as those in Malaysia and Thailand, because of this year's twin current account and trade deficits that hampered the country.

Bank Indonesia sees full-year inflation at 3.4 percent The Jakarta Post 10th Oct 2018
Bank Indonesia (BI) expects inflation of 3.4 percent this year, lower than last year’s rate of 3.61 percent and comfortably within the central bank’s target range.

Rising Debt at Indonesian SOEs Poses Indirect Fiscal Risks: OECD Jakarta Globe 10th Oct 2018
The financial burden placed on Indonesian state-controlled companies to develop infrastructure could result in higher fiscal risks for the government, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said.

IMF Cuts Indonesia's 2018, 2019 Growth Forecast Jakarta Globe 10th Oct 2018
The International Monetary Fund has cut Indonesia's economic growth forecast for this year and next year due to global uncertainty, due in part to a trade war between the United States and China, and rising global oil prices.

Economic stability first, growth next: Minister The Jakarta Post 28th Sep 2018
The government and Bank Indonesia (BI) are prioritizing economic stability over economic growth because external pressures still haunt the country’s economy, Economic Coordinating Minister Darmin Nasution said on Friday.

Indonesia hikes rates again to prop up slumping rupiah Channel NewsAsia 27th Sep 2018
Indonesia hiked interest rates again Thursday (Sep 27) in a bid to shield the slumping rupiah from an emerging market selloff with the unit at levels last seen during the late nineties Asian financial crisis.

Current account deficit to continue through Q3: Finance Minister The Jakarta Post 25th Sep 2018
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has estimated that the large current account deficit will continue through to the third quarter, as government measures to curb imports had not produced significant results in the second quarter.

World Bank: Indonesia`s Imports Faster than Its Export Tempo 21st Sep 2018
The World Bank reported that Indonesia`s imports in Q2 this year grew two-folds compared to its exports.

Energy

Indonesia, Finland seeks further partnership in renewable energy The Jakarta Post 11th Oct 2018
Indonesia is seeking assistance from Finland to develop renewable energy, which is currently in its early stages. 

Indonesia wants to export more coal, buyers ignore the call Independent Online 11th Oct 2018
Indonesia wants to export more coal in order to earn U.S. dollars to shore up its faltering currency, but the problem is buyers don’t seem to be hearing the message.

LIPI Offers Bio-refinery to Support Bio-energy Use Tempo 11th Oct 2018
The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) is offering bio-refinery technology to support the government`s policy on the use of biofuels for transportation facilities.

Bloomberg - Are you a robot? Bloomberg 10th Oct 2018
Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday ordered his energy ministry to scrap an increase in retail gasoline prices within hours of its announcement.

Pertamina to sign two deals at IMF-WB Annual Meeting The Jakarta Post 9th Oct 2018
State energy holding company Pertamina is set to ink at least two infrastructure financing agreements on Thursday on the sidelines of the 2018 International Monetary Fund - World Bank (IMF-WB) Annual Meetings in Nusa Dua, Bali.

Here's why Indonesia's renewables scene slowed down in 2018 Asian Power 4th Oct 2018
It missed chances for reforms, investment, and collaboration for business, said experts at Power-Gen Asia 2018. If 2017 was considered a stellar year for Indonesia's melting pot of renewables, 2018 significantly paled in comparison, said Luke Devine, foreign legal consultant for Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners.

Pertamina operates avtur depot in West Kalimantan's airport The Jakarta Post 2nd Oct 2018
State-owned oil and gas company Pertamina opened a new aviation fuel (avtur) depot at Supadio International Airport in Pontianak, West Kalimantan on Monday.

Freeport, Rio Sell Majority Stake in Grasberg Mine to Indonesia Jakarta Globe 28th Sep 2018
Global mining giants Freeport McMoRan and Rio Tinto have struck a binding accord to sell a majority stake in the world's second-biggest copper mine, Grasberg, to Indonesia's state mining company, Inalum for $3.85 billion.

Indonesia imports more fuel in 2018 The Jakarta Post 27th Sep 2018
State-owned energy holding company Pertamina’s oil imports stood at an average of 393,000 barrel per day (bpd) up to August, 6 percent higher than in the entire year of 2017, when it imported 370,000 bpd on average.

UPDATE 1-Indonesia 2018 coal output target now around 507 mln T... Reuters 27th Sep 2018
Indonesia has increased its 2018 coal production target to around 507 million tonnes from a previous target of 485 million tonnes, the Energy Ministry said on Wednesday, a move that may add to downward pressure on prices for the fuel.

