Indonesia Update: June 27, 2019

Indonesia Update | June 27, 2019
Authors: Kim Yaeger, Landry Subianto, Michaela Wong, Chase Blazek, Ayu Nadia
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 
  • Save the Date - Indonesia Innovation Series and SME Workshop, August 26-27, Bali: The Council is planning an Indonesia Innovation Series and SME Workshop on August 26-27 in Bali to encourage public innovation in the digital economy. More details will be forthcoming.  Please contact Landry Subianto or Angga Antagia with any questions.
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

RI issues Government Regulation on Implementing Regulation of the Halal Law

On May 2, the Government of Indonesia issued Government Regulation No. 31/ 2019 (“GR 31”) concerning the Implementing Regulation of Law No. 33/ 2014 on Halal Product Assurance. Industry players believe that the regulation is more business friendly than the previous draft. To that end, only food, beverages, and products containing animal derivatives require halal certification. Such products that have passed certification are required to display a halal label. On the other hand, products that are manufactured using non-halal materials are exempted from halal certification if they are labelled as “non-halal”. The non-halal labelling requirements, including the non-halal logo, will be stipulated in the upcoming Religious Affairs Ministerial Regulation (PMA). Although the regulation will be enacted in accordance with the final timeline set out after October 17, 2019, businesses fear that the non-halal label will threaten product competitiveness compared with halal alternatives. Other concerns include additional operating costs, especially for SMEs that manufactures both halal and non-halal products.

GR 31 also states that the Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI) will have less interference on the implementation process of halal certification (e.g. administrative fees) and will instead focus on issuing fatwa (edicts). This detail has invoked backlash from the Indonesia Halal Watch (IHW). On May 23, IHW registered GR 31 for judicial review with the Supreme Court (MA), arguing that GR 31 will provide less support for the halal industry and reduce the authority of the MUI.

In the coming months, at least three ministerial-level regulations will be issued regarding GR 31:

  1. Religious Affairs Ministerial Regulation (PMA) on an enforcement timeline (5, 7, 10, and 15 years)
  2. Religious Affairs Ministerial Regulation (PMA) on management, enforcement mechanisms, and a logo indicating non-halal status
  3. Regulation of the Ministry of Finance (PMK) on the cost of obtaining halal certification

The Council will continue to monitor these regulations as they develop. Please contact Mr. Angga Antagia at aantagia@usasean.org or Mr. Steven Gunawan at sgunawan@usasean.org with any questions.

Indonesia Responds to the Trade War

The ongoing US-China trade war has impacted Indonesia’s trade balance, the health of the banking sector, the position of the rupiah, and the country’s general economic outlook, according to some of Jakarta’s leading voices. Rosan P. Roeslan, chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), cited Indonesia’s dependence on imported raw materials as the main cause of the country’s growing current account deficit (CAD). Yet the trade war has positively affected specific markets, as shown by the 25-30% increase in textile exports caused by global market distortions. Roeslan hopes Indonesia can continue to attract diverted trade and investment opportunities flowing into Southeast Asia, though Vietnam and Malaysia are stiff competitors in this regard. In response to decreased demand in U.S. and Chinese markets, the Indonesian government has attempted to diversify its markets, capitalizing on regions like Africa and the Middle East.

As U.S. interest rates rose throughout 2018, Bank Indonesia (BI) raised interest rates six times to combat capital outflows, protect the value of the rupiah, and attract government bond purchases. These higher rates have persisted into 2019, when many central banks believed BI might begin lowering rates to stimulate domestic demand amidst slower economic growth in 2019 Q1. Despite this, BI Governor Perry Warjiyo has stated that BI will continue providing liquidity for the banking system to encourage lending. Nonetheless, the global downturn in economic growth and trade that was triggered by the US-China trade war has led BI to downgrade national growth predictions to 5.1% and increase CAD predictions to 2.5%-3.0%. Coming off of the Idul Fitri Holiday, Indonesia’s inflation rate predictably rose, but an increasingly risk-averse global market is further threatening the embattled rupiah. Furthermore, May saw foreign holdings of Indonesian government bonds drop by 9 trillion rupiah and equity markets sales of 7.4 trillion rupiah.

Though the World Bank has lowered its 2019 global economic growth projection from 2.9% to 2.6% (in part due to the trade war), Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution believes this downgraded projection will minimally affect Indonesia’s economy, citing improved national debt ratings and gains in Indonesia’s IMD competitiveness rankings. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani points to slowing Indonesian exports, particularly to the United States and China, between 2018 Q4 and 2019 Q1 as a direct impact of the global economic slowdown. If threats to the rupiah continue and its values depreciates, Indonesian exports will be stimulated while U.S. exports to Indonesian will become more expensive. That said, U.S.-Indonesia trade is largely interindustry in nature (in separate markets), so U.S. exporters should worry little about direct competition with Indonesian products. Depending on how its implemented, Indonesia’s goal of decreasing Indonesia’s current account deficit could hurt American exports, but the still growing current account deficit shows that such changes may be slow in coming. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s improved global competitiveness ratings (up 11 spots from 2018) makes for an overall more welcoming business environment.

Four New Policies: Supporting Human Resources and SEZs

The Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs (CMEA) is planning to release four new policies as part of its push to develop Indonesia’s human resources and encourage business in special economic zones (SEZs). The first policy involves a new super deduction (one that reduces taxes by more than 100%) for industries engaged in vocational education or research and development geared toward innovation. Regarding trade, the second policy aims to lower Indonesia’s current account deficit by boosting exports, a long-standing concern of the government. The exact details of this export initiative are unclear at this point, but the Council will continue to track developments. The third is a review and redrafting of the existing Online Single Submission (OSS) application, which aims to streamline business registration and attract investment. The last policy is meant to revise regulations surrounding SEZs by offering tax breaks, tax allowances, and tax holidays for those businesses operating in SEZs and involved in the sectors of education, health, services, and the creative economy.

Though little is known about the last three, the first policy on super deductions is in the final stages of development (scheduled for release by the end of June) and seems to be a top priority for the CMEA. The super deduction will reduce taxes on vocational education enterprises by a total of 200%, though it is not clear just yet whether this super deduction will take the form of a subsidy or some other form of fiscal relief. The super deduction for firms engaged in research and development related to innovation is not yet finalized, but this tax deduction will also exceed 100%. More importantly, the conditions to qualify for this super deduction are still under discussion, according to Iskandar Simorangkir, Deputy Coordinating Minister for Economic and Macroeconomic Economics of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

These super deductions may make certain kinds of companies much more profitable in the Indonesian market, but it will be crucial for businesses to watch as the CMEA releases the final drafts for all of these policies. The refinement of the OSS application holds the potential to further reduce red tape for new and existing businesses, while continuing evolution of the open business environment in Indonesia’s SEZs may position participating businesses as flag-bearers of a globally competitive Indonesian economy. Furthermore, American firms are hopeful that strategies for rectifying Indonesia’s current account deficit will support the most competitive businesses, regardless of nationality, instead of designating state champions.
 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

New Draft Regulation to Replace GR82 on Electronic Systems & Transaction Operations

As of June 25, the Government of Indonesia is drafting a new regulation (“Draft GR”) that will replace the existing Government Regulation No. 82/2012 (“GR 82”) regarding Electronic Systems and Transaction Operations. The new version has replaced the old categorizations of data into low, high, and strategic electronic data with a simpler public vs. private classification system. This new classification seems to suggest that only companies working directly with public data or at the behest of a public entity will be subject to BSSN Regulations and/or required to localize data in Indonesia.

Draft GR carries over the “Right to be Forgotten” clause from earlier GR 82 drafts. This clause obligates all electronic system operators to develop deletion mechanisms for irrelevant data, subject to the request of personal data owners. The new draft also includes specific institutions whose operations may be subject to regulation from BSSN / National Cyber Security Agency given their handling of “strategic data”. Such institutions include those with the following kinds of electronic data: government administration, energy and mineral resources, transportation, finance, health, information technology and communications, food, and defense.

It is not yet clear whether this new classification of strategic data will imply the same sort of restrictions present in the previous draft regulation. The Council will continue to monitor the situation.

