Update News April 06, 2017

In The News

Bali to get new underpass before IMF meeting
The Jakarta Post, 06/04/2017

The Public Works and Public Housing Ministry is set to build an underpass at the intersection of the Ngurah Rai Monument in Badung regency to ease traffic on roads connecting Ngurah Rai International Airport, Nusa Dua and Denpasar.

The construction of the underpass is part of the government’s preparations ahead of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank annual meetings that will be held in Bali in October next year.

The underpass is also aimed at enhancing the quality of infrastructure on the island, which serves as Indonesia’s main tourist hub and contributes around 40 percent of foreign visitors to the country.

Minister Basuki Hadimoeljono said the ministry was ready to begin the project soon after the Bali administration and Badung administration completed land acquisition.

“The IMF meeting is a very important annual international event. Therefore, the government will fully support the local administration in improving infrastructure in Bali,” the minister said during a recent visit to the designated location of the underpass project.

The ministry’s director general of road development, Arie Setiadi Moerwanto, said it was expected the underpass could ease traffic at the Ngurah Rai traffic circle, which connects Ngurah Rai Airport and the Bali Mandara toll road, Nusa Dua and Denpasar.

“We have a traffic problem in this area, especially during busy hours and the peak of the holiday seasons. The underpass will be built along 600 meters,” he said.

The underpass will connect the area of Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai and Jl. Sunset Road to Nusa Dua. 

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Jayamix becomes first firm to sell concrete through online marketplace
The Jakarta Post, 06/04/2017

Ready-to-use concrete mix producer PT SCG Readymix Indonesia (Jayamix), an affiliated company of Thailand-based Siam Cement Group, has pioneered the selling of ready-mix concrete through an online platform.

The company’s ready-mix concrete is now available at the online shop Blibli.com, allowing end-users to buy the building material from home and receive their orders within a few days.

SCG Readymix Indonesia’s president director Nantapong Chantrakul said Jayamix, the largest ready-mix concrete producer in Indonesia, was the first company to sell concrete products through an online marketplace.

“We want to reach a wider retail market through this cooperation in digital innovation,” Nantapong said following the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Blibli.com.

With the new marketplace, he further said, the company hopes to expand its outreach as its products have been sold exclusively under a business-to-business arrangement for the past 40 years.

On Blibli.com, the company sells two types of concrete mix products: Jayamix Super Concrete (JSC), a ready-mix concrete, which will be delivered by concrete mixer truck; and Beton Instan (instant concrete mix), a mix of dry concrete materials packed in a 50-kilogram bag. (est/ags)

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Government sets target to build gas networks in 17 cities/districts
Antara News, 06/04/2017

The Indonesian government has set the target of building gas networks in 17 cities/districts in the country next year.

"We will assign the concerned state-owned companies to coordinate in building the 17 gas networks in the Indonesian cities," the Director of Oil and Gas Infrastructure Development Planning at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry Amaluddin Baso stated here on Wednesday.

The 17 cities/districts include Semarang city, Blora district, Sorong district, Balikpapan city, Probolinggo district, Prabumulih city, Sorong city, Bekasi district, and Pasuruan district.

The others include Bontang city, Deli Serdang district, Bogor district, Tuban district, Medan city, Sidoarjo district, Samarinda city, and Tarakan city.

In total, the gas networks will cover 132,796 households, with Balikpapan city recording the highest number with 17 thousand households connected to the gas networks.

In 2017, the government will still focus on building gas networks in 11 cities in addition to the 17 cities and districts, he noted.The gas networks in the 11 cities will cover 1.4 million households, he added.

The Downstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Board (BPH Migas) has also familiarized the public with the plan to slash the price of natural gas distributed to consumers through the gas networks.

"The policy was taken in response to several complaints received from the public on the increase in price of gas distributed through gas networks compared to LPG," the BPH Migas Natural Gas Director, Umi Asngadah remarked.

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CIMB Niaga launches new brand promise
The Jakarta Post, 06/04/2017

Private lender PT Bank CIMB Niaga, a part of Malaysian financial institution CIMB Group, announced its new brand promise in Jakarta on Wednesday in an effort to forge stronger relations with customers.The publicly listed bank said the brand promise, Forward, was tailored for its targeted customers.

The brand promise is aimed at four segments, namely youth, family, priority banking and business banking, CIMB Niaga president director Tigor M. Siahaan said during a media event on Wednesday.

"The brand is not only for generating profit but also to cater to stakeholders and position CIMB Niaga in the future," he said.The lender earned Rp 2.08 trillion (US$156 million) in net profit last year, almost five times the 2015 amount.

Its loans surged 1.6 percent year-on-year (yoy) to Rp 180.16 trillion while third-party funds increased 1.1 percent to Rp 180.57 trillion and its loan-to-deposit ratio (LDR) was at 98.4 percent as of December.

This year, CIMB Niaga will focus on improving its assets quality amid global volatility. Its net non-performing loan (NPL) ratio climbed to 2.2 percent at the end of last year from 1.6 percent in 2015, while its gross NPL ratio was flat at between 3.7 to 3.8 percent.

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UK-Indonesia partnership creates superior science and technology
Antara News, 06/04/2017

Moazzam Malik, British Ambassador to Indonesia, ASEAN, and Timor-Leste, said that the partnership between United Kingdom and Indonesia encourages creation of a science and technology culture that is superior and possesses international standard in Indonesia.

