Update News November 21, 2017





In The News





Chinese, Singaporean Businesses to Invest in Lake Toba
TEMPO.CO 21 November 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian government needs Rp11 trillion private investment to develop Lake Toba tourism in North Sumatra. Chinese and Singaporean investors have expressed their interest to develop supporting facilities in the tourist attraction.

Lake Toba Tourism Authority official Faisal said that 40 investors are eyeing Lake Toba tourism, 27 of whom hail from China and Singapore.

“The most serious ones are Chinese [investors]. They want to build resorts, cable cars and railway encircling Lake Toba,” he said yesterday in North Sumatra.

Faisal said that the Lake Toba Tourism authorities estimated that Rp21 trillion will be needed until 2019 to develop the area.

The government is only expected to raise Rp10 trillion, whereas the remaining Rp11 trillion will be generated by private firms.

The government will build basic infrastructure, such as roads, port revitalization, etc. Private firms are expected to help provide hotels, restaurants and cable cars.

“The target is 1 million foreign tourist arrivals by 2019. Next year’s [target] is 500,000 and the current number stands at 197,000 foreign tourist arrivals. We are hopeful that it will reach 300,000 foreign tourists by the end of the year,” Faisal said.

He said that investors may build resorts in Sibisa and also Taman Bunga through a 30-year scheme with an 80-year extension. The Tourism Ministry will provide a one-door integrated business registration service in a bid to turn Lake Toba into a single destination with a single management.

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Angkasa Pura II Launches Mobile Application for Check-In
Jakarta Globe, 21 November 2017

Jakarta. Airport operator Angkasa Pura II, or AP II, and flag carrier Garuda Indonesia have launched a mobile application for Android users to ease the check-in process, officials said in a statement on Monday (20/11).

The "Indonesia Airports" application supporting the Smart Airport program will allow passengers to cut the time of checking in, AP II said.

The application is also expected to improve on-time performance of airports and airlines. Passengers no longer need to print boarding passes if they check in with the application.

"Checking in with the Indonesia Airports application is available from Nov. 19," AP II chief executive Muhammad Awaluddin said in the statement.

The application can be downloaded from Google Play and soon will be available at Apple Store as well.

"By early 2018, majority of airlines will provide their passengers with the mobile check-in service," Muhammad said.

The state-owned company operates Soekarno-Hatta and Halim Perdanakusuma airports in Jakarta, Kualanamu Airport in Medan (North Sumatra), Supadio Airport in Pontianak (West Kalimantan), Minangkabau Airport in Padang (West Sumatra), Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport in Palembang (South Sumatra), Sultan Syarif Kasim II Airport in Pekanbaru (Riau), Husein Sastranegara Airport in Bandung (West Java), Sultan Iskandarmuda Airport in Banda Aceh (Aceh), Raja Haji Fisabilillah Airport in Tanjungpinang (Riau Islands), Sultan Thaha Airport in Jambi, Depati Amir Airport in Pangkal Pinang (Bangka-Belitung), and Silangit Aiport in Tapanuli Utara (North Sumatra).

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REI Wants Japanese Support in Township and Low-Cost Housing Development
The Jakarta Globe 20 November 2017

Jakarta. Real Estate Indonesia, a property industry group known as REI, has invited Japanese property developers to take part in township and low-cost housing projects across the country, following Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's commitment to increase investment in Indonesia, an executive said on Sunday (19/11).

REI vice chairman for international affairs Rusmin Lawin said that while Japanese developers have already participated in massive projects such as Tokyu Land Group and Aeon Mall in BSD City and are used to working with big Indonesian companies, they have been overlooking smaller-scale local developers.

"We encourage Japan to be involved in developing low-cost housing and smart cities," Rusmin said in an email interview.

Rusmin's comment came after representatives from REI went to Japan on Nov. 9-16 to have an audience with the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism, the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN), as well as the Japan Federation of Housing Organizations.

During the visit, Rusmin and other Indonesian envoys met with Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Keiichi Ishii to discuss housing programs, smart cities and eco-housing projects.

He also introduced Indonesia's 10 new tourism destinations, which are promoted by the government to attract more international visitors.

"We don't have figures and details on the projects yet, but the [Japanese] ministry agreed to increase investment into Indonesia's real estate sector, in line with a bilateral commitment made on the sidelines of the Asean Summit last week," Rusmin said.

Rusmin referred to a meeting between President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Abe in the Philippines earlier this month.

Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) chairman Thomas Lembong said at the beginning of this year that Japanese investors are starting to put their money into real estate and property projects.

According to JOIN, Japanese developers have so far invested in cold storage facilities in Jakarta and in mixed-use projects in BSD City and East Jakarta.

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Jakarta Expects Dubai Investment
TEMPO.CO 21 November 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Jakarta Deputy Governor Sandiaga Uno believes that the target Rp1,000 trillion investment can be achieved in the next five years. He is confident of it after attending a global investment forum in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates on Thursday. “The multiplier effect will be huge. So, we have to turn away from the low-wage economy,” Sandiaga said yesterday in West Jakarta.

Jakarta administration is hoping to attract investment in the tourism sector. Therefore, Sandiaga said he is aiming for more relaxed permit applications. He expects that it would attract investors and raise the investment target to Rp100 trillion in 2018.

Sandiaga said he will continue to increase foreign direct investments since Indonesia’s economy remain lagging compared to others. He is worried that without inflow of FDI, thousands of youngsters will face the prospect of unemployment.

Aside from the tourism sector, Sandiaga said that Dubai investors are also wishing to invest in the tough retail market. The Deputy Governor also expects investors to enter the transportation sector and help build transit oriented development.