 

IN THIS UPDATE

 
 
National Affairs
Should Jokowi Downsize His Next Cabinet?
Former Jakarta Police Chief to Be Questioned as Treason Suspect
Constitutional Court: Election Dispute Trial Open to Public
Jokowi Offers Ministerial Positions to Bring Prabowo and Gerindra Into Fold

APEC
APEC boosts confidence in digital economy
APEC's goods trade tapers yet services trade picks up
Swift growth of transport sector drives energy demand in APEC

ASEAN
Asean Countries Urged to Follow Indonesia's Step to Ban Online Cigarette Ads
SE Asia defies global foreign investment downturn

Customs
Value of North Sulawesi's non-oil, gas exports drops sharply
Govt Formulates Ban on Wild Online Taxi Discounts
Minister has waste regulation revised to avoid illegal imports
Indonesia to re-export illegal plastic waste
Coordinating Ministry prepares four policies for next week's follow-up
House Calls Gov't to Formulate Plan Facing US-China Trade War
Kadin calls for less reliance on imported raw materials
Indonesia seeks to increase export of cacao to EU
NTT prepares fish to be exported through El Tari airport
Indonesia to augment sales of medicines, medical devices in Africa

Defense & Security
RI--UK Partnership Forum asserts strategic partnership commitment
Susi to sink 30 more ships after Idul Fitri
Indonesian Defence Ministry 'Signs Documents' for Su-35 Jet Purchase: Minister
Marine Exercise Highlights US-Indonesia Defense Cooperation
What’s Next for the Indonesia-Russia Fighter Jet Deal in 2019? 
Domestic submarine new milestone for Indonesia’s defense industry
The Future of US-Indonesia Military Ties in Focus With Defense Secretary Visit
On the heels of the Indonesia Contract: A Closer Look at Russian BMP-3F Marine IFV
U.S. to sell 34 surveillance drones to allies in South China Sea region
Boeing’s Insitu to Supply ScanEagle UAVs to Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam
Indonesia: Kopassus Commandos To Train Again With US Military

Economics
Indonesia Plans to Cut Corporate Income Tax to 20 Percent
Sri Mulyani's Incentives for Regional Administrations to Encourage Investment
SME products can potentially drive Indonesian exports
Indonesia's Foreign Reserves Drop by $4b After External Debt Payment
Economists Call the Increase in Infrastructure Funds the Right Step
Bustling exodus bolsters regional economic growth
Inflation Rises at Its Fastest as Indonesians Celebrate Ramadan and Idul Fitri
Minister Sri Mulyani Responds to World Bank Economic Projection
Minister Upbeat Q2 Economic Growth to Hit 5.2 Percent
Government owes Rp 82.94t to energy companies because of fuel program: BPK

Energy
Minister Jonan Proposes Electricity Subsidy Budget Reduced Next Year
Great Potential of Geothermal Energy as Renewable Energy
UK grants Indonesia $16.3 million for renewable energy
Private sector to challenge EU biofuel ban
DPR Value Has Not Improved the Climate of Upstream Oil and Gas Investment
Oil potentials in Indonesia need more exploration: association
Indonesia-Costa Rica's coop in renewable energy should be strengthened
Indonesian firm to export coal to Bangladesh
Indonesia should seek more economic cooperation with Gulf States
With looming energy crisis, Bali revisits geothermal as option
Inpex Inks New Deal With Indonesia on $20 Billion Abadi LNG

Financial Services
Govt to Reevaluate Online Ojek Tariff
Government should boost online financial literacy
CIMB, CapBridge to provide firms access to private capital
Bank Indonesia sees room to cut interest rate
Element to provide mobile biometrics for Indonesian bank for digital financial services
Moody's Assigns Baa2 Ratings to Indonesia's Planned Drawdowns
S&P upgrades rating of eight Indonesian companies

Food & Agriculture
After the Great Harvest, Farmer Exchange Rates increased by 0.38% in May 2019
Indonesian ban on clearing new swaths of forest to be made permanent
FAO-WHO underscore critical role of food safety in life

Health & Life Sciences
FAO, Antara deliver briefing on animal-to-human diseases in Indonesia - ANTARA News
MUI Issues Fatwa Regarding Organ Transplants
Rabies: 40 pct of samples tested positive for disease, vaccination a must for pets
Gov't Roots Out Online Cigarette Ads

ICT
Gov't Supports Plan to Patrol WhatsApp Group Chats
Focus of HR and Digital Literacy, Communication and Information Technology Proposes Budget of Rp. 5.6 Trillion
Cellular numbers to be a must to open social media account : Ministry
Indonesia Participates in G20 Data Exchange Initiative
Three Core Areas to Focus on When Building Smart Data Centers in Indonesia
RI attracts Taiwanese companies to invest in semiconductor industry
Sri Mulyani Wants Tax Payment as Easy as Buying Phone Credit
Telkomsel set to offer 5G network in Indonesia
Insurance firms look to go digital to tap into millennial market
Automation to Help Indonesia Continue Growth Trajectory
BI outlines Indonesian payment visions

Infrastructure
RI's Innovator 4.0 urges president upgrade nation's work skills
Ministry of PUPR urges checking old bridges
Indonesia to explore options for taxing tech giants
Ministry facilitates Chinese entrepreneurs to develop infrastructure - ANTARA News
East Kalimantan Waits for Government Decision on New Capital City
Sri Mulyani: Infrastructure Triggers Economic Growth
Air transportation use drops 30 percent over holiday: Official
$70 Billion Toll-Road Plan to Connect Indonesia's Sprawl
World Bank grants $49.6 million loan for Indonesia’s urban planning program
Democracy shields Indonesia from Belt and Road fallout
More roads, more dams, more power plants for Indonesia

Manufacturing
Indonesia's robotic automation products compete in Mexican market
Indonesian batik clothing at ATF Trade Expo enthralls South Africans
Ministry to develop digital platform to support fashion industry

Market Regulation
The Creative Economy Law is Targeted to Release Before Parliament Resists

Travel & Tourism
North Sulawesi adopts 3A strategy for tourism promotion
Indonesia, Philippines can Jointly Take Tourism Advantage: Kadin
Ministry employs 4 strategies amid tough year in tourism
Gov't Mulls Over Limiting Vehicles Entering Trans Java Toll
KAI: 70 Percent People Yet to Return to Jakarta
Ministry to study Jokowi’s open sky proposal
Joko gets building again
Indonesia Wants Neither Grab, Nor Go-Jek to Win
No plan by foreign airline to ply Indonesian domestic routes: Top aviation official after president's proposal
Indonesia Mulls Allowing Foreign Carriers To Fly Domestically
Vietjet launches direct Bali flight from Ho Chi Minh City
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
National Affairs

Should Jokowi Downsize His Next Cabinet? Jakarta Globe 12th Jun 2019
Experts say President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo should downsize his cabinet by merging several ministries or scrapping them all together to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. "In my opinion, he needs to downsize his cabinet. A study should be conducted on what his next cabinet should be like," Lina Miftahul Jannah, a state administrative expert, said on Wednesday.

Former Jakarta Police Chief to Be Questioned as Treason Suspect Jakarta Globe 10th Jun 2019
Former Jakarta Police chief Sofjan Jacoeb was scheduled to be questioned by police investigators on Monday as a suspect in a treason allegation related to rioting in the capital last month, but failed to turn up at the interrogation session, an official said. Sofjan was the Jakarta Police chief from May to December 2001. Investigators declared Sofjan a suspect on a treason charge on May 29 after hearing witness testimonies and crosschecking information, Jakarta Police spokesman Chief Cmr. Argo Yuwono said.

Constitutional Court: Election Dispute Trial Open to Public Tempo 10th Jun 2019
Constitutional Court (MK) Chief Justice Anwar Usman announced the trial on the presidential election dispute slated for June 14 will be open to the public. “This means people can attend the trial and witness the court process and listen to the arguments presented by both sides,” said Anwar Usman at the MK headquarters in Central Jakarta on June 10. Anwar asserted his institution would present its utmost neutral position in solving the presidential election dispute and promised to provide ample time for both sides to present their arguments.

Jokowi Offers Ministerial Positions to Bring Prabowo and Gerindra Into Fold Jakarta Globe 7th Jun 2019
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has reportedly been in discussion with Prabowo Subianto to bring the former Army general and his Gerindra party into a ruling coalition, sources said. Jokowi is seeking to double down reform efforts in his second term after winning 55.5 percent of the vote in April's election. His main supporting political party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) led a coalition with 61 percent of the seats at the House of Representatives.  

