Update News November 25, 2016

In The News

East Java Explores Trade Relations With Poland
Tempo, 25 November 2016

The East Java provincial government is exploring trade relations with Poland, especially in the field of industry and trade products to realize bilateral cooperation.

"Poland is the target of trade mission from East Java, because the country has long been the basis of industry and trade products for European Union (EU)," East Java Deputy Governor Saifullah Yusuf remarked in a text message made available to ANTARA News here on Thursday.

Yusuf was in Warsaw for a one-week working visit to Poland.According to him, trade cooperation in the field of agriculture with Poland can be an alternative to make prices of meat and agriculture products from East Java competitive.

Saifullah Yusuf, better known as Gus Ipul, noted that as a member of European Union, Poland has recorded high economic growth in the region, ranging from 3 to 4 percent per year.

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Tax Amnesty Fund Hoped to Finance Government Projects
Tempo, 25 November 2016

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has conveyed his wish that the money collected from the tax amnesty program would be allocated to productive sectors, such as to fund the Ministry’s future planned projects.“Our task is to make this funding productive,” Budi Karya said on Thursday, November 24, 2016.

According to him, the transportation sector needs a Rp1,600 trillion in the course of five years. The currently available funds is a mere Rp450 trillion. This shows that the Ministry needs a large amount of funding.

Budi said his office promises to give state-own enterprises (BUMN) and private firms a much bigger role following the instruction for the BUMN and private firms to be involved more in government projects. For example, if  there are 20-40 ports and 10-20 airports that will be privatized, “[so,] with the role of BUMN and private firms, it is hoped that the investment climate would get better,” he said.

The ministry, Budi Karya said, has intensified their cooperation with a number of businessmen to avoid a gap between businessmen with state officials. “As far as it’s legal and based on the constitutions, we’ll do it.”

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President Jokowi Encourages Asset Securitization By Infrastructure Company
Antara News, 25 November 2016

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) encourages asset securitization to raise fund to finance infrastructure development now on the right track.

"We have to continue to follow securitization. One and a half years earlier infrastructure projects had to depend fully on state budget for financing as securitization did not run well," the president said addressing "Kompas 100 CEO Forum" here on Thursday.

He said development of infrastructure in the next five years would need around Rp4,900 trillion and the state budget is expected to be able to contribute around 30 percent to the total cost.

"The fund set aside in the state budget for infrastructure has been much higher but is still not enough. The fund from the state budget would be not more than 30 percent of the total requirement," he added.

He said no cut in the budget for infrastructure project. the budget slashing recently was only for non productive sectors such as budget for official travels.

The president hoped that asset securitization could help finance infrastructure projects in addition to fund from the state budget. He said state owned road developer Jasa Marga is charged with the duty to built toll roads not only as an operator or asset owner.

"The company should not stop at building toll roads and becomes an operator. The toll road should be sold for profit upon completion and the money is used to build more toll roads to be sold again," he said.

If Jasa Marga acts only as an operator relying on toll fee for income it would wait for tens of years before it could build more toll roads, he said."We were the first to build toll road in this region. Other countries learned from us, but now they already have thousands of kilometers of toll roads. And we after 71 years independent have only 840 kilometers," he said.

The president, therefore, wanted Jasa Marga to sell toll roads it has built to raise fund to finance new toll road projects."State companies have to sell assets for profit and build new ones," he repeated.

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Seribu Islands Focus on Infrastructure Improvement
Tempo, 25 November 2016

The Seribu Islands District Administration continues to make innovative to attract tourists to visit Seribu Islands. One concern is the improvement of pier infrastructure that can operate in 2017.

"The new pier for tourists, so there is no interference with fishermen boat pier," expressed Ismer Harahap, Secretary of Seribu Islands, Thursday (11/24).

Another facility that is improved are Jembatan Cinta (Love Bridge). To beautify this recreational site, there is additional innovation on the bridge floor using glass fiber.

"Thus the visitors can look down the bridge like aquarium, so there must be improvement of the quality of the tourism facilities first and then continued to the quantity of visitors," he told.

He added, if the potential and the quality can be optimized, recreational site in the islands will be better than now and will bring positive impact on the people economy.

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Land Acquisition for High-Speed Train Completes in December
Tempo, 25 November 2016

President director of state-owned contractor firm Wijaya Karya, Bintang Perbowo, expressed optimism that the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train project would complete on time.

Bintang revealed that his company has acquired all development permits and is currently applying for land acquisition permit.“All permits are complete. The land [acquisition permit] has progressed to 85 percent. It’s expected to be 100 percent in December,” he told Tempo at the CEO Forum held in Jakarta on Thursday, November 24, 2016.

