Updates News October, 24, 2017

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Quality infrastructure development contributes to Myanmar's sustainable economic growth
Antara News 24 )ctober 2017

 

High-quality infrastructure will play an essential role in realizing economic growth and unlocking Myanmar's true potential. 

The important role of quality infrastructure development and Japan's indispensable role in Myanmar's sustainable development were the main theme of discussion at the "Dialogue for Quality Infrastructure -- Building Asia's Future," hosted by the Government of Japan. 

While the event was attended by about a hundred participants, active discussions were held on what kind of quality infrastructure is needed for Myanmar's sustainable development and how Japan can play an important role.

Councilor Kazuyuki Takimi at the Embassy of Japan in Myanmar stated in his opening remarks on behalf of the Government of Japan that "quality infrastructure is the principle for developing countries to develop appropriate infrastructure within limited resources." He also said, "We will continue to contribute to Myanmar's infrastructure development with Japan's wealth of experiences, technologies and know-how of quality infrastructure, like the past experiences in the projects of Baluchaung No.2 Hydropower Plant and Thilawa SEZ."

Representing the Government of Myanmar, Mr. Aung Naing Oo, Director General, Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, Ministry of Finance and Planning Myanmar, welcomed Japan's contribution to the country's development, adding: "We recognize that quality infrastructure development is important for encouraging foreign direct investment to Myanmar."

Following the opening remarks, Mr. Satoshi Takesada, Senior Manager of PwC Singapore, set the day's agenda with a presentation on "Important Points for Sustainable Economic Growth in Myanmar." Stressing the importance of a long-term perspective, Mr. Takesada highlighted the important role of quality infrastructure to encourage foreign direct investment which leads to sustainable economic growth in Myanmar. 

During the dialogue, Myanmarese and Japanese panelists also discussed the role of quality infrastructure in Myanmar's sustainable economic growth. 

Moderated by Mr. Yasuhiko Ota, Columnist of Nikkei, the discussion covered preferential infrastructure projects as a driver for economic development, the role of quality infrastructure in Myanmar's sustainable economic growth, and the importance of contribution by the Japanese public and private sectors to realize Myanmar's development plan.

Mr. Aung Naing Oo, Director General, Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, Ministry of Finance and Planning Myanmar, said that bringing foreign private investment in the country is essential not only to develop but also to maintain infrastructure. 

The Myanmar government is trying to support private companies to come into the market by making new laws and systems. Mr. Ken Tun, CEO, Parami Energy Group, emphasized from a local business aspect that although the initial cost of quality infrastructure may be high, the people in Myanmar should consider the benefits rather than the cost. He expressed the importance to think of what type of infrastructure would bring far more economic benefits.    

Mr. Mitsuo Ido, Chief Representative for Myanmar, Mitsubishi Corporation, said that the Thilawa SEZ was a good example to support foreign companies' investment in the country. 

The sustainability of resources for the place, such as clean water, electricity, transportation, etc., must be secured to run business safely and sustainably, which is important to decide our investment. 

Takeshi Nakano, Director, Trade Promotion Division, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, said in additional remarks to the discussion that FDI is a key driver for sustainable economic development and infrastructure which can attract foreign companies is essential. 

He said that Japanese quality infrastructure can provide many benefits to the country, including reliable operation, economic efficiency in view of life-cycle cost, safety, resilience against natural disaster, job creation, capacity building, and transfer of expertise for local communities. 

He also stressed that from early planning stages it was very important to take into consideration life-cycle cost and ease of maintenance in the context of long-term operation. 

He noted that the key to success is expansion of employment through private-sector investment and human resource development and that Japan will promote responsible investment that improves the standard of living for the Myanmar people by working together with the government of Myanmar and the private sector from both countries. 

As summed up by the moderator, participants agreed and concluded that "reliable and stable infrastructure development which would encourage foreign direct investments, and quality infrastructure development from a long-term perspective, is the key to its future, and partnership with Japan could be indispensable to the country."

Following the panel discussion, Mr. Nobuhisa Kobayashi, Executive Officer, Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. expressed an opportunity to install LNG infrastructure, and showed the company's intention to contribute to Myanmar's development with its abundant experience.