"We have made a funding commitment of approximately 8 million pounds to stimulate the collaboration of science and technology communities of both countries," he said, while giving a speech during the first anniversary celebrations of the partnership fund, named UK-Indonesia Science and Technology Fund, in the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education Office in Jakarta, on Wednesday.

He stated that Indonesias future expectation was to increase competitiveness in the international arena of human resources to compete on the world stage, including the world of research, innovation, and technology.

Therefore, the research funding should be fully utilized to create research results useful for the welfare of society.
"Hence, this is actually a collaboration of equal partners. When we started the program, we committed two million pounds a year from the UK side for funding, and actually this year, we have already increased it by 33 percent to three million pounds a year," he pointed out.

As the United Kingdom has increased its financing commitment on the research development, he hoped that there will be many applicable and useful research results for responding to global challenges and society needs.

"Our role as the UK is to witness Indonesia that is strong, independent, internationally competitive, as well as having a successful economy," he noted.

The partnership fund was launched in March 2016 and will last until 2021.
He said that the United Kingdom will continue to prioritize the development in the sectors of science, technology, and innovation.

"We realize that science and innovation will generate solutions to global challenges. The resources that we have allocated for the benefit of science have become an investment for a mutually beneficial partnership for both countries in the future," he revealed.

The ambassador revealed that Indonesia used the funding assistance and allocated its budget to fund talented researchers who can conduct joint research of international standard.

"The hope of this partnership is to generate research on technology and tangible innovation, which would benefit the people of Indonesia, as well as create a scientific culture and research culture with international standard," he said.

As many as 11 joint research projects had been completed last year through the funding commitment.
In 2017, as many as 10 new research projects will be funded.

He hoped there will be 11 more new research projects to be financed."Therefore, when we commit money to Indonesia, we are looking for the Indonesian government, industries, and universities to match our commitment. Hence, this is an equal partnership that is very important," he remarked.

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Gov't Plans Deregulation to Improve Investment 
Tempo.co, 06/04/2017

The government is planning to scrap trade regulations that adversely affect the industry, investment, export and inflation.

“In the first year of deregulation, [the number of] trade regulations declined. But they spiked again in 2016, even higher than before deregulation was implemented,” the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution said yesterday after a coordinated meeting on trade in Jakarta.

Darmin explained that business players have been complaining about trade regulations issued by several ministries.

He found at least 23 regulations on limited restriction on import and export issued after the government implemented deregulation initiatives.

“We have order them [ministries] to review, to explain the reason behind keeping [the regulations]; if the reason is not good enough, we will scrap them,” Darmin said.

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PLN to Electrify 11,300 Villages by 2019
Tempo.co, 06/04/2017

State-owned electricity company PT PLN (Persero) is aiming to electrify 11,300 villages by 2019 in a bid to meet the target of electrification ratio currently standing at 91 percent.

The PLN director for planning Nicke Widyawati explained that 2,530 of the said villages are yet to enjoy electricity, whereas the rest are only electrified for less than 6 hours per day.

Considering the national electrification ratio as of the end 2016 was standing at 91 percent, the remaining electrification ratio [to meet] is 9.1 percent,” Nicke said Wednesday at the PLN head office in Jakarta.

She said that the remaining 9.1 percent electrification ratio will be more difficult to achieve because the targets are located in Indonesia’s remote eastern regions.

Machnizon Masri, business director for Sulawesi and Nusa Tenggara Region, said that 700 villages in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) will be electrified in 2017.

The construction of power network and transmission is expected to complete by November.
As for electrification of other parts of eastern regions, such as Maluku, Papua, and islets in Sumatra, PLN will push for the utilization of new renewable energy.

The regions will have their own energy source according to their natural conditions to meet electrification ratio and improve the use of new renewable energy to 23 percent by 2025.

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Indonesian Travel Agents Take Part in Vietnam Int'l Travel Mart 2017
Jakarta globe, 06/04/2017

At least 12 Indonesian travel agents will take part in the four-day Vietnam International Travel Mart 2017, or VITM, which will begin in Hanoi on Thursday (06/04).

Gede Pitana, the marketing development deputy at Indonesia's Tourism Ministry, said participation in the VITM is part of a ministry program focusing on branding, advertising and, ultimately, selling tourist attractions in the country to overseas audience.

"[Tourism] Minister Arief Yahya has been doing a great job on branding and advertising. Now it's time to make some sales," Pitana said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We focused on branding in the first year and advertising in the second year [of our program]. This year, the focus is on selling travel packages to our target market," he said.

The Indonesian delegation will occupy a 54-square-meter pavilion at the VITM. Visitors can book various travel packages to Bali, Yogyakarta and Jakarta — among others — directly with the travel agents during the travel fair.

The pavilion will also provide a space for business-to-business meetings between tourism industry players from Indonesia and Vietnam, with two local travel agents from the host country occupying a booth in it.

There will also be a pop-up Indonesian tourism center which offers 360° virtual reality videos of many tourist attractions in the archipelago, Indonesian traditional shows and giveaways for visitors.

"We expect to sell a significant amount of tour packages to Indonesia during VITM," Rizki Handayani Mustafa, a marketing official from the Tourism Ministry, said.

He said Indonesia has been specifically targeting more Vietnamese tourists to come to Indonesia as part of its bid to boost the number of international visitors from Southeast Asia. "VITM 2017 is a great place to attract more Vietnamese tourists. It's one of the biggest travel fairs in Vietnam," Rizki sa

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