APEC

APEC boosts confidence in digital economy Antara News 21st Jun 2019
The APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system is increasing its accountability agents, who ascertain participating firms safeguard consumers’ personal information while fostering digital economy growth, to boost consumer confidence in e-commerce in the Pacific Rim. Data protection has come under public glare, as online retail activity has steadily increased, rising over nine percent in 2017, the APEC E-Commerce Steering Group noted in its written statement received here on Friday.

APEC's goods trade tapers yet services trade picks up Antara News 20th Jun 2019
Trade -- earlier the main driver of growth for the Pacific Rim region -- is slackening, and its moderation is having an impact on the economy, according to the latest APEC Regional Trends Analysis (ARTA). In 2018, APEC had borne witness to growth discrepancy throughout the region despite overall improvement in growth of 4.1 percent than four percent in 2017, as noted in a written statement issued by the APEC Secretariat and received here on Thursday.

Swift growth of transport sector drives energy demand in APEC Antara News 8th Jun 2019
The 21 economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) are expected to witness a 21 percent surge in energy demand over the subsequent three decades, partially owing to population and economic growth in Southeast Asia. It was cited in a new APEC report issued by the APEC Energy Working Group and received here on Saturday. Whilst industry continues to be the largest energy-consuming sector, two sectors – transport and building – will trigger increased energy demand, according to the APEC Energy Demand and Supply Outlook.

ASEAN

Asean Countries Urged to Follow Indonesia's Step to Ban Online Cigarette Ads Jakarta Globe 18th Jun 2019
The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance, or Seatca, on Monday called on members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or Asean, to follow the Indonesian government's step to ban all cigarette advertisements on the internet. Last week, Indonesian Communication and Informatics Ministry announced an outright ban on all online cigarette advertisements.

SE Asia defies global foreign investment downturn Asia Times 12th Jun 2019
While global foreign direct investment (FDI) dipped in 2018 for a third consecutive year, Asia bucked the global trend with rises nearly across the board, including record inflows to Southeast Asia’s booming economies. New United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) data released today (June 12) shows total worldwide FDI fell 13% to US$1.3 trillion in 2018, as global economic uncertainties grew over the US and China’s increasingly antagonistic trade and investment policies, particularly in strategic sectors such as digital and mobile technology. But “developing Asia”, a region encompassing most of the continent aside from wealthy countries such as Japan, saw a 4% rise in foreign direct investment to $512 billion, representing 39% of the global total, according to UNCTAD’s 2018 World Investment Report. Southeast Asia in particular saw a new FDI record in 2018, with $149 billion flowing into the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, $10 billion more than went to China minus Hong Kong, the data shows. Around half of the Southeast Asian total went to the tiny city-state of Singapore, long a magnet for banking and finance giants seeking an affluent hub in a region made up of bigger, often resource-rich but mostly poor to middle-income economies. Singapore’s influx was substantially greater than the FDI attracted by all of Africa combined and far exceeded giant neighbors such as India ($42 billion) or Indonesia ($22billion). But Indonesia, along with Thailand and Vietnam, saw significant increases in FDI last year, the latter possibly benefiting from production shifts caused by the China-US trade war and the former two bouncing back after recent years of declines.Overall Southeast Asian investment trends suggest a growing role for China, the region’s biggest trade partner. By 2017, investment from China had nearly caught up with that from the US, after the American share shrunk by a third over the previous five years.

Customs

Value of North Sulawesi's non-oil, gas exports drops sharply Antara News 10th Jun 2019
The value of non-oil and gas exports of North Sulawesi in April 2019 again recorded a sharp drop than the previous period. "In comparison with March 2019, North Sulawesi's export performance decreased by 18.66 percent, and as compared to the previous year, it fell by 44.24 percent," Head of the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) of North Sulawesi Dr Ateng Hartono remarked in Manado on Monday. Hartono noted that in March 2019, North Sulawesi's exports of US$68.81 million, dropped 18.66 percent, to reach $55.96 million.

Govt Formulates Ban on Wild Online Taxi Discounts Tempo 10th Jun 2019
Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi is set to essentially ban the fierce discounts in the online taxi industry. It will ensure that there will be no more direct or indirect discounts offered by online ride-hailing application companies. “We are formulating a Minister’s Decree or Circular that will prohibit discounts,” said Budi at the Transportation Ministry headquarters in Jakarta on Monday, June 10.

Minister has waste regulation revised to avoid illegal imports Antara News 10th Jun 2019
Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya has asked the Minister of Trade to revise Trade Ministerial Regulation No. 31 of 2016 concerning Provisions on the Import of Non-Hazardous and Toxic Waste to prevent the entry of illegal imported plastic waste. "If it is not legal, surely that is the aspect for supervision. We do expect a lot from Customs, but in terms of prevention we have asked the Minister of Trade to revise trade ministerial regulation No 31 of 2016," Siti said on Monday.

Indonesia to re-export illegal plastic waste Antara News 10th Jun 2019
Indonesia will re-export illegal plastic waste entering the country, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya said, following news of the illegal import of plastic waste in Gresik, East Java. "The waste that enters Indonesia, which has plastic, is definitely not legal. And basically the provisions are there, therefore we will perform a re-export," Nurbaya said in Jakarta on Monday. The import of illegal plastic waste is not a new problem. From 2015 to 2016, Indonesia re-exported dozens of containers of plastic waste.

Coordinating Ministry prepares four policies for next week's follow-up Antara News 10th Jun 2019
The Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs is preparing four policies entailing fiscal facilities for development of human resources and finalizing special economic zone regulations to be followed up next week. Secretary of the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs Susiwijono Moegiarso remarked that the government was pushing to accelerate the Finance Ministerial Regulation on super deduction tax fiscal incentives for human resource development.

House Calls Gov't to Formulate Plan Facing US-China Trade War Tempo 9th Jun 2019
House of Representatives (DPR) Speaker Bambang Soesatyo asked the government to prepare a strong countermeasure anticipating the trading sentiment between the United States and China, which he says will disrupt the stability of several countries including Indonesia. “The government with the DPR needs to compose new initiatives to get around the global uncertainty that could potentially damage the world’s trade system and mechanism,” said Bambang in a written letter on June 9.

Kadin calls for less reliance on imported raw materials The Jakarta Post 7th Jun 2019
The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) has called on the government to find a way to reduce the country’s dependency on imported raw materials for its manufacturing industry, which has become the main factor of the widening current account deficit. Kadin chairman Rosan P Roeslan said on Thursday that about 76 percent of raw materials for the manufacturing industry was imported.

Indonesia seeks to increase export of cacao to EU Antara News 3rd Jun 2019
The Indonesian government is ready to increase the export of cacao and its derivative products to European Union (EU) countries. "One of the leading commodities that has seen an increasing demand is chocolate, or cocoa. (Thus) Indonesia is committed to increasing the volume of cacao exports and its quality, along with sustainable derivative products," Indonesian Agricultural Attache for Belgium Wahida said on Sunday. Indonesia's trade balance for cacao products and derivatives always shows a positive trend from year to year.

NTT prepares fish to be exported through El Tari airport Antara News 3rd Jun 2019
Governor of East Nusa Tenggara Province Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat, said that officials are preparing a variety of fish products to be exported directly to destination countries through El Tari Airport in the provincial capital Kupang. Governor Viktor did not mention the destination countries for exports, but said direct exports are targeted to begin in 2019. "So we will have tuna and others fish that will be packaged by state airport operator Angkasa Pura, according to the export standards of the destination countries," he said.

Indonesia to augment sales of medicines, medical devices in Africa Antara News 31st May 2019
Indonesia has constantly driven the sales of medicines and medical devices in Africa's market and deepened penetration of pharmaceutical products in African nations, noted a written statement by Indonesia's Embassy in Pretoria, received here, Friday. "The African people's requirements of medical devices and medicines are high, but their access is yet limited. This offers a great opportunity for our medical products to continue to make inroads into the African market," Indonesian Ambassador to South Africa Salman Al-Farisi remarked.

Defense & Security

RI--UK Partnership Forum asserts strategic partnership commitment Antara News 19th Jun 2019
The Republic of Indonesia (RI)-UK Partnership Forum avouched both nations' commitment to boosting bilateral relations in future, Foreign Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi stated at the Indonesia-UK Partnership Forum held in London, Monday (June 17). At the forum, Foreign Minister Marsudi and Education and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy deliberated along with British Deputy Prime Minister David Lidington and British Asia-Pacific Affairs Minister Mark Field...

