Update News February 17, 2017

In The News

15 Swedish Companies Interested to Invest in Indonesia
Tempo, 17/02/2017

The Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) through Sweden’s Coordinating Minister of Policy and Energy, Ibrahim Baylan, during his visit to Indonesia has identified 15 Swedish companies that are interested in investing in Indonesia.

According to the press release, there were 22 entrepreneurs representing 15 well known Swedish companies that engage in the telecommunication sector, information technology, and electricity and renewable energy sector. Ibrahim Baylan was accompanied by Swedish Ambassador for Indonesia, Johanna Bismarck Skoog.

BKPM head Thomas Lembong responded to their intentions positively, considering that Swedish investment in Indonesia reached US$ 12.4 million in the last five years.

“The amount is hoped to increase following the improved understanding of Swedish investors on Indonesia’s condition,” he said.

According to Thomas, the sectors the Swedish companies are most interested in have a good prospect and have been the Government’s priority.

“For renewable energy, the Government targets the sector could reach 10-16 percent from its total energy mix in 2019,” he explained.

Thomas added that the renewable energy sector in Indonesia grew 11.2 percent each year, which is contributed by 45.4 percent wind energy, 21.5 percent geothermal, and 18.5 percent of bio-energy.

“As one of the developed countries in its renewable energy, Sweden is hoped to invest in Indonesia.”

“In the series of visitation to the BKPM, we also arranged a matchmaking forum between Swedish investors and 12 Indonesian companies,” Thomas explained.

The visit was facilitated by the Indonesian Embassy based in Stockholm and BKPM’s representative headquarters in London (IIPC).

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President Jokowi Calls On Saudi Arabia To Realize Investment Plans
Antara News, 17/02/2017

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has called on Saudi Arabia to realize the commitment and plans to invest in Indonesia.

"Just now, (the president) has asked the help of the chairman of the Saudi Arabian Majlis ash-Shura (Consultative Assembly) in realizing various Saudi Arabian investment plans and commitment in Indonesia," Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister AM Fachir said at the Presidential Palace complex here on Thursday.

Fachir gave the statement to the press following a courtesy call of Chairman of the Majlis Ash-Shura, Abdullah Muhammed Al-Alsheikh to President Jokowi.

President Jokowi also told the Saudi official that the trade balance between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia has dropped.

"According to records, the trade balance volume dropped significantly, by 36 percent in 2015, from that in 2014," he stated.

The Saudi Arabian King is scheduled to visit Jakarta in early March 2017. The visit is expected to help step up cooperation between the two countries in the fields of economics, politics, protection of Indonesian migrant workers, and the implementation of Hajj pilgrimage.

"He (the president) particularly encourages the two countries Parliaments to establish cooperation in counter-terrorism and spread Islam, which is tolerant, peaceful, and rahmatan lil alamin (bringing blessing to the whole world)," he added.

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Indonesian Trade Posts $1.4 Billion Surplus
The Jakarta Post, 17/02/2017

Indonesian trade posted a US$1.4 billion surplus in January, a drastic surge from only $10 million in January 2016, the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) has said.

“This is the highest surplus since January 2014,” BPS head Suhariyanto said during a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday.

Indonesian exports reached $13.38 billion in January this year, an increase of 27.21 percent compared to the figure recorded in January 2016.

Non-oil and gas exports accounted for $12.11 billion, a 29.24 percent increase from the $9.37 billion recorded in January 2016.

Meanwhile, the value of oil and gas exports was $1.27 billion, an increase of 14.77 percent. Indonesian imports were $11.99 billion, a 14.54 percent increase. Non-oil and gas imports were $10.18 billion, a 10.12 percent increase.

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Accelerated Infrastructure Development Is Key To N. Sumatra`s Welfare: President Jokowi
Antara News, 17/02/2017

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) held a closed-door meeting at the Presidential Office, Thursday, to specifically discuss accelerated infrastructure development in North Sumatra, which is believed to be the key to boosting the provinces welfare.

"Todays meeting will focus on evaluating the progress of national strategic projects and priority programs in North Sumatra. I believe the key is to accelerate the development of infrastructure, such as ports, airports, and highways," he noted.

The president pointed out that geographically, North Sumatra holds a strategic position on the international shipping lane of the Malacca Strait in proximity to Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.

With this geographical position, the province has the potential to be developed as an international hub in order to drive the economy in other surrounding areas on Sumatra Island.

The construction of transportation infrastructure will not only facilitate connectivity between North Sumatras regions but also boost economic growth.

"I am certain that infrastructure improvement will have a positive impact on the accelerated development of the Sei Mangke special economic zone as well as other industrial areas that we are now preparing to serve as the engine of economic growth in Sumatra," Jokowi emphasized.