 

Program:

- Opening remarks by the host:
  Councilor Kazuyuki Takimi, Embassy of Japan in Myanmar  
- Speech by the guest of honor:
  Mr. Aung Naing Oo, Director General, Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, Ministry of Finance and Planning Myanmar  
- Agenda: Dialogue for Quality Infrastructure, Building Asia's Future.  
  Mr. Satoshi Takesada, Senior Manager of Price Waterhouse Coopers Singapore
- Dialogue: Opportunities and challenges related to infrastructure development for Myanmar's Sustainable Growth.
- Panelists:
Mr. Aung Naing Oo, Director General, Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, Ministry of Finance and Planning Myanmar
Mr. Mitsuo Ido, Chief Representative for Myanmar, Mitsubishi Corporation
Mr. Ken Tun, CEO, Parami Energy Group
Takeshi Nakano, Director, Trade Promotion Division, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan
- Moderator:
Mr. Yasuhiko Ota, Columnist, Nikkei

- Presentation: 
Mr. Nobuhisa Kobayashi, Executive Officer, Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.; Managing Director, Tokyo Gas Asia 

 

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Too many regulations hinder development efforts: President
Antara News 24 october 2017

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo expressed concern over the number of regulations in the country which is too many and so has the potential to become overlapping and hinder development efforts.

"This is our big problem. Why actions cannot be taken quickly and quick decisions cannot be made in the field. It is because of this. We have too many regulations," he said in his speech at National Dialog 2017 here on Monday.

He explained there are 42,000 regulations in the country at present consisting of laws, presidential regulations, ministerial regulations, gubernatorial regulations and city mayor regulations and so are prone to contradict.

He said he has asked a number of regional heads of government to not produce regulations anymore except quality ones.
To the House of Representatives (DPR) he appealed to not produce laws as mere projects but must produce ones that are really good.
He said he would coordinate with legal experts to reduce the number of the regulations with regard to supporting acceleration of development efforts.

"(It is) because in the future it will not be the strong country beating the small one or the strong country beating the medium country but it will the fastest country that will beat the slower country," he said.

With regard to his habit of conducting field inspection President Joko Widodo said that he would continue to do it as he would not be satisfied to merely accept reports.He said he would continue visiting regions to personally inspect the progress of infrastructure development efforts.

The national dialog was held to mark the third anniversary of President Joko Widodos government and scrutinize its achievements and raise issues that need special attention.
The national dialog was started with regional dialogs in 16 universities/institutes with each focusing on different topics. 
Participants of the dialogs include academicians, experts, practitioners, parliament members, community members and media.

 

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Govt Resumes Mt. Slamet Geothermal Project
Tempo.co  24 October 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Energy Ministry and Mineral Resources decides to resume the construction of a geothermal power plant in Mount Slamet, Central Java.
The ministry's director general of renewable energy and energy conservation Rida Mulyana said the water pollution dispute has been settled between Sejahtera Alam Energy as the developer, the local government and local communities.

Last year, nearby residents complained about the dirty water at Cipendog waterfall, which is the main source of water for eight villages in Banyumas. 
Residents and local businesses use water from the waterfall for household needs, home industries, fishery businesses, agriculture, and tourism.

The Energy Ministry then ordered the developer to restore the polluted area. The ministry's director of geothermal Yunus Saefulhak said they have sent a team to supervise geothermal well drilling activities as well.

According to Yunus, geothermal activities are not harmful to the environment as long as the company follows rules. "I've seen geothermal power plants in various parts of the world—none have caused disasters."

Sejahtera Alam Energy's community relations officer Riyanto Yusuf promised that the company will make efforts to restore the environment. 
The developer dumps sediments of the dredged land in a special storage, so it will not damage the environment."We have anticipated all possible impacts."

The steam from eight wells is expected to produce 220 MW of electricity, which is 78 percent of the Mount Slamet block's total proven reserves. The power plant is scheduled to start operating in 2023.



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Govt to Finalize LNG Purchase from Qatar
Tempo.co  24 October 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said that President Joko Widodo expects to finalize liquefied natural gas (LNG) purchase from Qatar. 
He said that the government is interested to purchase LNG from Qatar due to its low price. “Indonesia can get a price of USD7.16 per MMBtu.”

Luhut added that if the cooperation materializes, Qatari gas will be distributed to the western parts of Indonesia. President Jokowi is hopeful that the plan can be realized in the first quarter of 2018, according to him.

President Joko Widodo last week received a state visit by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. They agreed to step up cooperation in the fields of infrastructure and tourism. At present, Qatar’s investment in Indonesia includes a gas power plant project in North Sumatra.

The Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan said that in a cooperation agreement on North Sumatra gas power plant, the government allows Qatar to find supply from abroad. 

However, the government does not expect that the plant gate price to hit over 14 percent of Indonesian crude price (ICP). “If the domestic plant gate price is at the same price or cheaper, we will take it,” Jonan said.

