Update News July 14, 2017

Today News, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said an assessment of three provinces to determine which deserves to become the state capital of Indonesia is ongoing.

From Tourism and Aviation Sector, Nihi Sumba Island (formerly Nihiwatu) resort in West Sumba regency, East Nusa Tenggara, was named the 2017 World’s Best Hotel by Travel+Leisure magazine readers. Announced on Tuesday, the luxury property has won the award for two consecutive years.

In The News



Jokowi: Three Provinces Being Assessed to Become State Capital

Tempo.co 14 July 2017

TEMPO.CO, Balikpapan - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said an assessment of three provinces to determine which deserves to become the state capital of Indonesia is ongoing.

"Three provinces are included in the assessment process, but I do not want to mention them because they are still being studied by the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas)," President Jokowi remarked on Thursday, July 13. 

The discourse of relocating the Indonesian state capital of Jakarta could be an option for equitable development outside Java Island.

As the world's most populous island, with more than 60 percent of Indonesia's population living there, Java has been the most developed of all islands across the country.

Although Java is the fourth-largest island in Indonesia, it accommodates more than half of the nation's population and dominates it politically and economically.

Although the president chose to not name the three provinces, Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said  early this month that the provinces of Central Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, and South Kalimantan are being evaluated to become the new state capital.

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Indonesia offers railway track, seaport projects to S Korean investors

ANTARA News, July 13, 2017

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia has offered the construction projects of railway tracks and seaports to South Korean investors at the 8th meeting of the ASEAN-ROK Transport Cooperation Forum held in Seoul from July 12 to 14.

Secretary General of the Indonesian Transportation Ministry Sugihardjo said in a press statement released on Thursday that Indonesia had offered the projects during the business meeting with several Korean companies interested in investing in Indonesia.

In his opening address to the meeting, the Korean deputy minister of land, infrastructure and transportation stressed the commitment of his government to help ASEAN countries, particularly in the transportation sector.

The theme of the forum is "Building a Better ASEAN Transport System for the Era of the 4th Industrial Revolution."

At the forum, a Korean academic spoke of the technological development in the transportation field, while representatives of ASEAN member countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, shared the best practices in their respective country.

As the chief of the Indonesian delegation to the meeting, Sugihardjo spoke of technology development to support connectivity growth in Indonesia.

He also revealed a list of potential projects that the country could offer to foreign investors as a result of cooperation between the government and corporate bodies.

" We need to develop mass rapid transport system based on Intelligent Transport System, such as in Jabodetabek (Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi)," he explained.

The Korean government, through the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation, is committed to help ASEAN member states, especially in the transportation sector. 

The assistance is realized through several programs, namely Logistics Policy and Operation Course; Railway Policy and Safety Course; Urban Transport and Land Expropriation and Compensation, offered to ASEAN member states. (*

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President Joko Widodo visits Sumba Island

The Jakarta Post,  13 July 2017

President Joko Widodo and first lady Iriana traveled to Southwest Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) on July 12 to attend Tenun Ikat Sumba Festival and 1001 Sandalwood Horses Parade.

The festival, dedicated to woven fabric (tenun ikat) is slated to run from July 12 to 15 while the 1001 Sandalwood Horses Parade ran from July 3 until 12.

During his speech at the event, the President made a comment on Sandalwood pony that symbolizes knighthood and is sometimes presented as dowry and nose-kissing tradition that the president himself encountered upon his arrival on the island, “It  [nose-kissing tradition] symbolizes the breath of life,” said Jokowi.

“Tenun Ikat Sumba Festival and 1001 Sandalwood Horses Parade are two real examples of how nature is providing us with local cultures that end up leading the tourism sector,” he added.

The president also hopes that the Sandalwood Horses Parade and Tenun Ikat Sumba Festival will be held continuously so the culture will be sustained and keep on attracting tourists even on low seasons. 