Sandiaga Uno has also called on local administration-owned enterprises (BUMD) to make use of investment funds. Even more so as the administration plans to stop capital participation for BUMDs and told them to find their own funding sources.

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Sandiaga Uno: Istanbul Grand Bazaar Model for Tanah Abang Revamp
TEMPO.CO 21 November 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Deputy Governor of Jakarta Sandiaga Uno stated that he will attempt to revamp the infamous Tanah Abang market district to resemble Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. 

“I see a similarity [between Tanah Abang and Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar]. Tanah Abang has the potential to become ASEAN’s trading center based on the number of merchants and its commercial activities,” said Sandiaga on Monday, November 20.

According to Sandiaga, the number of daily visitors of Tanah Abang reaches 300,000 people, who are not only shoppers but also train passengers that pass Tanah Abang.

Meanwhile, the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul can attract up to 400,000 visitors daily. This seems to be the resemblance that motivates Sandiaga Uno to revamp Tanah Abang.

The Grand Bazaar is the largest and oldest market in the world which was first opened in 1455, shortly after the Ottoman conquered Constantinople. There are at least 60 halls that accommodate more than 5,000 booths and stalls. 

Over the years, this world-renowned market has also become the main attraction for global tourists which include Indonesian tourists to spend their money. 

The Deputy Governor explained that he has discussed his plan with Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan. Sandiaga Uno also explained that the plan could possibly be approved in the next few days and disseminated to the vendors in the Tanah Abang.

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Riau Islands hosts 'Memuliakan Tamadun Melayu Antarbangsa'
The Jakarta Post, 21 November 2017

Vice President Jusuf Kalla visited Lingga Regency, Riau Islands on Nov. 19 to attend the opening of 'Memuliakan Tamadun Melayu Antarbangsa' event.

The event aims to bring together the Malay people who live in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam and other countries. The festivity is slated to run until Nov. 26.

In his speech, Jusuf Kalla said that the Malay culture has a great influence in Indonesia. The Vice President was also awarded the title of Sri Perdana Mahkota Negara by Malay Custom Institution (LAM).

Moreover, the occasion also marks the 14th anniversary of Lingga. 

In the year of 1878 until 1900, Daik Lingga was the central government of Lingga Sultanate that greatly influenced the Malay culture in the regency.

The event features several activities such as Tamadun Malay cultural parade, art performances, Malay traditional games, museum exhibition, culinary exhibition, poem recitation, medium-sized businesses (UKM) and tourism exhibition and Tamadun Malay Culture talk show.

Mount Daik Festival was also held as part of the festivities, where 150 international tourists will go a trip to Mount Daik, nature conservational facility within the Lingga regency.

Apart from the strong Malay culture, Lingga is also known for its marine tourism. The regency has 604 islands and plenty of beaches namely Benan Beach, Dungun Beach, Benaah Beach, Berhala Beach and Dayung Beach. (asw)

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Indonesia to Issue New Regulation to Protect Tuna From Overfishing
Jakarta Globe, 20 November 2017

Jakarta. The Indonesian government is planning to issue a new regulation to protect tuna from the dangers of overfishing, a senior official from the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry said on Monday (20/11).

Rifky Effendi Hardijanto, the secretary general of the ministry, said globally tuna population is continuing to decline.

According to a recent assessment from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Pacific Bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) faces a real danger of becoming extinct.

The IUCN has already declared the Atlantic Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) as endangered in 2011 and the Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) as nearly threatened.

"We need a new regulation on tuna fishing in Indonesia, desperately. Tuna has been overfished for too long," Rifky said in Jakarta.

He said tuna fishing should boost the welfare of fishermen, not threaten it.

"Fish is one our greatest natural resources. Fishing should be controlled so its positive impact can remain sustainable," Rifky said.

In 2016, Indonesia was ninth in the list of major tuna exporters in the world. It was ranked sixth in the previous year.

The number one tuna exporter in the world is Papua New Guinea. The country exported 872,744 tons of tuna last year, according to data from the Indonesian Tuna Association (Astuin).

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Indonesia Builds New Hospital in Rakhine State
Jakarta Globe, 20 November 2017

Jakarta. Indonesia on Sunday (19/11) began construction on a new hospital in Myaung Bwe in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi was scheduled to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the hospital, but had to cancel her trip due to security reasons.

"The Myanmar government was unable to provide optimum security on the occasion of an official visit by a minister at this time due to most of Myanmar’s security forces being deployed to secure the ASEM Summit in Naypyidaw," the statement said.

The hospital is part of Indonesia’s humanitarian assistance and inclusive development support for Myanmar.

In 2014, the Indonesian government spent $1 million to build four schools in the area. Last December, Indonesia delivered 10 freight containers filled with basic amenities for displaced people in the region.

"The hospital will provide health services for communities in Myaung Bwe under the principle of inclusivity, and will not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, religion or background," the statement also said.

The hospital will cost around $1.8 million to build. The money comes from a partnership between the Indonesian government and public donations, including from the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) and the private sector.

The Ministry said the hospital will be built using locally-sourced materials and will employ local workers "as a concrete support from Indonesia to increase economic opportunities of the local communities and foster a sense of ownership toward the hospital."

The new hospital is set to be completed by mid-2018.

Indonesia was the first country allowed to enter Rakhine State to deliver humanitarian aid after a violent clash between the Rohingya minority and the Myanmar military on Aug. 25 that forced around 600,000 Rohingyas to cross the border with Bangladesh to seek refuge.

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