The land acquisition in Halim Perdanakusuma Airport area, Bintang said, would not be a problem, since it has been discussed in a limited meeting.“[The land acquisition] has been approved yesterday. Perhaps the President will inspect the location this week,” he added.

Bintang explained that in order to expedite the infrastructure development, the company will procure heavy equipment to support the project development. The company is also building precast concrete plants.“We’re preparing precast concrete plants along the railway because it’s impossible for us to transport concrete using trucks,” he said.

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Bright Indonesia Program In W. Papua Near Completion
Antara News, 25 November 2016

The rural electrification program of the Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Ministry in West Papua is near completion.Under the program called Bright Indonesia, a number of power plants have been built including in the regencies of Maybrat, Kaimana, Raja Ampat and Manokwari, head of the provincial mining and energy office Yohan Abraham Tulus said here on Wednesday.

Yohan said in Maybrat, the ESDM ministry had built small hydro power plants in three villages each with a capacity of 50 kilowatts."All have been in operation, two units in Aifat Barat district and one in the district of Kucwer," he said.In the regency of Kaimana, a solar power plant was builtin the village of Bamana Teluk Etna with a capacity of 30 KWP.

In the regency of Raja Ampat there are two unit of solar power plant each with a capacity of 20 KWP in the Jembekwan of the Miosmansar district, and one with a capacity of 15 KWP in the village of Kabadiri of the Sukmin district.

In Manokwari, solar power plants are concentrated in Arfai of the Manokwari Selatan district and village of Marina in the district of Manokwari Barat, each with a capacity of 1 megawatt.

Yohan said construciton of solar power plants in the two locations is still underway expected to be completed in 2017."The solar power plants would reduce the deficit in power supply from the state power utility PLN," he said.

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Indonesia Can Export Fuel Oil: Minister Jonan
Antara News, 25 November 2016

Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Minister Ignasius Jonan has said that he believed Indonesia could export fuel oil (BBM ), based on Regulation No.35/2016 on the implementation of the construction of oil refineries in the country by private entities.

"If Singapore can export fuel oil, I think Indonesia can do so as well, and the market will definitely be growing," Jonan said in his office on Wednesday night.

Jonan believed that by opening opportunities for the private sector to build oil refineries and sell fuel products to end users via ESDM Regulation No.35/2016, and achieving the target of state oil company Pertamina to meet domestic fuel oil demand without import, Indonesias opportunity to export BBM could be opened.

In addition, the energy minister was also optimistic that the market for energy could continue to rise, because it was higher than the economic growth."By a percentage, the energy is growing higher than the economic growth, or one and a half times as much," he said.

"The energy was growing approximately by a percentage greater than the economic growth. One and a half times as much. So, if the economy is to grow by 5 percent, the energy can grow by 7.5 percent," he explained.

The government has issued a policy that private enterprises can build refineries with the goal of achieving energy security, increasing the production capacity of the national fuel volumes and reducing dependence on imported fuel.

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Zuckerberg Offers Indonesia Internet Connection In Remote Areas
Antara News, 25 November 2016

Facebook CEO Mark Elliot Zuckerberg has offered Indonesia a solution to increase Internet network in remote areas using unmanned aircraft (drone) designed by Facebook to boost the growth of small and medium industries (SMI).

The offer was made by Zuckerberg to Indonesian Industry Minister Airlangga Hartanto after attending APEC Business Advisory Council in Lima, Peru.

"Indonesia must adapt to the rapid development of technology to keep up by creating sustainable innovation and creativity," Airlangga said in a written statement received here.

Earlier, Airlangga said, Vice President M Jusuf Kalla had a dialogue with Zuckerberg after attending the APEC Business Advisory Council in Lima, Peru, on Saturday (Nov 19) and discussed the Internet connectivity in Indonesia.

Airlangga said the connectivity program developed by Facebook can combine economic development in general. The program fits the APECs theme which emphasizes the equality of economic growth.

On several occasions, Airlangga said that the current worldwide industrial world is being transformed to welcome the fourth industrial revolution or known as Industry 4.0.

"This industry era emphasizes a collaborative manufacturing process with digital world, especially with the Internet of Things platform," he noted.

Airlangga believes, the Industry 4.0 aims to find measures that are more efficient and optimize production processes in order to achieve maximum outputs.

"Therefore, the Ministry of Industry is reviewing some of industries that can be developed as an industry pioneer for the development of Industry 4.0 in Indonesia," he said.

Airlangga added that currently, there are many types of internet-based products that can be encountered daily, such as social media, banking, buying and selling and many more applications.

The tremendous opportunities of Internet market in Indonesia are expected to increasingly popping up new digital industrial products and local innovative start-ups.

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RI Eyes Middle Power Influence In MIKTA, EU Meetings
The Jakarta Post, 25 November 2016

Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi is slated to attend a number of multilateral events in the days ahead with a particular eye toward consolidating Indonesia’s position as a middle power with increasing global influence.