"The event has to be managed in a modern way, utilizing various social media as a promotion tool and inviting bloggers to Sumba to support the promotion. If necessary, we can involve local or international film directors who want to produce their films with the beautiful Sumba as the background. This way, NTT will be recognized abroad," the president said. 

After lunchtime, at 02:00 p.m., both President and the First Lady departed for Makassar, South Sulawesi via Tambolaka Airport. (asw)

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Despite infrastructure issues, Nihi Sumba Island named world’s best hotel

The Jakarta Post, 13 July 2017 

Nihi Sumba Island (formerly Nihiwatu) resort in West Sumba regency, East Nusa Tenggara, was named the 2017 World’s Best Hotel by Travel+Leisure magazine readers. Announced on Tuesday, the luxury property has won the award for two consecutive years.

In the annual reader survey, properties around the world were rated on their facilities, location, service, food and overall value.

During a press conference, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said that Nihi Sumba Island won the award likely because of its overall value as the property helped to develop the local community and environment through its eco-friendly concept.

“Nihi Sumba Island could be considered [an example of] sustainable tourism development,” Arief said.

West Sumba Development Planning Board (Bappeda) head Aloysius Seran expressed appreciation for the award, saying it helped to introduce travelers to West Sumba regency. He said that, previously, the island was frequently mistaken for Sumbawa.

However, Aloysius also addressed that the area needed to be developed, particularly in infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, clean water and electricity.

“[State-owned electricity firm] PLN only supplied electricity to Nihi Sumba Island at certain hours,” he said, noting that the luxury property relied on an electric generator.

Meanwhile, Nihi Sumba Island managing partner James McBride said he wanted to see more direct flights to Sumba Island.

“Currently, other than [travelers] coming from Singapore, travelers need to spend the night in Bali [before heading to Sumba Island],” he said. (kes)

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Japanese investor to build cocoa factory in Gorontalo

ANTARA News, 14 July 2017

Gorontalo (ANTARA News) - Japanese investor Tokyo Food and Kanimatsu Corporation is keen to build a cocoa processing factory in Boalemo District, Gorontalo Province, Vice Governor of Gorontalo Idris Rahim stated.

The Gorontalo provincial administration welcomes and supports the Japanese investors plans to process cocoa crops in the area, although the factory will be on a small scale, Rahim remarked here on Thursday.

"The supply of cocoa beans will not come solely from Boalemo District but also from several districts in Gorontalo, such as Pohuwato, Bone Bolango, and Gorontalo," he revealed.

Cocoa beans will also be sourced from South Bolaang Mongondow and East Bolaang Mongondow, North Sulawesi Province, and Central Sulawesi, he added.

He expressed hope that the factory would continue to develop in line with the increase in cocoa production in Gorontalo.

"We hope the factory built by the Japanese investor would improve economic growth and prosperity of the locals," the vice governor said.(*)

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Ministry expects LNG virtual pipelines to be built by 2018

ANTARA News, 13 July 2017

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources expects virtual pipelines for the distribution of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to be built by 2018.

Director General of Oil and Gas IGN Wiratmaja Puja stated here on Thursday that the government is awaiting the results of a study conducted by state-owned oil company Pertamina, National Gas Company PT Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN), and the state-owned electricity company PT PLN that will build the virtual pipelines. 

"We hope the project would be started next year," Puja said after opening the Indonesia Gas Summit and Exhibition 2017. 

The virtual pipeline scheme is a gas distribution system through LNG vessels connecting islands in the country.

Puja said several investors are interested in the construction that will cost a total of US$48 billion for infrastructure development and will be built by 2030.

The construction of virtual pipelines will be divided into four clusters in areas that have no gas infrastructure: Cluster I covering Papua and West Papua, with a gas demand of 427 million cubic feet per day (MMSCFD); Cluster II encompassing Maluku, North Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, and Southeast Sulawesi, with a gas demand reaching 290 MMSCFD; and Cluster III comprising West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, and South Sulawesi, with a gas requirement of 284 MMSCFD.

Meanwhile, Cluster IV covers Natuna Islands and West Kalimantan, with a gas demand of 50 MMSCFD.

