Update News March 01, 2017

In The News

Gov't Boost Trade with France 
Tempo, 01/03/2017

Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi met with French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in Jakarta on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, to discuss endeavors strengthening economic ties between Indonesia and France.

"I just had a bilateral meeting with French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. We talked about efforts to boost economic cooperation between Indonesia and France. As we know, France is one of Indonesia's important partners in the economic sector at the European Union," said Minister Retno.

During the bilateral meeting, both countries discussed topics around economic cooperation, particularly those related to investment, trade, creative economy, access to Indonesia’s oil palm products, and Indonesia's FLEGT timber license.

According to Retno, France is one of the European countries that support the FLEGT licenses for Indonesia's timber to enter the EU market.

"Indonesian timber is the first to enter the European Union market. We also talked about how to develop a similar license for Indonesian oil palm," Retno added.

Both ministers also discussed ways to accelerate the finalization of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Indonesia and the EU.

The Indonesia-France trade value in 2016 reached US$2.34 billion, and the investment value realized by France in Indonesia in the period of 2010-2015 reached US$730.08 million. In 2016, France invested US$109 million for 424 projects in Indonesia.

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Indonesia to Woo Saudi King With $25b Investment Opportunities
The Jakarta Globe, 01/03/2017

Indonesia will dangle $25 billion worth of investment opportunities, mainly in infrastructure projects, to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud when he visits Jakarta and Bali this week as the country seeks to increase ties with Saudi Arabia.

King Salman is visiting Indonesia as part of an Asian tour to promote investments. Indonesia and Saudi Arabia have been exploring more projects to improve airports, toll roads and sea ports in the archipelago, State Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno said. "We've prepared some potential projects from SOEs for co-operation with the Saudis," Rini said.

The Indonesian government has confirmed so far that King Salman will see the signing of a $6 billion investment by Saudi Arabia's national oil company Aramco in a refinery complex in Cilacap, Central Java, and several other contracts worth a total of $1 billion, the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution said on Monday (27/02).

Darmin said Saudi Arabia eventually could be interested in investments worth a total of Rp 334 trillion ($25 billion) in Indonesia, including projects in oil refineries and petrochemical facilities.

Saudi Arabia only invested $900,000 in Indonesia last year, putting it at 57th place on Indonesia's foreign direct investment (FDI) sources list, below Mali and South Afrika. Saudi investment between 2010 to 2015 totaled only $34 million, or 0.02 percent of total FDI in the period.

Cabinet Secretary Pramono Agung said earlier King Salman will also discuss other co-operations in arts and culture, in health — including exchanging medical professionals during hajj and umroh pilgrimages, in religious affairs to promote a modern Islam through exchange of scholars, in tourism to increase the number of flights from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia, and in security to combat cross-border crime.

King Salman and his 1,500-men entourage will visit Jakarta and Bogor, West Java, from Wednesday before going to Bali on Saturday for a five-day holiday.

The monarch's Asia tour also includes visits to Japan, China and Malaysia to promote Aramco's $100 billion initial public offering to Asian investors. The last time a Saudi King visited Indonesia was in 1970.

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Jokowi to Release Perppu on AEOI
Tempo, 01/03/2017

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo confirmed that a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) on taxpayer’s financial information transparency will be released soon. The new bill is aimed at preventing taxpayers hiding their assets in Indonesia and overseas.

"This is to welcome the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI). The regulation will be issued in July 2017," President Jokowi said during the dissemination of the tax amnesty policy in Jakarta on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

The government drafted the regulation on financial information transparency in order to acquire access to information on Indonesian bank accounts overseas.

In addition, the regulation is one of the requirements to join with 100 countries to ratify the AEOI policy that will be implemented in 2017-2018.

President Jokowi explained that his decision to issue a legal base in the form of Perppu was due to time sensitiveness. According to President Jokowi, if the legal base was to be enacted in the form of law, it must be finalized in July 2017.

With the issuance of the Perppu, articles related to taxpayers confidentiality set forth in several laws will no longer apply. Among the laws are the law on sharia banking, the law on the capital market, and the law on general provisions of taxation.

President Jokowi refused to provide details about the Perppu. However, President Jokowi asserted that the Perppu was initiated to meet the requirements of information transparency law and to express the country’s commitment to addressing tax evasion issues.

"If we don't issue the Perppu, we will be excommunicated by other countries. They will view Indonesia as a country without credibility. I want the world to trust Indonesia," Jokowi asserted.

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Trade Ministry Prepares Strategy To Raise Non-Oil/Non-Gas Exports
Antara News, 01/03/2017

The Indonesian Trade Ministry is preparing a strategy to increase non-oil/non-gas exports by 5.63 percent this year by encouraging the export of South Sulawesi provinces key commodities, among others.