Susi to sink 30 more ships after Idul Fitri The Jakarta Post 7th Jun 2019
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti plans to sink 30 foreign ships intercepted for illegally fishing in Indonesian waters. “In one month, maybe 30 [ships] will be [sunk],” Susi said as quoted by tempo.co on Thursday. Susi said the ships were now located in Pontianak in West Kalimantan, Natuna and Tarempa in Riau Islands and Bitung in North Sulawesi. A court has deemed the 30 ships as illegal.

Indonesian Defence Ministry 'Signs Documents' for Su-35 Jet Purchase: Minister Defense World 5th Jun 2019
Indonesian Defence Ministry has signed documents concerning the purchase of 11 Su-35 fighter jets while the Trade and Finance Ministries are still in the process of approval, Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu was quoted as saying by TASS on Sunday... This is the clearest indication as yet that the purchase of the fighter jets is on track and has progressed beyond negotiations in recent months. Earlier there were reports that the Jakarta might be having second thoughts in the light of the United States’ threat to impose sanctions against countries buying Russian military equipment.

Marine Exercise Highlights US-Indonesia Defense Cooperation The Diplomat 14th Jun 2019
This week, the United States and Indonesia concluded the latest iteration of ongoing exercises between their marine corps. While the interaction was just one among many between the two sides and follows similar engagements in previous years on this front as well, it nonetheless highlighted some of the ongoing activity within their defense relationship.

What’s Next for the Indonesia-Russia Fighter Jet Deal in 2019?  The Diplomat 14th Jun 2019
Earlier this month, Russian media quoted Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu as saying that the operationalization of a long-mulled deal involving Russian fighter jets would commence by the end of the year. The comments once again put the spotlight on the status of the agreement between the two countries as part of their ongoing defense collaboration amid lingering challenges and uncertainties.

Domestic submarine new milestone for Indonesia’s defense industry The Jakarta Post 10th Jun 2019
The recent completion and launch of the KRI Alugoro 405 submarine, the third to join the country’s naval fleet, has marked a milestone for Indonesia in its dream of empowering the country’s domestic defense industry amid demand for modernization of its primary weaponry defense system, locally known by the acronym alutsista. The brand new submarine, the first to be domestically assembled, was realized through a US$1.1 billion contract sealed in December 2011 between state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL and South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) as part of a technology transfer program.

The Future of US-Indonesia Military Ties in Focus With Defense Secretary Visit The Diplomat 6th Jun 2019
U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan and Indonesia’s Minister of Defense Ryamizard Ryacudu take part in a signing ceremony following a bilateral meeting at the Ministry of Defense, Jakarta, Indonesia, May 30, 2019. Last week, Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan paid his first visit to Indonesia since assuming his current position. The visit, which was part of a broader Asia tour, highlighted efforts by both sides to continue to boost U.S.-Indonesia defense relations despite lingering challenges and uncertainties.

On the heels of the Indonesia Contract: A Closer Look at Russian BMP-3F Marine IFV Defense World 6th Jun 2019
In April the Russian arms exporter, Rosoboronexport and the Indonesian Ministry of Defence have signed a contract to supply BMP-3F infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) and amphibious armoured personnel carriers (APC) BT-3F to the Indonesia’s Marine Corps. The reason for the BMP-3F’s selection by the Indonesian marines is said to be its unique amphibious features with superior near-shore performance compared to other such vehicles proposed for the competition, Indonesian media reported.

U.S. to sell 34 surveillance drones to allies in South China Sea region Reuters 4th Jun 2019
The Trump administration has moved ahead with a surveillance drone sale to four U.S. allies in the South China Sea region as acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Washington will no longer “tiptoe” around Chinese behavior in Asia... The Pentagon announced on Friday it would sell 34 ScanEagle drones, made by Boeing Co. to the governments of Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam for a total of $47 million.

Boeing’s Insitu to Supply ScanEagle UAVs to Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam Defense World 4th Jun 2019
Boeing subsidiary Insitu Inc is awarded $47,930,791 contract for 34 ScanEagle unmanned air vehicles for the governments of Malaysia (12); Indonesia (8); Philippines (8); and Vietnam (6).

Indonesia: Kopassus Commandos To Train Again With US Military Eurasia Review 31st May 2019
The elite Indonesian army unit Kopassus will train again with the American military, the Southeast Asian nation’s defense chief said Thursday, in the strongest sign that Washington has agreed to improve ties with the special forces group accused of past human rights abuses.

Economics

Indonesia Plans to Cut Corporate Income Tax to 20 Percent Jakarta Globe 20th Jun 2019
The government is prioritizing revisions to the corporate income tax law, seeking to cut the tax rate from 25 percent to 20 percent to attract more investment, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Wednesday. "We're working out how quick [this new policy] can be implemented and how much it will impact fiscal risks," Sri Mulyani said, as quoted by CNN Indonesia. 

Sri Mulyani's Incentives for Regional Administrations to Encourage Investment Jakarta Globe 19th Jun 2019
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has suggested providing incentives to regions that have proven successful in encouraging investment and contributing to economic growth. "We are thinking of providing incentives to regions that have really improved their investment climate," Sri Mulyani said on Monday after attending a meeting with Commission XI of the House of Representatives (DPR), which oversees banking and financial affairs.

SME products can potentially drive Indonesian exports Antara News 19th Jun 2019
Director of Cooperation for Export Development of the Trade Ministry Marolop Nainggolan opined that products of small- and medium-scale enterprises (SME) have the potential to augment Indonesian exports. "A huge opportunity exists to export SME products. However, regrettably, our entrepreneurs lack self-confidence," Nainggolan remarked during a workshop on expanding the Indonesian product market through e-commerce held in Malang, East Java, on Wednesday.

Indonesia's Foreign Reserves Drop by $4b After External Debt Payment Jakarta Globe 13th Jun 2019
Indonesia's foreign exchange reserves fell to their lowest level in four months at the end of May, after the government serviced its external debt. The reserves fell to $120.3 billion last month from $124.3 billion in April, the central bank said on Thursday. The bank said the current reserves are still enough to cover 6.9 months of imports, or 6.7 months of imports and service the government's foreign debt.

Economists Call the Increase in Infrastructure Funds the Right Step Katadata 10th Jun 2019
Institute For Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF) researcher Bhima Yudhistira assessed that the increased allocation of infrastructure development funds in the State Budget (APBN) was the right step. Significant improvements in infrastructure components greatly affect the economy. "Infrastructure is one of the keys to the economy, because it is related to connectivity and decreasing our logistics costs," Bhima told Katadata, Tuesday (4/6).

Bustling exodus bolsters regional economic growth The Jakarta Post 10th Jun 2019
The annual mudik (exodus) during the Idul Fitri holidays this year bolstered regional economic growth, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani has said. She explained that the increased preference for land-based modes of transportation had resulted in increased spending at toll road rest areas, such as at eateries and for other types of consumption, which contributed to local economies.

Inflation Rises at Its Fastest as Indonesians Celebrate Ramadan and Idul Fitri Jakarta Globe 10th Jun 2019
Inflation picked up in May, accelerating to its highest pace in more than 12 months driven by bigger demand for raw foods and transportation as Indonesians observed the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan and prepared for Idul Fitri festivities. The consumer price index increased by 3.3 percent in May from the same month last year, a rate that the country last saw in April last year.

Minister Sri Mulyani Responds to World Bank Economic Projection Tempo 6th Jun 2019
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati responded to the World Bank policy, which revised its projection on the world's economy. Minister Sri said that the revision, which presents lower growth, was due to the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. "These institutions apparently noticed the escalation of the trade war, the US and China has been included in a bad scenario. The downside risk is happening, [the projection] sets an entirely different tone," Sri Mulyani said to the media on Wednesday, June 5, 2019.

Minister Upbeat Q2 Economic Growth to Hit 5.2 Percent Tempo 5th Jun 2019
Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution is optimistic economic growth in the second quarter will surpass the previous quarter’s. Darmin augured economic growth in the second quarter would be in the neighborhood of 5.2 percent. “It is difficult [to say the figure]. But I hope economic growth in the second quarter will be around 5.2 percent,” Darmin told journalists at his official residence on Jl. Widya Chandra III, South Jakarta, Wednesday, June 5, 2019.

Government owes Rp 82.94t to energy companies because of fuel program: BPK The Jakarta Post 4th Jun 2019
The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) finds that the government fuel program, through which Premium-branded gasoline and Solar-branded diesel fuel were sold below their economic prices, cost two energy companies a total of Rp 82.94 trillion (US$5.83 billion). The revenue shortfalls of state-owned energy holding company Pertamina and PT AKR Corpotindo were recorded by the BPK as government debts to the companies.