Indonesia's 2018 Coal Output Target Now Around 507m Tons: Energy Ministry Jakarta Globe 27th Sep 2018
Indonesia has increased its 2018 coal production target to around 507 million metric tons from a previous target of 485 million tons, the Energy Ministry said on Wednesday (26/09), a move that may add to downward pressure on prices for the fuel.

Inalum Officially Take Over 51 Percent of Freeport Share Tempo 27th Sep 2018
The government through Indonesia Asahan Alumunium (Inalum) officially becomes the majority shareholder in the US-based miner Freeport Indonesia with 51 percent stake after signing the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) today, September 27.

Pertamina EP Finds New Oil Gas Reserves Tempo 27th Sep 2018
State-owned oil firm PT Pertamina`s subsidiary, PT Pertmina EP, and its oil contractor have found oil and gas deposits in West Java.

Indonesia's Pertamina backs $100 bln spend to boost oil output Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide 26th Sep 2018
Indonesia’s state-owned energy company, Pertamina, needs $100 billion over the next 12 years to boost oil output growth, a senior official said on Tuesday. The spending was required to satisfy Indonesia’s oil demand, Ernie D Ginting, the firm’s vice president of corporate business strategic planning, said during the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC) in Singapore.

Indonesia 2018 coal output target now around 507 mn tonne: Energy ministry ET Energyworld 26th Sep 2018
Indonesia's Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has increased the country's 2018 coal production target to "around" 507 million tonnes from a previous target of 485 million tonnes, spokesman Agung Pribadi said

Indonesia eyes higher power consumption rate Asian Power 26th Sep 2018
It aims to boost the electricity per capita consumption rate to 1,200 kWh in 2019.

Financial Services

Mandiri Group introduces new investment product for infrastructure The Jakarta Post 11th Oct 2018
State-owned lender PT Bank Mandiri and its subsidiaries – security firm Mandiri Sekuritas and investment management PT Mandiri Manjement Investasi -- along with state-owned toll road operator PT Jasa Marga are issuing a new investment product called KIK-DINFRA.

OJK’s new policy package strikes balance between growth and stability The Jakarta Post 9th Oct 2018
Indonesia’s export-oriented sectors still have a lot of untapped potential. In boosting these sectors, though, policymakers have to come up with proper currency-hedging strategies as well as policies strengthening local industrial sectors so as not to upset the stability of national foreign reserves. Keeping this balance in mind, the Financial Services Authority (OJK) has just launched a new policy package that treads the fine line between accelerating economic growth through increasing export volume and the need to maintain stability of the national financial system. The new policy package was announced in mid-August.

Indonesia banking: Time to revisit the sins of the fathers Euromoney 3rd Oct 2018
If you cast your gaze over any recent banking crisis and look at what is left, one question worth asking is whether or not the regulators who cleaned up the multi-billion-dollar mess should allow those responsible, or their heirs, or even their loyal lieutenants, to remain involved in the financial industry.

Is Indonesia's bloated bank network prime for foreign takeover? Asian Banking & Finance 25th Sep 2018
Mergers would be welcome in light of weakening rupiah. Bloomberg reports that Indonesia’s bloated bank network composed of 1,800 rural lenders and 115 conventional and Shariah banks may be the key takeover target for foreign acquirers in light of a currency that has plunged 11% since January. 

Gov't Urged to Tighten Rules on Foreign Investment in Indonesian Startups Jakarta Globe 25th Sep 2018
One of Indonesia's most influential business lobbies has urged the government to tighten its regulations on foreign ownership, taxation and user privacy at local digital startups to prevent domination by foreign entities. There are currently at least four unicorn startups in the country, but all are backed by foreign investments.

Indonesian authorities taking on aggressive Chinese online lenders DealStreetAsia 24th Sep 2018
Indonesian authorities have generally opened their arms to fintech companies offering online loans in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, viewing them as a way of getting credit to tens of millions of people often unable to access bank lending. But the arrival of a wave of predominantly Chinese fintech lenders, who often do not register and employ aggressive debt collection practices, is now alarming regulators. For Chinese platforms, Indonesia’s youthful market of over 260 million people is an attractive target, particularly after a crackdown on the loosely regulated micro-credit sector at home.