The strategy includes encouraging synergy among the central government, regional administrations, Indonesian missions abroad and businessmen in South Sulawesi, Director General of National Export Development at the Trade Ministry Arlinda said in a press statement released on Tuesday.

"The Trade Ministry will synergize the supply of key commodities from South Sulawesi and the demand for the commodities in the global market," she said.

The measure is expected to help the country achieve the target of non-oil/non-gas exports for this year at US$138.7 billion, a 5.63 percent increase compared to those of last year, she said.

The Directorate General of National Export Development held a meeting with the South Sulawesi provincial government, with the theme "Forum for the Development of Global Market for South Sulawesis Key Commodities".South Sulawesi is one of the Indonesian provinces which have the great potentials to develop exports.

In 2015, South Sulawesis exports accounted for 1.07 percent of the countrys non-oil/non-gas exports, putting it in the 16th place among the countrys 33 provinces.

However, the provinces exports last year fell, along with declining global commodity prices. After all, the province still saw a surplus of US$424 million in its foreign trade last year.

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France Launches Energy Group In Indonesia
Antara News, 01/03/2017

France launched the French Renewable Energy Group (FREG) here on Tuesday, as a forum for French companies interested to be a part of the renewable energy sector (EBT) in Indonesia.

During the launching ceremony, a memorandum of cooperation was also signed between Indonesia Renewable Energy Community (METI) and FREG.

METI has become FREGs local partner to assist the French companies in identifying and developing renewable energy projects in Indonesia.

In his speech, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignatius Jonan said Indonesia was committed to have 23 percent of renewable energy in the national energy mix of electricity as soon as possible, or at least by 2025.

Meanwhile, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault stated that FREG was aimed at gathering French energy companies, which are in Indonesia at present and those interested to enter the country, to cooperate with the Indonesian partners.

He explained that the mobilization of all stakeholders, both public and private, is needed for achieving 23 percent renewable energy in the energy mix of electricity.

It requires a regulatory framework and proper finance, and companies should develop innovative solutions which are tailored to the realities in each country, Ayrault added.  will be an extension of the French Syndicate of Renewable Energy, which is the largest organization in France.

FREG is expected to improve the relationship between Indonesia and French business companies in renewable energy sector and encourage the participation of French companies in renewable energy projects in Indonesia.

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Mimika Regent Wants Freeport To Construct Smelter In Regency
The Jakarta Post, 01/03/2017

Mimika Regent Eltinus Omaleng has urged PT Freeport Indonesia to develop a smelter in the Papuan regency rather than constructing the facility outside of Papua.

“The President and Pak Luhut had given their support to our wish for the smelter to be in Timika,” said Eltinus, referring to President Joko“Jokowi” Widodo and Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan as reported by tempo.co on Tuesday.
Previously, there was plans to develop the smelter outside of Papua because of power shortages in the province.

Speaking to the press after meeting with Luhut in the latter’s office, Eltinus said his administration had prepared 300 hectare plots of land in Timika, the capital of Mimika regency, to show to Freeport the area was suitable for the smelter’s location.

Eltinus said the construction of the smelter would create employment for Papuan people, many of whom had finished their university studies and needed jobs.“We have to create jobs in various ways,” said Eltinus, adding that Freeport needed to do more to help the Papuan people.

On Jan. 11, Jokowi signed Government Regulation No. 1/2017, the fourth amendment to a previous 2010 regulation on the implementation of mineral and coal mining businesses.

Under the regulation, mining companies have to construct smelters as a precondition for them to be allowed to export mineral concentrates out of the country.

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Indonesia And France Sign Agreement on Space Program
Tempo, 01/03/2017

Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi, held a bilateral meeting with the French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean Marc Ayrault at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

"I just held a bilateral meeting with France's Foreign Affairs Minister Jean Marc Ayrault. He also held a courtesy visit to President Jokowi this morning," Says Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

Both foreign affairs ministries also discussed the preparation of a state visit by French President Francois Hollande to Indonesia in the near future.Both countries also signed a renewed MoU on the topic of education and diplomatic training between Indonesia and France.

There was also an outer space activity partnership MoU that was signed by the Chairman of the Centre national d'etudes spatiales (CNES) and Chairman of the Indonesian National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN)."Our partnership in diplomatic and space activities will add weight to an already great relationship," Foreign Minister Retno said.

One of the main topic discussed during the meeting was the economic partnership, especially in the sector of investments, trade, creative economics, the access to Indonesia’s palm oil products, and Indonesia’s FLEG-T licensed lumber products. They also discussed the construction of Infrastructure Development of Space Oceanography (INDESO).