Energy

Minister Jonan Proposes Electricity Subsidy Budget Reduced Next Year Katadata 20th Jun 2019
Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources ( ESDM ) Ignasius Jonan suggested that next year's electricity subsidy budget would fall compared to this year. Jonan proposed a subsidy for electricity next year of IDR 58.62 trillion, smaller than this year's electricity subsidy budget of IDR 59.32 trillion. With the reduction in the electricity subsidy budget, next year the government will be able to save a budget of Rp. 600 billion to Rp. 700 billion. In addition, Jonan also suggested that non-subsidized customers be again subject to an adjustment rate ( tariff adjustment ) starting next year. So that the government can receive even greater budget savings.

Great Potential of Geothermal Energy as Renewable Energy Katadata 20th Jun 2019
The Center for Energy Conversion Technology at the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) reveals the potential of several Renewable Energy (EBT). One of them is geothermal which is qualified for renewable energy. The Head of the Great Energy Conversion Technology Center, BPPT, Mohammad Mustafa Sarinanto said Indonesia was among the top four countries with the largest geothermal potential in the world.

UK grants Indonesia $16.3 million for renewable energy The Jakarta Post 19th Jun 2019
The United Kingdom has granted Indonesia 13 million pounds (US$16.3 million) to finance a plan to involve provincial administrations in developing renewable energy across the nation. The grant will finance the Indonesian government’s Low Carbon Development Initiative (LCDI) to improve efforts to reduce carbon emissions and help the country reap the benefits of renewable energy.

Private sector to challenge EU biofuel ban The Jakarta Post 15th Jun 2019
Palm oil producers support the government’s efforts to challenge the European Union’s latest decision to completely phase out the consumption of palm oil, which the EU has classed as a high-risk vegetable oil, by 2030. In addition to filing a separate legal suit, palm oil producers and separate parties would provide funds for the government to oppose the EU’s move.

DPR Value Has Not Improved the Climate of Upstream Oil and Gas Investment Katadata 10th Jun 2019
The government has only reached an initial agreement on the planned development of the Masela Block at the end of May 2019 or about 20 years since the cooperation contract was signed. This shows the difficulty of investing in Indonesia's upstream oil and gas sector. The record of upstream oil and gas investment until the first quarter of 2019 only reached US $ 3.17 billion or 21.43% of this year's investment target of US $ 14.79 billion.

Oil potentials in Indonesia need more exploration: association Antara News 2nd Jun 2019
President of the Indonesian Petroleum Association (IPA) Tumbur Parlindungan expects oil and gas exploration activities in Indonesia to be encouraged given that there are still many oil reserves in the Southeast Asia region. "Unfortunately, in the past 15 years, exploration activities have been quite minimal in Indonesia. In fact, many other countries whose oil and gas reserves are less than those of Indonesia have been improving for upstream oil and gas investments," Tumbur Parlindungan said in a press release received here on Sunday.

Indonesia-Costa Rica's coop in renewable energy should be strengthened Antara News 31st May 2019
The collaboration between Indonesia and Costa Rica in renewable energy development should be strengthened to build national energy independence and a sustainable economy, said Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Fadli Zon in a statement here on Friday. He made the statement after meeting the Head of Mission of Costa Rica, Esteban Quiros, at the complex of the House of Representatives in Jakarta, Wednesday (29/5).

Indonesian firm to export coal to Bangladesh The Jakarta Post 19th Jun 2019
Bangladesh is set to import coal for the first time for a power plant as part of efforts to diversify its fuel mix in the electricity generation sector. The Bangladesh-China Power Company signed a deal with an Indonesian firm in Dhaka on Sunday to import coal for the 1,320-megawatt coal-fired Payra power plant in Patuakhali.

Indonesia should seek more economic cooperation with Gulf States The Jakarta Post 18th Jun 2019
The Arab world has long-rooted ties in Indonesia, as historic indications reveal that the first traders initially reaching the archipelago in the fifth century. Since then the Arab world has provided maritime trade and financial services.

With looming energy crisis, Bali revisits geothermal as option Geothermal Energy News 17th Jun 2019
Over the years, we have been reporting on proposed development of geothermal power generation facilities in Bali, Indonesia. With local opposition, any planned development though was unsuccessful. Now with the possibility of an energy crisis in the not so far future, the provincial government is now working on new regulation that would push the utilisation of renewable energy sources, including geothermal energy and solar energy.

Inpex Inks New Deal With Indonesia on $20 Billion Abadi LNG Bloomberg.com 16th Jun 2019
Japan’s Inpex Corp. reached a new deal with Indonesia on the $20 billion Abadi liquefied natural gas project, a key step toward reviving work on the long-stalled venture that’s expected to be the biggest-ever investment in the Southeast Asian nation.

Financial Services

Govt to Reevaluate Online Ojek Tariff Tempo 10th Jun 2019
The Transportation Ministry's director general of land transportation Budi Setiyadi said the government will re-evaluate the tariff for online motorcycle taxis. The government has recently completed the survey on implementing new rates for the online ride-hailing service known to Indonesians as ojek. "The other day we had three schemes; unchanged, lowered, or raised," he said here on Monday, June 10. However, he added, the surveys' result suggested some the rates for short-distance rides need adjusting—preferably lowered. 

Government should boost online financial literacy Antara News 7th Jun 2019
It is viewed as being increasingly paramount for the government to intensify dissemination of information on online financial literacy among Indonesians to boost the e-commerce potential based on the rapid increase in Indonesia's internet users. "The government should step up the dissemination of more information on online financial literacy in Indonesia. With a rise in the public financial literacy in the community, the potential for electronic commerce can be increased," researcher of Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS) Galuh Octania noted in a statement in Jakarta on Friday

CIMB, CapBridge to provide firms access to private capital Phnom Penh Post 18th Jun 2019
CIMB Bank Bhd’s recent memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Singapore’s CapBridge Pte Ltd will facilitate capital raising and trading of shares for private companies through the latter’s investment platform and the 1exchange (1X) private securities exchange. This MoU will see CIMB Bank and CapBridge collaborating to offer the bank’s customers in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia access to private capital and liquidity through the holistic CapBridge private capital ecosystem, CIMB said in a statement on Sunday.

Bank Indonesia sees room to cut interest rate The Jakarta Post 18th Jun 2019
Bank Indonesia sees room to cut interest rates, according to Governor Perry Warjiyo, raising the prospect of Southeast Asia’s biggest economy easing monetary policy in the face of growing risks to growth. "If we take into account low inflation and economic growth that needs to be pushed, indeed, we already know that there’s room to lower interest rate," Warjiyo told lawmakers on Monday, without giving any indication of timing. "As of now, global financial market condition is still full of uncertainties, whether related to trade war, Brexit, geopolitics etc, which can lead to capital flows reversal and bring risks in financing the current-account deficit." Central banks around the globe have been shifting to a looser monetary policy position as they look to counter slowing demand with India, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and Malaysia all cutting rates in recent weeks. While Indonesia’s economy has been growing at about 5 percent, officials are also increasingly concerned about risks to growth, citing an escalation in trade hostilities between the US and China.

Element to provide mobile biometrics for Indonesian bank for digital financial services Biometric Update 11th Jun 2019
Element’s mobile biometric platform will provide customers of Bank Central Asia (BCA) with digital authentication in a pilot launched under a newly announced partnership. BCA will use Element’s software-based facial recognition for customer authentication and onboarding as one of its digital initiatives, in line with Indonesia’s digital financial services guidelines. Indonesia has undergone a significant digital transformation over the past five years, according to the announcement, with bank account penetration in the world’s fourth most populous country increasing from 20 percent to 49 percent between 2011 and 2017. This increase among a population dispersed across roughly 17,000 islands was assisted by digital financial service, and is expected to continue. BCA is one of Southeast Asia’s largest banks, holding 19 million accounts.

Moody's Assigns Baa2 Ratings to Indonesia's Planned Drawdowns The Insiders Stories 11th Jun 2019
Moody’s Investors Service has assigned Baa2 ratings to the proposed senior unsecured dollar and/or euro-denominated notes to be issued by the Government of Indonesia (Baa2 stable). The planned drawdowns have maturities ranging from 7-10 years. According to the terms and conditions available to Moody’s, the notes to be issued under the government’s existing US$10 billion shelf program filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States will constitute direct, unconditional and un-subordinated obligations of the Government of Indonesia (the issuer). The proceeds of the notes to be issued under the programme are intended to finance the budget deficit or for general financing purposes. The ratings mirror the Government of Indonesia’s long-term issuer rating of Baa2 with a stable outlook.