In addition, the president highlighted the importance of equitable development in North Sumatra, starting from its east coast to center and the west.

In particular, the province has the Toba Lake that must be developed optimally as a tourist destination with supporting infrastructure, including means of transportation, accommodations, such as hotels and restaurants, multiple tourist attractions, as well as strong, capable human resources and small and medium enterprises.

Some of the most important projects to be developed in North Sumatra are the Trans Sumatra toll road and railway, Kuala Tanjung International Airport, Belawan-Sei Mangkei gas pipeline construction, Kuala Tanjung and Sei Mangkei priority industrial zones, as well as a smelter in Kuala Tanjung.

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Government Disburses Rp 18.54b Trillion For Trans-Papua Highway
The Jakarta Post, 17/02/2017

The government has so far disbursed some 18.54 trillion (US$1.39 billion) for the construction of the trans-Papua highway, which is being funded by multi-year state budgets from 2015 to 2017, an official has said.

The government has so far disbursed some 18.54 trillion (US$1.39 billion) for the construction of the trans-Papua highway, which is being funded by multi-year state budgets from 2015 to 2017, an official has said.

Public Works and Housing Ministry’s Bina Marga (road agency) director general Arie Setiaji M said that  Rp 5.78 trillion would be disbursed this year.

“As much as Rp 4.06 trillion is being allocated to construct the road and bridges in Papua, while another Rp 1.71 trillion is [for projects] in West Papua,” Arie said as reported by kontan.co on Wednesday.

The total length of the trans-Papua highway is 3,259 kilometers, consisting of 10 road sections, Arie said, adding that the government had so far developed 2,789 kilometers.

He added that 1,570 kilometers of the road had been laid with asphalt.

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PLN Ready To Build 21 Power Plants In Timika
Antara News, 17/02/2017

The Timika office of state-owned electricity company PLN will build 21 power plants in the districts of Mimika and Yahukimo in 2017.

"This year, we will build 21 power plants in the sub-districts of the two districts, which have not yet been covered by electricity networks, one of which is Agimuga in Mimika," PLN Area Manager for Timika Salmon Karet stated here on Thursday.

PLN will also build power plants in the sub-districts of Mimika, such as Kokona, Far-West Mimika, Atuka, and Middle East Mimika. The plan to build 21 power plants in 2017 is part of the efforts to realize the vision and mission of PLN through the Maluku and Papua Bright Program.

"We have planned that by 2019, PLNs network will supply electricity to all sub-districts," Karet added.

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Indonesia-US Launches Marine Conservation Program
Tempo, 17/02/2017

Indonesia and the United States today launched the sustainable marine and fisheries conservation program in Indonesia.

Nilanto Perbowo, director general of product competitiveness improvement at the Ministry of Marine and Fisheries, said that the US$ 40 million (Rp533 billion) USAID program will support Indonesia's efforts in managing sustainable fisheries and marine biodiversity conservation.

The program is also expected to help Indonesia combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.

"The program will help us in answering important challenges in managing marine and fisheries resources, as well as improving the welfare of locals living on the coasts of three provinces that the program is focused on," Nilanto said on Thursday, February 16, 2017.

The cooperation agreement was signed by US Ambassador to Indonesia Joseph Donovan, the USAID's mission director Erin McKee, and Nilanto Perbowo—representing Indonesia's Minister of Marine and Fisheries who are currently abroad.

Ambassador Donovan said that Indonesia and the US have a strong partnership in the maritime sector, including through a new program aimed at protecting the vital marine biodiversity, as well as promoting of sustainable usage that will secure food resources and public livelihood in Indonesia.

"Through the USAID, we plan to enhance the management of six million hectares of marine habitat and fisheries that are in crisis, as well as develop and support 15 marine conservation areas," Mr. Donovan said.

He added that the partnership also seeks to improve fisheries productivity, food and nutrition security, and sustainable livelihood at 13 regencies in Maluku, North Maluku, and West Papua.

Nilanto said the program consists of five projects: the Sustainable Ecosystems Advanced (SEA); the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Supporting Nature and People Partnership for Enduring Resources (SNAPPER), Interpol; and the USAID Oceans and Fisheries Partnership (USAID Oceans).

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NTT Should Increase Agriculture, Fisheries Productivity: President
The Jakarta Post, 17/02/2017

President Joko Widodo has stressed the importance for East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) to increase its agriculture and fisheries production to improve the welfare of its people.

"If we take production into consideration, about 30 percent of NTTs Regional Gross Domestic Product comes from the agriculture and fisheries sectors, which means that an increase in the sectors productivity is a key to its peoples welfare," the president said, at a closed meeting on the evaluation of national strategic projects and priority programs for NTT, here on Thursday.

The president said that the NTT economic growth from 2014 to 2016 has surpassed the national growth and has reached 5.18 percent in 2016.