"We also discussed our attempts in accelerating the completion of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Indonesia and the European Union," Retno stated.

The value of Indonesia-France bilateral trade in 2016 has reached US$ 2.34 billion. Meanwhile, France's total investment realization throughout the period of 2010 – 2015 reached US$ 730.08 million.

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Maninjau Conservation Area: A Home for Wildlife
Tempo, 01/03/2017

The Conservation Agency (BKSDA) of Resor Agam, West Sumatra, said that Maninjau Conservation Area is a habitat for wildlife such as Sumatran tigers and sun bears.

“It’s indicated by footsteps and animal sounds during our monitoring activity in the location,” said BKSDA Agam director Syahrial Tanjung.

He added that wildlife can also be found in Mount Singgalang and Palupuh Forest. However, he could not specify the exact population.

Syahrial has urged locals not to disrupt the habitat by destroying the forest and capturing the animals. He reasoned that habitat disruption would force wildlife to enter human settlement for food.

“It’s what has happened in Cubadak Lilin, Nagari Baringin, Palembayan Sub-district, during which three bulls were eaten by tigers,” he said.

Aside from wildlife, the site also houses endangered animals such as clouded leopards, hedgehogs, armadillos, hornbills, the great argus, eagles, Asian golden cats, Asian leopard cats, siamangs, deer, roe deer and mouse deer.

He also expects locals who caught endangered animals to hand them over to the BKSDA.

Those who kept and trade endangered animals may be charged under article 21 of Law No.5/1990 on Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation, which carries a penalty of 5 years in jail.

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Indonesia, Saudi Arabia To Sign 10 Mous
The Jakarta Post, 01/03/2017

President Joko Widodo and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud will sign 10 memorandums of understanding (MoU) during bilateral meeting at the Bogor Palace, Saudi Ambassador to Indonesia Osama bin Mohammed Abdullah Al Shuaibi stated.

Ten agreements on cooperation in various sectors including security, health, education, culture, investment, small medium enterprises, agriculture, fisheries, civil aviation operations, as well as Islamic affairs will be signed.

"The cooperation agreements are expected to strengthen bilateral relations between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia," Osama remarked.

Although the ambassador did not mention the total number of investments, he believed that King Salmans visit would be a historic moment for Indonesia, because there has been no such trip for the past 47 years.

Boarding four Boeing B747-400 and 200, two Boeing B777, and two C-130 Hercules aircraft, the king and his entourage of about 1.5 thousand people, including 10 ministers and 25 princes, will arrive in Jakarta on March 1 for a state visit and vacation in Indonesia.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla earlier said Indonesia was ready to offer the king a number of opportunities to invest in the countrys non-oil and gas sector.

"The move will be in line with the Saudi governments vision for 2030, which envisages increasing international non-oil and gas investment," he stated at the Vice Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Friday.

He pointed out that the Indonesian government is prepared to make some interesting offers that Saudi Arabia can explore, as they wish to invest in a number of sectors, including banking and tourism.

"Most of their investments are made in the western countries and some in neighboring areas, including Africa. Indonesia, as a big country itself, would surely wish to intensify such cooperation," he underlined.

Kalla noted that the partnership between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia focuses more on religious, education, and social affairs."Economic partnership is not as big a part in the ties," he remarked.

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Indonesia Seen As Good Example For Pluralism
The Jakarta Post, 01/03/2017

Indonesia is expected to be a perfect example of a democratic country which has religious pluralism following the visit of Saudi Arabias King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud to Indonesia on March 1 to 9, an official has said.

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Arrmanatha Nasir said here during a press briefing on Tuesday that Indonesia as the country with the most Muslim population has a very plural society that live side by side in harmony."This will be seen an example for many countries, including Saudi Arabia, on how the society live side by side in the country," Nasir said.

King Salman is scheduled to have a state visit in Jakarta and Bogor on March 1-3. The King and his 1,500-strong entourage, including 10 ministers and 25 princes, will have a six-day vacation in Bali.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo and King Salman will sign 10 memoranda of understandings (MoU) during a bilateral meeting held in the Bogor Palace on Wednesday (March 1).

The ten cooperation agreements will include those of culture, health, bilateral mechanism improvement, Islamic affairs, science and education, marine and fishery, transnational crime eradication, air service, small and medium enterprises, as well as trade and investment.

The King Salmans visit will be a historical as it has been 47 years since the last visit of a Saudi Arabian king to Indonesia.
King Salman is also scheduled to visit the House of Representatives/Peoples Consultative Assembly (DPR/MPR) Building and perform prayers at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta on Thursday.

The government will also facilitate the Saudi Arabian King to meet several representatives of Islamic organizations and leaders of other religions.

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