S&P upgrades rating of eight Indonesian companies The Jakarta Post 3rd Jun 2019
After upgrading Indonesia’s sovereign rating to BBB from BBB- with stable outlook, Standard & Poor's (S&P) Global Ratings has also looked into the long-term debt rating of nine Indonesian companies and their bonds. S&P has upgraded the rating of six companies, state-owned electricity company PLN, state-owned energy holding company Pertamina, two state-owned port operators -- PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II (Pelindo II) and PT Pelabuhan Indonesia III (Pelindo III) as well as two other private companies -- PT Cikarang Listrindo and PT Astra Internasional. Meanwhile, S&P has changed the rating prospect from negative to stable for state-owned gas subholding company PT Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN) and PGN subsidiary PT Saka Energi Indonesia. The rating firm has maintained the BB+/stable rating of state-owned toll road operator PT Jasa Marga.

Food & Agriculture

After the Great Harvest, Farmer Exchange Rates increased by 0.38% in May 2019 Katadata 10th Jun 2019
The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded Farmer Exchange Rates (NTP) in May of 102.61, up 0.38% compared to 102.23 in the previous month. The increase in NTP was mainly driven by the horticulture subsector. "All sub-sectors have an encouraging increase in NTP, except for food crops," Head of BPS Suhariyanto said at a press conference in his office, Jakarta, Monday (10/6). In general, the increase in NTP occurred because the harvest was over.

Indonesian ban on clearing new swaths of forest to be made permanent Mongabay Environmental News 10th Jun 2019
JAKARTA — A provisional moratorium on issuing forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging is expected to be made permanent, Indonesian officials have announced. The moratorium prohibits the conversion of primary natural forests and peatlands for oil palm, pulpwood and logging concessions, and was introduced in 2011 by then-president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as part of wider efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. It was initially slated to run for two years, but has been extended three times since then, most recently in July 2017 by Yudhoyono’s successor, President Joko Widodo. Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar told Mongabay that when it comes up for renewal again this July, the policy will be made permanent. “[The proposal] is in the final stage now, signed by other ministers,” Siti said. An official in her ministry added that the proposal was now awaiting the president’s approval. Abetnego Tarigan, an environmental adviser in the office of the president’s chief of staff, confirmed that the ministry had proposed making the moratorium permanent. The move dovetails with the current administration’s development model of reining in agricultural and forestry expansion and boosting productivity from existing concessions.

FAO-WHO underscore critical role of food safety in life Antara News 8th Jun 2019
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) marked the first-ever World Food Safety Day on June 7, with emphasis on saving lives through safer food. The FAO and WHO, in a joint press release received here, Saturday, reiterated that safe food can contribute to economic prosperity and boost agriculture, market access, tourism, and sustainable development. Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018, the UN has designated two of its agencies -- FAO and WHO -- to lead and back efforts to promote food safety worldwide, and the first World Food Safety Day, themed "Food Safety, everyone's business," was celebrated on June 7. Food safety is the nonexistence of any hazardous agents in food that might be harmful to the health of consumers. Food-borne hazards can be microbiological, chemical, or physical in nature and are many times not visible to the naked eye. Bacteria, viruses, and pesticide residues are some common examples of food-borne hazards. As a middle-income nation, with a rising population of 260 million, Indonesian consumers constitute a huge market for an already large and swiftly-growing food industry comprising "ready-to-eat" food businesses, restaurants, supermarkets, catering, and large numbers of street food vendors.

Health & Life Sciences

FAO, Antara deliver briefing on animal-to-human diseases in Indonesia - ANTARA News Antara News 19th Jun 2019
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)'s Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) is working with the Indonesian News Agency, Antara, to explain the nation’s media about the challenges related to dealing with the zoonosis in Indonesia. FAO ECTAD's Chief Technical Advisor Luuk Schoonman explained that zoonotic diseases, which are diseases transmitted from animals to humans or vice versa, can affect food security and livelihoods of the people.

MUI Issues Fatwa Regarding Organ Transplants Tempo 19th Jun 2019
The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) issued a fatwa overseeing cases regarding organ transplants from specific cases where a living donor donates or sells their organs. In its decision, MUI decided that such practice should not be done if it does not follow the following rules. MUI argues that human organs are beyond proprietary items (haqqul miliki) which is why organ transplantation – that is not based on the Islamic Sharia law – is deemed haram.

Rabies: 40 pct of samples tested positive for disease, vaccination a must for pets Borneo Post Online 18th Jun 2019
KUCHING: Rabies remains a major problem in the state, as eight out of 20 samples received by the State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory collected from Kuching, Bau and Serian divisions as of the first week of June tested positive for rabies. The eight samples which came back rabies positive were from Kampung Ranchan Bunuk (Serian), Kampung Sumpas, Balai Ringin (Serian), Bayang Estate, Off Lorong Wan Alwi (Kuching), Block 3, Jalan Muhibbah (Kuching), Halaman Kim San, Jalan Bampfylde (Kuching), Lorong Bowood 2A1, Taman Bowood (Kuching), Jalan Chawan (Kuching), and Jalan Semeba, Batu 5, Jalan Penrissen (Kuching). “All positive cases were detected within a 10-kilometre radius of the designated rabies infected area. Most of the animals found to be rabies positive were never vaccinated against the disease. Therefore, DVSS would like to urge the public to vaccinate all their dogs against rabies in order to protect their pets and family members,” Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud said in a press statement dated June 14. Dr Adrian said DVSS would continue to conduct rabies eradication programmes including mass vaccinations, awareness campaigns, surveillance and monitoring of the disease situation in Sarawak. To date, a total of 119,873 dogs have been vaccinated against rabies since 2017.

Gov't Roots Out Online Cigarette Ads Jakarta Globe 14th Jun 2019
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has banned all cigarette advertisements on the internet in a bid to suppress the number of youth smokers. The decision was made following a request from Health Minister Nila Moeloek to take down all tobacco-related ads which are ubiquitous on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, and also on online games and websites.

ICT

Gov't Supports Plan to Patrol WhatsApp Group Chats Jakarta Globe 19th Jun 2019
Communications and Information Technology Minister Rudiantara said the police should be given the power to monitor group chats on the WhatsApp messaging platform to combat the spread of hoaxes and false information. "It's [a] reasonable [policy] in my opinion," Rudiantara said before a meeting on Tuesday with Commission I of the House of Representatives (DPR), which oversees communications and information technology, defense, intelligence and foreign affairs.

Focus of HR and Digital Literacy, Communication and Information Technology Proposes Budget of Rp. 5.6 Trillion Katadata 18th Jun 2019
The Ministry of Communication and Information ( Kominfo ) submitted a ministry program budget of Rp 5.6 trillion in 2020. The 2020 budget according to Minister of Communication and Information Rudiantara is more than Rp 200 billion compared to the current budget, which amounts to Rp 5.4 trillion. Rudiantara is optimistic that with this increased budget, the Ministry of Communication and Information can provide quality performance with better output, outcome and absorption than before.

Cellular numbers to be a must to open social media account : Ministry Antara News 18th Jun 2019
For security reasons, the Communication and Informatics Ministry will require social media operators to make it mandatory for customers to provide cellular numbers when opening accounts. "Those intending to open accounts must use cellular phone numbers, now it is not like that," Communication and Informatics Minister Rudiantara said, following a hearing with the Commission I of the House of Representatives (DPR) here on Tuesday.

Indonesia Participates in G20 Data Exchange Initiative Tempo 10th Jun 2019
The government expresses supports for the global exchange of data and information. Communication and Information Minister Rudiantara said that the Data Free Flow with Trust initiative, proposed by Japan in yesterday's G20 meeting, could be an important boost to creating new economic activities, especially in the field of digital economy. "The potential could be worth billions of dollars," Rudiantara said in Tsukuba, Japan, last weekend.

Three Core Areas to Focus on When Building Smart Data Centers in Indonesia Jakarta Globe 10th Jun 2019
Interest for data centers in Indonesia has been significantly growing over the past several years. Being the fourth most populous country in the world with nearly 270 million people and the largest economy in Southeast Asia, the Indonesian market has been attracting several leading multinationals including Google, Alibaba and Amazon to set up data centers over here. With almost 65 percent of the population being active internet users, global eCommerce players do not hesitate to invest heavily in Indonesia.