"There is a trend for NTT to catch up with the development in other regions. But this is not enough; we need to work harder to alleviate poverty, reduce inequality, and open more job opportunities," Jokowi stated.

Jokowi has asked the local government to prioritize the development of infrastructures in agriculture and fisheries sector, such as dams, water reservoirs, ports and irrigation systems.

"Secondly, NTT has become Indonesias verandah which borders it with neighboring countries. In addition to renovation of the border check point, I want to see the development of border areas, including transportation infrastructure and others, to drive local economy," he noted.

The head of state inaugurated the Mountain border check point in the province on Dec 27 last year.

"NTT also needs to develop its rich potential of tourism sector such as in Labuan Bajo, Komodo Island, Kalimutu Lake, and others. To support the tourism sector, we need to speed up the development of infrastructures such as transportation, airports, roads, bridges, and ports. In addition, we need promotion and qualified human resources," he noted.

Development in the tourism sector would bring positive impact to the small and medium-scale enterprises in the region. Presidential Decree 3/2016 on acceleration of national strategic project includes 10 strategic projects in NTT

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Dutch Minister Opens New Training Center In Jakarta
The Jakarta Post, 17/02/2017

Jet Bussemaker, the Dutch education, culture and science minister, officiated the opening of the Erasmus Training Center in Jakarta on Monday evening. The center aims to support student mobility and serve as a platform for training Indonesian professionals.

The center is an initiative from four universities -- Leiden, Stenden, VU Amsterdam, and Groningen – along with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Jakarta and Nuffic Neso Indonesia -- a non-profit organization funded by the ministry.

The center will support Indonesian students and academics who wish to access Dutch higher education by offering courses in English and Dutch and teaching academic skills. For Dutch nationals and other international arrivals in Jakarta, the center will offer courses in Indonesian.

“I hope the new Erasmus Training Center can act as an enabler for more people-to-people contact between Indonesia and the Netherlands and for the further internationalization of both Indonesian and Dutch education,” she said.

The Center will also serve as a platform for Dutch universities to offer training programs in Jakarta and beyond for Indonesian professionals and the organizations they work for.

"This [the center] is a place where they can master the Dutch language and obtain an accurate impression of the country that awaits them. The Erasmus Training Center is truly a ‘gateway to Holland’," said Bussemaker.

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Bali Adjudged Best Island For 12th Successive Year
Antara News, 17/02/2017

The DestinAsian Readers Choice Award (RCA) 2017 was bestowed on Bali for being named the best island destination for the 12th consecutive year.

"We laud the award given in Singapore on February 15, 2017," Deputy for International Marketing Development of the Ministry of Tourism I Gde Pitana stated here on Thursday.

The Indonesian Ministry of Tourism was invited to receive the award. DestinAsian had implemented an open voting system for over 12 years and has bestowed awards based on the readers choice.

The voters highlighted areas, such as staff hospitality, quality of service, convenience of location, facilities, and culinary attractions. The poll was conducted in August and October 2016, featuring 31 different categories, including hotels and resorts, serviced residences, spas, airlines, airports, and destinations. DestinAsian Publisher Ronald Liem said there were some changes made in DestinAsian RCA this year in an attempt to offer greater freedom and competitive value.

"In addition to including several new categories, the DestinAsian has expanded in areas, such as special awards for the industry in some countries, and the assessment is no longer only given to the first and second winners but also to those on the top 10 list," he revealed.

Bali had earlier been selected as one of the worlds best islands by the US Travel+Leisure Magazine at the end of 2015.

Based on the New York-based Travel+Leisure Magazine, the ratings of the worlds best islands are the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, with a score of 90.82; Bali in Indonesia, 88.98; the Maldives, 88.53; Tasmania in Australia, 88.32; Santorini in Greece, 87.93; Moorea in French Polynesia, 87.9; Maui in Hawaii, 87.89; Kauai in Hawaii, 87.88; the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, 87.31; and Malta, 86.9.

Head of the Bali Provincial Tourism Office A.A. Yuniartha Gede Putra stated that the foreign tourist arrivals in Bali are expected to reach 5.5 million in 2017. Putra remarked that foreign tourists in Bali mainly came from 10 countries: Australia, China, Japan, the Great Britain, France, India, Malaysia, the US, Germany, and South Korea.

"Given the uniqueness of Balinese art and culture, it attracts tourists from various countries around the world," Putra noted.

Putra said he had promoted the region in various countries to attract more travelers to Bali. The Ministry of Tourism has also undertaken similar efforts.

Besides this, steps were taken to boost cultural tourism, as Bali has its own regional identity. He urged everyone to ensure that the local tourism department functions smoothly, so that tourists in Bali feel safe and comfortable, as they enjoy their holidays.

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