Retno would first arrive in Sydney, Australia, on Thursday morning to attend the two-day eight MIKTA Foreign Ministers Meeting, ministry spokesperson Arrmanatha Nasir said on Wednesday.

MIKTA, or Mexico-Indonesia-(South) Korea-Turkey-Australia, is a grouping of like-minded states brought together by common values and the propensity to play the role of “bridge-builder” among countries with different views on the global stage.

The group last convened in Yogyakarta in October for an interfaith and intercultural dialogue, an Indonesian initiative to address security threats related to terrorism and extremism, and promote inclusive cooperation among MIKTA countries.

Unlike the finance-heavy BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa), MIKTA’s will be an informal meeting of middle powers, where they can discuss the latest developments in regional and global affairs and contribute constructively to the most pressing issues.

“The five countries are influential in their respective regions, so whatever issues are raised will hopefully be voiced in international forums,” said Muchsin Syihab, the ministry’s director for development, economy and environmental affairs, on Wednesday.

As Indonesia was coming into its own as a global player in maintaining world peace, Retno would lead discussions on peacekeeping and convey the importance of deploying women peacekeepers in conflict-ridden countries, Muchsin said.

Earlier in October, Retno raised the issue of gender mainstreaming to an 800-strong battalion of Blue Helmets — the moniker for UN peacekeepers — set to depart on a peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.

Indonesia envisions contributing 4,000 peacekeeping personnel by 2019 — an increase from the current 2,876 Indonesian soldiers serving across the world since 2014.

Other countries will also take a leading role in discussions of other pertinent issues, like Turkey with counterterrorism and South Korea with international norm setting.

Retno is also expected to conduct a bilateral meeting with Mexico, where she will ask her counterpart to support Indonesia in its bid for non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for 2019 to 2020.

Retno will then fly back to Jakarta before departing for Brussels on Nov. 27 until Dec. 1 for the Indonesia-European Union Joint Consultation Meeting, the first ever forum conducted under the Indonesia-EU comprehensive bilateral partnership mechanism.

Arrmanatha said bilateral talks would likely focus on trade and investment, as well as cooperation in development, security and human rights.

It would also be a platform to discuss the ongoing Indonesia-EU Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), for which initial negotiations started in September, he added. “[This meeting] shows how important the EU is to Indonesia,” he said.

EU is Indonesia’s fourth largest investor and has amassed a two-way trade value of US$2.6 billion in 2015.In addition to that, Indonesia planned to reactivate bilateral cooperation among parliamentarians, with Retno poised to speak in front of the European Parliament on the importance of closer legislative ties, Arrmanatha said.

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British Ambassador Admires Indonesia`s Culture Of Tolerance
Antara News, 25 November 2016

Moazzam Malik, British Ambassador to Indonesia, ASEAN and East Timor, has expressed his admiration for the culture of tolerance applied by Indonesia, and urged the countrys government and people to share their experiences to other countries in the world.

"Among all the countries that Ive worked, Indonesia could be considered the most successful country in protecting and promoting tolerance and moderation," the ambassador stated in a general lecture at the University of Gadjah Mada (UGM), Yogyakarta, on Wednesday (Nov 23), according to a statement from UGM received by ANTARA News here on Thursday.

He shared several special experiences during his first visit to Indonesia a few years ago.As a Muslim who grew up in England, he was surprised and proud to see women in Muslim dress riding motorcycles on public streets, and attend a meeting led by a woman Islam cleric at the State Palace.

These experiences are something that cannot be found in many other Muslim countries, he added"Maybe for you, it is a common matter to see women in headscarves riding motorcycles.

But for me, it is so incredible that I instantly took a photo and sent it to my daughter. In some Muslim countries, this could cause big controversy," Malik pointed out.

He sees the condition as unique in the religious life in Indonesia which, on a larger scale, could be a potential solution to the problems of intolerance in the world.In particular, he mentioned two characters which he observed form the culture of tolerance in Indonesia.

First, diversity has become a character of Indonesia, as a country with thousands of islands, since the beginning, unlike most countries that were initially homogeneous and began to be diverse due to migration.

Besides, "Pancasila" (a philosophical foundation of the Indonesian state) as the foundation of the state, and "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" (Unity in Diversity) as the national motto, have deep meanings in life, he added.

"Most countries do not have a similar idea and not even have a national motto like that. That makes Indonesia special. In the UK, weve just talked about national values about three years ago and it was brought up a debate," Malik stated.

According to Malik, those uniqueness were the reasons Indonesia should be more active in talks on plurality in world forums to build a joint solution to the problems of intolerance, which continues to be an important issue from time to time.

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