RI attracts Taiwanese companies to invest in semiconductor industry Antara News 20th Jun 2019
An Indonesian industry ministry's delegation paid a recent visit to Taiwan to attract semiconductor companies to invest in Indonesia. "Some time ago, we had visited Taiwan in search of companies that will invest in Indonesia's semiconductor industry, as this component can be marketed everywhere," Director General of Metal, Machinery, Transportation Means and Electronic Industry of the Industry Ministry Harjanto stated here on Thursday.

Sri Mulyani Wants Tax Payment as Easy as Buying Phone Credit Tempo 17th Jun 2019
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said that she is trying to raise the national tax ratio. She believed that an easy tax payment system could increase the tax compliance rate. "I have told Pak Robert [Tax Director-General] and his team that I want the tax payment system is as easy as buying phone credit. If it can be done in a minute via mobile banking, tax payment should be easier than that," said the minister during a meeting with the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission XI on Monday, June 17, 2019.

Telkomsel set to offer 5G network in Indonesia Antara News 17th Jun 2019
Telkomsel, a cellular operator subsidiary of state-owned communications company PT Telkom Indonesia, is prepared to invest and conduct digital transformation to provide 5G networks to customers in Indonesia. "After introducing the first-time 5G technology in Indonesia during the 2018 Asian Games, we continue to innovate our service by preparing 5G network connections in Indonesia," Director of the Telkomsel Network Iskriono Windiarjanto remarked during a press release received here on Monday

Insurance firms look to go digital to tap into millennial market The Jakarta Post 3rd Jun 2019
The life insurance industry is looking to technological innovation to tap into Indonesia’s growing middle-class millennial market, which is expected to propel the sector’s growth over the next few years. Sun Life Financial Global CEO Dean A. Connor said recently that he saw “tremendous potential” in the Indonesian market given the rapidly increasing middle-income population. World Bank data also suggests that Indonesia will soon attain upper-middle income status, as the country’s per capita income reached US$3,846 in 2017.

Automation to Help Indonesia Continue Growth Trajectory Jakarta Globe 31st May 2019
It’s likely that few business owners in Indonesia today would be able to tell you what robotics process automation (RPA) is. And yet, over the next five years, it will likely be a significant driver of growth in the Indonesia economy. If handled well, it presents a huge opportunity for Indonesia to continue—and even accelerate—its economic growth.

BI outlines Indonesian payment visions Antara News 31st May 2019
The Governor of Bank Indonesia, Perry Warjiyo, has outlined Indonesia’s Payment System (IPS) 2025 Visions to ensure the current trend of digitalisation develops within a conducive digital economic and financial ecosystem. The visions are a response to the recent proliferation of digitalisation that has significantly altered the risk landscape, through cyber threats, monopolistic competition and shadow banking, which could undermine the effectiveness of monetary controls, the stability of the financial system and sound payment systems, according to a statement released here on Thursday.

Infrastructure

RI's Innovator 4.0 urges president upgrade nation's work skills Antara News 20th Jun 2019
Indonesia Innovator 4.0 Community has urged President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to build creative and imaginative human resources (HR) in various fields during the second term of his administration. Budiman Sujatmiko, Chairman of Innovator 4.0 Indonesia, is optimistic that President Jokowi would seek imaginative methods to improve Indonesian human resources in the fields of technology, economics, education, entrepreneurship and others.

Ministry of PUPR urges checking old bridges Antara News 18th Jun 2019
The Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) has noted the importance of checking old bridges, in an effort to ensure smooth crossings and prevent the disruption of traffic. Thomas Setiabudi Aden, an official of the ministry in a written statement received on Tuesday, said that the road network in Indonesia has greatly developed due to the increase in infrastructure and land transportation needs in the 1980s and beyond, as many bridges are between 20 to 35 years old.

Indonesia to explore options for taxing tech giants The Jakarta Post 18th Jun 2019
The government is exploring options on how to tax tech giants after the Group of 20 ( G20 ) affirmed its commitment in its communique to agreeing to a set of rules on digital taxation by next year. The Finance Ministry’s Taxation Directorate General international taxation director, John Hutagaol, said the government was preparing regulations on the issue.

Ministry facilitates Chinese entrepreneurs to develop infrastructure - ANTARA News Antara News 15th Jun 2019
The Coordinating Maritime Affairs Ministry has facilitated meetings between Chinese and Indonesian delegations in Jakarta on Friday (June 14), during the Indonesian Business Visit and China International Contractors Association (Chinca). The activity was attended by 31 businesspersons, who are representatives of Chinca, and leaders from several companies in the fields of energy, transportation, and infrastructure development, machinery manufacturing, as well as financial institutions...

East Kalimantan Waits for Government Decision on New Capital City Tempo 7th Jun 2019
Following the government's plan to move the capital city, currently, there are two provinces that have been named as the strongest potential destination: Central Kalimantan, and East Kalimantan. Regional government in the East Kalimantan provinces had expressed their multiple times. "We have presented East Kalimantan condition twice, and assured the government that East Kalimantan is ready to become the nation's capital, however, until today there has been no confirmation on the appointment..." said Chief of East Kalimantan Regional Development Agency Zairin Zain on Thursday, June 6, 2019.

Sri Mulyani: Infrastructure Triggers Economic Growth Tempo 6th Jun 2019
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani hoped that more productive economic activities will immediately resumes after the Eid Al-Fitr holiday. The government believed that the completion of infrastructures such as highways and toll roads can trigger equal economic growth in Indonesia. "Activities that can revive the economic pulse are expected to begin today and onwards," Minister Sri said during an open house event on Wednesday, June 5, 2019.

Air transportation use drops 30 percent over holiday: Official The Jakarta Post 3rd Jun 2019
The Transportation Ministry has recorded a 30 percent decrease in air travelers during this year’s Idul Fitri exodus from last year. The ministry’s executive head of the National Idul Fitri Transportation Command, Sigit Irfansyah, said the data was based on the ministry’s calculation of air travelers from May 29 to June 3 at 36 airports across the country. The ministry also recorded a decline in the number of flights operated by airlines from 13,921, last year to 9,733 this year.

$70 Billion Toll-Road Plan to Connect Indonesia's Sprawl Bloomberg.com 19th Jun 2019
Indonesia President Joko Widodo is planning an unprecedented $70 billion splurge on toll roads to help connect the most strung-out country on the planet. By 2024, Indonesia’s fee-charging highways will stretch for 5,400 kilometers (3,355 miles), almost triple the length of the current network, Danang Parikesit, head of the country’s toll-road regulator, said in an interview.

World Bank grants $49.6 million loan for Indonesia’s urban planning program The Jakarta Post 12th Jun 2019
Indonesia has just received a US$49.6 million loan from the World Bank to finance the government’s plan to integrate city planning across the nation. The loan, approved by the World Bank’s board of executive directors on Monday, would be used to finance a government project called the National Urban Development Project (NUDP) to improve city planning and make the country benefit from the positive effects of urbanization. The program will help cities integrate sectoral plans and strategies, including master plans for transportation, housing, economic strategies and environment. In addition, it will strengthen the link between medium-term capital investment, infrastructure prioritization and financing needs.

Democracy shields Indonesia from Belt and Road fallout The Jakarta Post 10th Jun 2019
....Vice President Jusuf Kalla touted 28 projects with a total price tag of US$91 billion to be financed under the BRI when he attended the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in April. The first reactions back home were one of caution and some even advised against the idea lest Indonesia follow countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Malaysia, who are experiencing problems with the Chinese projects. But those expressing reservations ignore two important factors that have spared Indonesia from the fallout of having too much Chinese investment. First, compared to those other countries, Indonesia is much larger and has more leverage in dealing with China. It is the fourth-most populous nation, the seventh-largest economy (based on purchasing power parity), supplies raw materials and agricultural products vital to China and controls sea lanes through which international shipping passes to take goods to and from China... Second, Indonesia is a democracy where free speech is guaranteed, with an elected government that is constantly under public scrutiny and held accountable for all its actions. This also applies to the policy of bringing in foreign investors, including those from China.