Puja believes that the gas distribution system using virtual pipelines will make the supply chain more effective, so that the LNG gas prices become more efficient.(*)

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Semanggi Overpass Soft Launch Scheduled in Late July

Tempo.co 13 July 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Jakarta Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat has scheduled a soft launch for the new Semanggi overpass on July 29. Earlier on Thursday, July 13, 2017, the Jakarta administration tested the overpass to obtain a worthiness certificate (SLF) from the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry.

“During a limited meeting [at the Presidential Palace] yesterday, we notified about the soft launch for an open traffic in Late July that coincides with the Lebaran Betawi event,” Djarot said at the City Hall today, July 13.

The Semanggi overpass will be inaugurated by President Joko Widodo or Jokowi on August 17, 2017, that coincides the commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of the Independence Day.

During the soft launch, the Semanggi overpass will be opened until August 16, 2017. “The open traffic on July 29 will mark that the road can be used,” Djarot added.

During the grand launch, the Semanggi overpass will be temporarily closed to find out about the impact of the overpass on the traffic at Jalan Semanggi. Djarot predicted that the new elevated road would reduce traffic jams around Semanggi by 20-30 percent.

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Govt Fast-tracks Balikpapan - Samarinda Toll Construction

Tempo.co 13 July 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The government is accelerating the toll road construction from Balikpapan to Samarinda. The 99.35 kilometers toll in East Kalimantan is expected to shorten the travel distance between the two cities from three hours to just one hour.

Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said on Thursday, July 13, that the road will serve as an artery that will also support the Trans-Kalimantan corridor. 

The toll road construction is carried by PT Jasa Marga Balikpapan-Samarinda. The first section of the toll road is expected to be ready before the end of this year.

The entire project is jointly funded by the central and provincial government as well as a loan from the Chinese government.

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Foreign investors eyeing Lake Toba railroad development

The Jakarta Post, July 13, 2017

Chinese investors are reportedly eyeing a railroad development project connecting Medan with Lake Toba.

“They want to build the infrastructure and are ready to put up US$10 billion,” said Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan.

The railroad will connect Medan to Kualanamu and then Tebing Tinggi and Pematangsiantar. The line will end in the Lake Toba area.

Late last year, five potential investors from Russia visited North Sumatra to survey the railroad project.

With the availability of the railroad, travelers will only need to spend 3.5 hours to reach the famed tourist attraction, compared to traveling by private vehicle or public bus, which usually takes six hours. (kes)

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Korean Importers Association meet Indonesian counterparts

The Jakarta Post, July 13, 2017

The Korea Importers Association (KOIMA) on Thursday held a business-to-business (B2B) meeting with Indonesian traders at Sheraton Hotel Jakarta.

“The main purpose [of this meeting] is to buy some of your outstanding products, like oil palm, rubber [and] timber,” KOIMA chairman Myoung Jin-shin told reporters.

He added that it also aimed to secure more than $100,000 purchases of Indonesian goods, ranging from fruits, vegetables and spices, to palm oil and rubber.

 “We know Indonesia has a lot of natural resources, so we Korean traders now are looking for better products [...] Indonesian products are cheaper and of better quality, compared to buying from Europe or America. It is also faster,” he added.

During the meeting, KOIMA also invited Indonesian businesspeople to take part in South Korea’s 2018 Import Goods Fair scheduled for June 21-23 in Seoul next year.

Jin-shin said KOIMA comprises more than 8,500 importers that can help local traders penetrate his country, which has a population of 50.62 million people. The event allocates 220 booths to lease for US$2,500 per 9 square meters or $2,000 per 9 sqm without a booth.

All the events are part of efforts to materialize South Korea’s dream to hit $2 trillion in total two-way foreign trade by 2020.

The global economic slowdown has pushed total trade between Indonesia and South Korea into a negative trend for the past five years, dropping by 15.79 percent in average every year. It fell by 15 percent to $13.68 billion last year alone. (bbn)

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