Food & Agriculture

Negative Campaigns Against Palm Oil Hurt Indonesia's Economy: Lawmaker, Analysts Jakarta Globe 11th Oct 2018
An organized and sustained campaign by environmental activists against the palm oil industry has resulted in collateral damage to Indonesia's economy, a lawmaker and analysts said.

Abandoned by Banks, Indonesia's Poor Farmers Turn to Crowdfunding Jakarta Globe 11th Oct 2018
Indonesian poultry farmer Yohanes Sugihtononugroho faced ruin four years ago when plummeting prices forced him to slaughter all 100,000 of his chickens and shutter his business.Instead of turning his back on farming, the 26-year-old decided to help others struggling financially by setting up Crowde, a mobile crowdfunding platform that allows users to invest as little as $1 in thousands of farms across Indonesia.

Indonesia, New Zealand to Strengthen Food-Industry Cooperation Jakarta Globe 8th Oct 2018
New Zealand seeks to explore more business opportunities in Indonesia's food industry, not only through innovative food solutions, but also safe and healthy products that align with changing consumer preferences in Southeast Asia's biggest economy.

Garudafood sets IPO price The Jakarta Post 2nd Oct 2018
Food products company PT Garudafood Putra Putri Jaya decided on Monday that its initial public offering (IPO) share price would be set at Rp 1,284 (8.5 US cent) per share.

Agriculture ministry guarantees surplus rice stock The Jakarta Post 25th Sep 2018
The Agriculture Ministry has underlined that the country does not need to import rice, because the warehouses of state-owned logistics firm Bulog are fully stocked with rice.

Indonesia to host int’l halal lifestyle conference The Jakarta Post 25th Sep 2018
Bank Indonesia (BI) will organize the International Halal Lifestyle Conference and Business Forum to help unlock Indonesia’s potential in the global halal industry chain.

Jokowi Imposes Three-Year Moratorium on New Palm Oil Plantation Licenses Jakarta Globe 21st Sep 2018
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo signed a moratorium on new oil palm plantation permits on Wednesday (19/09) and ordered a review of existing permits amid growing concern over deforestation in the country.

State Palace Defends Decision to Increase Rice Imports, Says Needed to Stabilize Prices Jakarta Globe 21st Sep 2018
The State Palace stands behind its decision to import up to 2 million metric tons of rice this year, as shrinking farmlands, drought and pests have amplified risks in domestic rice production and threaten price hikes.

Health & Life Sciences

Indonesia Set to Step Up Fight Against Tuberculosis Jakarta Globe 3rd Oct 2018
Indonesia is set to step up its fight against tuberculosis by focusing on cross-sectoral collaboration, in parallel with a new global resolve to strengthen action on combating the disease, following the third United Nations High-Level Meeting on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases on Sept. 26.

EU Offers Support to Indonesia After Quake, Tsunami in Sulawesi Tempo 3rd Oct 2018
High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management of the European Union (EU), Christos Stylianides has offered support to Indonesia after a quake and a tsunami hit Sulawesi Island. The EU issued the following statement:

Methanol poisoning: 1,603 raids, 129 arrests in crackdown on bootleg liquor Malay Mail 3rd Oct 2018
In a dragnet following the 45 deaths from methanol poisoning nationwide, the Customs Department has caught 129 suspects and seized 17,374 litres of counterfeit liquor in 1,063 raids to date.

Kalla: Indonesia Rejects US Hospital Ship Aid for Quake Victims Tempo 2nd Oct 2018
Vice President Jusuf Kalla or JK said the Indonesian government rejected the hospital ship aid offered by the U.S. President Donald Trump to quake-hit Palu and Donggala, Central Sulawesi.

Indonesia Tsunami Death Toll Rises to 925 Tempo 2nd Oct 2018
Col. Inf. Muh. Thohir, head of the Military Area Information XIII/Merdeka, said that as of October 1st the number of lives taken by last week's earthquake and tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi, reached 925.

Government Urged to Increase Aid to Quake-hit Victims Tempo 1st Oct 2018
House speaker Bambang Soesatyo has urged the government, military, and national police to increase the scale of relief operations after the earthquake and tsunami that hit Central Sulawesi province.

Quake Toll Jumps to 832 Dead as Rescuers Struggle Tempo 30th Sep 2018
The toll from an earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi island, Indonesia soared on Sunday to 832 confirmed dead, with authorities fearing it will only climb as rescuers struggle to reach outlying communities cut off from communications and help.