More roads, more dams, more power plants for Indonesia The Straits Times 9th Jun 2019
The Trans-Java and Trans-Sumatra highways are expected to be completed during the second term of President Joko Widodo, shortening travelling times and opening up new job opportunities on Indonesia's two main islands. Officials say that the roads are part of the President's buffet of upcoming projects, and just like in his first term, the President will firmly focus on infrastructure works, including more new seaports, airports, dams and power plants to keep the economy humming over the next five years. The 1,150km Trans-Java toll highway will link Merak in the westernmost part of Java to Probolinggo and Banyuwangi in East Java by next year, said Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono.

Manufacturing

Indonesia's robotic automation products compete in Mexican market Antara News 16th Jun 2019
Robotic automation products or automation machines driven by the nation's robots competed in the Mexican market, with a high level of interest among enthusiasts at the ExpoPack Exhibition in Guadalajara City, Mexico, June 11-13, 2019. Products of particular interest to local food and beverage entrepreneurs comprised linear liquid filling and wide hygiene conveyers that are made to order, according to written information from the Indonesian Embassy in Mexico City on Saturday.

Indonesian batik clothing at ATF Trade Expo enthralls South Africans Antara News 16th Jun 2019
Various Indonesian batik clothing and fabrics featured at the Indonesian Pavilion at the 2019 Apparel Textile and Footwear (ATF) Trade Exhibition in Cape Town, South Africa, on June 12-14, 2019, captivated the South African visitors. "Batik has long been recognized by the people of South Africa. We admit that our presence here is yet limited, but we do believe that our high-quality fabrics and batik products have vast potential to be further marketed," Indonesian Consul General in Cape Town Krishna Adi Poetranto said...

Ministry to develop digital platform to support fashion industry Antara News 11th Jun 2019
The Industry Ministry will develop a digital platform to support the fashion industry by connecting material suppliers, designers, tailors and the industry, in a concept called the "Fitting Room". "In addition to integrating the fashion industry supply chain, this platform will provide convenience to consumers in buying fashion products according to their size, without having to come to tailors," the ministry's Director of Small and Medium Industries of Chemistry, Clothing, Crafts and Various Industry, E. Ratna Utarianingrum, said here, Tuesday.

Market Regulation

The Creative Economy Law is Targeted to Release Before Parliament Resists Katadata 21st Jun 2019
The Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf) and the House of Representatives (DPR) are pursuing the target of issuing the Creative Economy Law before the 25th of July 2019. The regulation will accommodate intellectual property rights based financing for creative economic actors . Deputy Facilitating Intellectual Property Rights and Bekraf Regulations Ari Juliano Gema stated that one of the targets was for the creative economy to get funding from the government and the private sector. "The target of July 25 must be hit hammer, before parliament enters the recess period," Ari told Katadata.co.id in Jakarta on Friday (6/21).

Travel & Tourism

North Sulawesi adopts 3A strategy for tourism promotion Antara News 21st Jun 2019
The North Sulawesi provincial government has made steady efforts to develop the tourism sector viewed as having the potential to boost the region's economic growth through applying the 3A strategy of attractions, accessibility, and amenities. "We prioritize the 3A strategy to attract more tourists to visit North Sulawesi," North Sulawesi Provincial Secretary Edwin Silangen remarked in Manado on Friday.

Indonesia, Philippines can Jointly Take Tourism Advantage: Kadin Tempo 19th Jun 2019
The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) has stated that Indonesia and the Philippines can take advantage of vast opportunities in the tourism sector by working together to offer tourism packages for both countries. "Actually, both countries want to promote their tourism, and of course they want to attract more tourists. Maybe cooperation can be carried out through offering tourism packages," said Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Deputy Chairperson for International Relations Shinta Widjaja Kamdani in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Ministry employs 4 strategies amid tough year in tourism The Jakarta Post 17th Jun 2019
Indonesia faces a tough year in tourism, as growth in foreign arrivals dropped to the lowest rate in years in the first four months of the year. The Tourism Ministry is pursuing four main strategies in a bid to increase the number of tourists coming to the country in the remainder of the year, namely promoting border tourism, making special offers, developing tourist hubs and establishing low-cost carrier terminals (LCCT).

Gov't Mulls Over Limiting Vehicles Entering Trans Java Toll Tempo 10th Jun 2019
Transportation Ministry prepared a plan to limit the number of vehicles entering Trans Java toll road heading to Jakarta should the traffic congestion hard to ease. The plan was taken into consideration because of heavy traffic from the east toward the west or Jakarta that might cause an endless queue of vehicles and severe congestion. “If the condition is not clear yet, [we] possibly block the upstream...” said the ministry’s head of research and development agency, Sugihardjo, in the National Coordinating Post for Integrated 2019 Eid Transportation, Sunday, June 9.

KAI: 70 Percent People Yet to Return to Jakarta Tempo 10th Jun 2019
State railway operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (PT KAI) announced some 70 percent of people have yet to return to Jakarta after the Eid homecoming. Out of the total 720,098 people participating in the annual tradition of mudik (mass exodus to hometowns) via railway through Gambir and Senen Stations, there are still 506,970 that have yet to return to Jakarta despite today being the end of the mass-government-leave.

Ministry to study Jokowi’s open sky proposal The Jakarta Post 4th Jun 2019
The Transportation Ministry is studying a proposal made by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who suggested inviting foreign airlines to serve domestic routes as an attempt to push down airfares. “We will not easily accept all foreign airlines. Our aviation industry must still have high [standards]. Therefore, we are studying the proposal and we will report [the results of a study] to the President before making a decision,” Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said in Jakarta on Monday as quoted by kompas.com.

Joko gets building again Bangkok Post 3rd Jun 2019
With his victory in the April polls confirmed by the elections commission on May 21, Indonesian President Joko Widodo is preparing to press ahead with an ambitious infrastructure drive in his second term, starting with 415 trillion rupiah (US$28.8 billion) allocated in the 2019 state budget. Building and expanding airports in major tourist destinations is part of a plan to increase revenue from non-oil and gas sources. The government is looking to welcome between 18 million and 20 million foreign tourists this year, compared with 15.8 million last year, which was short of its target of 17 million. However, it was still a significant increase of 12.6% from 2017.But developing new airports may not have the immediate economic impact expected. The Kertajati airport, located at Majalengka in West Java, has struggled since it opened in May 2018. Some airlines cancelled flights due to low demand while those that are still flying report very low occupancy. In fat, the airline operated at less than one percent of its annual capacity of 5 million passengers in its first year.

Indonesia Wants Neither Grab, Nor Go-Jek to Win Jakarta Globe 13th Jun 2019
The government's plan to ban discounts and promotional fares by online-based motorcycle taxis is based on a long-term view: preventing consumers from ending up at the mercy of monopolistic corporations. The industry is currently dominated by homegrown ride-hailing service Go-Jek and Singapore-based Grab, which are both burning cash at an eyewatering rate to become the one and only super-app for Indonesians. 

No plan by foreign airline to ply Indonesian domestic routes: Top aviation official after president's proposal CNA 11th Jun 2019
No foreign airline is planning to operate domestic routes in Indonesia, said Air Transportation Director-General Polana Pramesti according to a report by news site Tempo. This came after President Joko Widodo’s proposal to allow foreign airlines to operate Indonesian domestic routes with the aim of bringing down ticket prices sparked a robust debateamong stakeholders. “There is none (that are planning to operate in Indonesia) because of strict requirements,” said Mr Polana during an interview last Saturday (Jun 8). He was responding to questions on the operation of international airlines such as Jetstar and Scoot. Citing the relevant law and presidential decree, the director-general explained that any airline wanting to operate in Indonesia should set up a domestic business entity, with the majority shareholder – holding a minimum of 51 per cent shares – being Indonesian. The airline must also operate 10 aircraft for scheduled transportation. “They should possess five aircraft and the rest must be aircraft leases,” he said.

Indonesia Mulls Allowing Foreign Carriers To Fly Domestically Aviation International News 6th Jun 2019
In an urgent bid to boost competitiveness and push down airfares, the Indonesian government is considering a new aviation policy that will allow foreign carriers to serve domestic routes across the sprawling archipelago. The proposal, submitted by newly re-elected President Joko Widodo, marks the latest in a string of state measures aimed at boosting competition, including changes to airfare floors and ceilings.

Vietjet launches direct Bali flight from Ho Chi Minh City Buzz travel 31st May 2019
Vietjet officially launched its newest direct route, Ho Chi Minh City – Bali, connecting the largest city in Vietnam to one of the world’s most famous holiday destinations just in time to celebrate the start of summer.