Damaged Roads Hinder Distribution of Aid Supplies Tempo 30th Sep 2018
Social Affairs Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita said that aid supplies sent to quake and tsunami victims in Central Sulawesi had not yet reached the locations. Damage to the access roads hindered the distribution of aid supplies.

ICT

Indonesian co-working startup GoWork lands $10 million TechCrunch 10th Oct 2018
EV Hive, now known as Cocowork, raised $20 million earlier this year, and now Gowork, a startup formed from a merger between Rework and GoWork, has pulled in $10 million for expansion.

Indonesia To Assist Fiji With Broadband Connectivity Fiji Sun 9th Oct 2018
Like Indonesia, Fiji is one country that faces the challenge of high costs associated with connecting islands together through broadband network. In regards to this, the Indonesia Government is willing to share their knowledge on their high speed connectivity with countries like Fiji. Speaking to 11 South Pacific journalists on Monday, Minster of Communication and Information Rudiantara said similarly to Indonesia, private sectors in Fiji might also have challenges due to high cost of connecting islands with broadband network.

SoftBank Deepening Ties to Ride-Hailing Firm Grab With $500m Funding: Sources Jakarta Globe 7th Oct 2018
SoftBank Group Corp is closing in on a deal to invest about $500 million in Grab as part of roughly $1 billion that Southeast Asia's biggest ride-hailing firm is seeking in its latest funding, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Indonesia set to tighten noose on online merchants evading tax South China Morning Post 5th Oct 2018
Indonesia plans to require online merchants to own tax identification numbers starting this year, part of efforts to boost revenue and improve compliance in the fast-growing e-commerce industry. PT Tokopedia and PT Bukalapak.com will be among e-commerce companies which will ask sellers for identification numbers, known as NPWP, as a condition to operate on their platforms, according to Robert Pakpahan, the Finance Ministry’s director general of taxes. These platforms will submit a monthly report of transactions to the government, he said.

IoT Training to prepare Indonesia for Industrial Revolution 4.0 OpenGov 5th Oct 2018
An Internet of Things (IoT) Network Planning Training was held in Bandung, Indonesia as part of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Regional activities. According to a recent report, the training was organised by the Ministry of Communications and Informatics together with ITU and supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Communication and Arts.

Google to Build Cloud Facility in Indonesia Jakarta Globe 5th Oct 2018
Technology giant Google has announced plans to establish a Google Cloud Platform region in Indonesia next year to strengthen its business and capture a larger customer base.

Gov't Pushes More SMEs to Use Online Marketplace Jakarta Globe 1st Oct 2018
The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has set a target of having 8 million small and medium enterprises market their products and services online by 2019 to help them boost revenue and pave the way for their entry into the global market.

New Online Service Attracts Tech-Savvy Muslims With Trusted Umrah Packages Jakarta Globe 28th Sep 2018
Umrohnesia, a new online travel marketplace launched in Jakarta on Thursday (27/09),  aims to provide a reliable alternative to the growing number of modern, tech-savvy people in the world's largest Muslim-majority country seeking to perform umrah, or the minor pilgrimage every year.

Global Consortium Completes First Phase of Subsea Cable Connnecting Australia, SE Asia Jakarta Globe 27th Sep 2018
A global consortium involved in the construction of the Indigo subsea cable system that will connect Australia and Singapore, announced earlier this week that it has completed the 2,400-kilometer first phase of the project between Perth and Christmas Island, south of Java.

Indonesia Must Improve Internet Infrastructure to Boost Online Sales of Consumer Goods: Nielsen Jakarta Globe 27th Sep 2018
The growth of e-commerce is set to increase sales of fast-moving consumer goods across the globe, according to a new report by Nielsen Company released earlier this week, but Indonesia must increase investment in internet infrastructure to seize the potential. (JG Photo/Yudhi Sukma Wijaya)

Indonesian government to hold weekly 'fake news' briefings the Guardian 26th Sep 2018
Indonesia’s communications ministry has announced plans to hold weekly briefings on fake news, in an effort to educate the public about the spread of disinformation in the world’s third-largest democracy.

New Cryptocurrency Mining Malware Pose Emerging Cybersecurity Threat: McAfee Jakarta Globe 26th Sep 2018
New malware designed to exploit software vulnerability similar to last year's WannaCry cyberattack is on the rise, along with an increase in cryptocurrency mining malware, are posing an emerging cybersecurity threat, a new report showed on Tuesday (25/09).

China Goes for Broke in Indonesian E-Commerce Bloomberg 24th Sep 2018
China’s deep-pocketed internet giants are fighting a turf war in Indonesia, where e-commerce sales could surpass India’s as soon as 2020. The only problem is that there’s almost no path to profitability.

E-commerce could widen Indonesia's trade-current deficit and hurt the rupiah, analysts warn The Business Times 24th Sep 2018
E-commerce, coupled with fuel subsidies, could be driving Indonesia’s widening trade and current account deficit, a research team from Maybank Kim Eng has said. The analysts warned that it may be difficult to rein these forces in. With a surge in cross-border business-to-consumer Web sales, the fear is that consumer demand can drive up imports even as companies fail to raise exports.

Infrastructure

14 SOEs sign deals on $13.5 b worth of infrastructure projects   The Jakarta Post 11th Oct 2018
Fourteen state-owned enterprises (SOEs) signed on Thursday investment agreements with a number of international corporations for infrastructure projects in Indonesia worth US$13.5 billion.

Construction on MRT's Sarinah-Kampung Bandan route to begin in three months The Jakarta Post 11th Oct 2018
The second phase of the MRT project, which will connect Sarinah on Jl. MH Thamrin with Kampung Bandan in North Jakarta, is scheduled to begin by the end of 2018.

10 more strategic projects to be completed this year The Jakarta Post 10th Oct 2018
The Committee for Accelerated Infrastructure Development (KPPIP) plans to complete 10 strategic projects by the end of 2018.

BI governor says private infrastructure financing could boost growth to 6.5% The Jakarta Post 9th Oct 2018
Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo has said involving the private sector in financing the government's infrastructure projects could boost economic growth to 6.5 percent from around 5 percent at present.

Pasar Jaya to continue Blok A market construction The Jakarta Post 2nd Oct 2018
Jakarta-owned market operator PD Pasar Jaya is planning to meet with MRT Jakarta and the developer of a transit-oriented development (TOD) residence to talk about the construction of Blok A market in Fatmawati, South Jakarta.

Britain Offers West Java Loan to Reactivate Railroad Tempo 27th Sep 2018
The United Kingdom offered loan to state-owned railway operator KAI to funding the reactivation project of four railroads in West Java.

Manufacturing

African countries interested in buying Indonesian aircraft The Jakarta Post 11th Oct 2018
A number of African countries have expressed interest in purchasing CN 235 and N 219 planes produced by state-owned Indonesian aircraft maker PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PT DI).

ABB opens new manufacturing facility in Indonesia The Jakarta Post 11th Oct 2018
Swedish-Swiss multinational technology company ABB is expanding its operation in Indonesia by building a new high voltage gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) manufacturing facility in Tangerang, Banten.

PT Inka manufactures 31 driverless trains for LRT The Jakarta Post 28th Sep 2018
State-owned train manufacturer PT Industri Kerata Api (Inka) is producing 31 trains worth Rp 3.9 trillion (US$261.86 million) and that will be used for the Bogor-Jakarta and the Bekasi-Jakarta light-rail transit (LRT) projects, which are under construction.

Travel & Tourism

Indonesia must focus on accessibility to boost tourism: Minister The Jakarta Post 27th Sep 2018
Tourism Ministry Arief Yahya has stressed the importance of better accessibility to tourist destinations while also highlighting the remaining A-factors in tourism, namely attractions and amenities.

Ridwan Kamil Disburses Rp50bn for Kalimalang Revitalization Tempo 27th Sep 2018
West Java Administration will disburse Rp50 billion to revitalize Kalimalang river in Bekasi. West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said his office had met with the Kalimalang Team and had coordinated with the Bekasi City Administration to synchronize the plan. 

Hilton hotel chain strengthens operations in Indonesia The Jakarta Post 26th Sep 2018
United States-based Hilton Worldwide, one of the largest global hotel chains, is gearing up to once again become an important player in Indonesia’s hospitality industry, after its painful disappearance from Jakarta in 2006, with 15 new hotels scheduled to open within five years.

Tauzia Hotels Joins Hands With Ascott for Southeast Asia Expansion Jakarta Globe 22nd Sep 2018
Green Oak Hotel Management, the holding company of Tauzia Hotels, announced on Thursday (20/09) that it will cooperate with Ascott Limited, an international serviced-residence operator, to expand its business in Southeast Asia.