Jonan added that the government has no issues with importing gas if the price is cheaper than domestic gas. “In order to push for a more competitive industrialization,” he said.
Former energy ministry Sudirman Said earlier said that the infrastructure agreement between PT Saran Multi Infrastructure and Qatar Investment Authority is worth US$1 billion.

Meanwhile, in the North Sumatra gas power plant (2 x 250 mW), state-owned electricity company PLN is working closely with Qatari-based Nebras. The investment is worth US$350 million. The two companies formed a joint venture in December 2016.

 

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OJK Shuts Down 14 More Illegal Investment Businesses
Tempo.co  23  October 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Financial Service Authority's (OJK) Investment Task Force shut down 14 fund-collecting organizations in October. 

They are under suspicion of frauds or for operating without licenses. "They are operating without a license or are offering products that may hurt investors' finances, because the return rate they promise is ridiculous," the task force's chief Tongam L Tobing said in a written statement Tempo received on Monday, October 23.  

The entities whose business had been terminated by the OJK this month are Dunia Coin Digital, Indo Snapdeal, Questra World/ Questra World Indonesia, Investindo Amazon, Dinar Dirham Indonesia, Wujudkan Impian Bersama (WIB)/Global Mitra Group, Ahmad Zulkhairi Associates LLP (AZA), and Mahakarya Sejahtera Indonesia/ Multi Sukses Internasional.

There are also Azra Fakhri Servistama, Tractoventure/Tracto Venture Network Indonesia, Purwa Wacana Tertata/ SPSCoin, Komunitas Arisan Mikro Indonesia/K3 Plus, investasisahammandiri.blogspot, and Seven Star International Investment.

Tongam said that from January to October the Task Force has stopped the operations of 62 entities.  He urged the public to seek legitimate information before making investments, and make sure that they are putting their money in organizations registered with and licensed by the authorities.   

He also reminded that people should be suspicious of investments that offer high return rates. "When you find suspicious investment offers, please consult or report to us," he said.  

 

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Sriwijaya Air Group to launch flights from Jakarta to three West Kalimantan cities
The Jakarta Post 24 October 2017

Sriwijaya Air Group, which oversees Sriwijaya Air and Nam Air, is set to open on Oct. 26 daily return flights between Jakarta and Ketapang in West Kalimantan. As reported by kompas.com, Agus Soedjono, NAM Air senior corporate communications manager, said that the airlines would also fly from Jakarta to Putussibau and Sintang, both of which are also located in West Kalimantan. 

The return flights to the Indonesian capital would include a stopover in Pontianak, West Kalimantan's capital, enabling flights to other major Indonesian cities, such as Semarang, Surabaya and Yogyakarta.

"Between West Kalimantan and big cities on Java Island, such as Semarang, Yogyakarta, Surabaya and Jakarta, there has always been a good relationship. Many people from Java were living and working in West Kalimantan.

Similarly, many people in West Kalimantan were doing business on the island of Java," Agus said in a press statement released on Sunday, as quoted by kompas.com. 
With the opening of the flight routes, Agus expects stronger ties between the two regions as a result of increased connectivity, as well as the development of their economies. (liz/asw)

 

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World's largest library on Indonesia opens in Leiden
The jakarta post  23 October 2017

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands inaugurated in Leiden last week the Asian Library, which houses the world’s largest collection on Indonesia, including two United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) heritage documents. 

Rain and biting cold could not stop thousands of peoplefrom royalty and diplomats to academics and students — from descending upon Leiden’s city center for the opening of Leiden University’s Asian Library.

“Leiden University has created one of the foremost Asian libraries and a major international center for the study of Asia,” said university head librarian Kurt de Belder at the opening ceremony.
While also housing a prominent Chinese, Japanese, South and Southeast Asian collection, its Indonesian section is the library’s crown jewel.

“The Asian Library has the largest Indonesian collection worldwide,” De Belder points out, with “hundreds of thousands of items such as of books, documents, maps, photos and even LPs of early Indonesian pop music.”The library is part of Leiden University Libraries, with collections spread across seven locations: in Leiden, Morocco’s Rabat and Jakarta. 

It brings together the university’s existing Asian collection with the libraries of the Royal Tropical Institute, which closed in 2013, and that of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies KITLV. 

The latter, in particular, has long been a major source for academic researchers on Indonesia. The Jakarta location is also a KITLV center.

It took several years of tremendous preparatory work, De Belder continues, to create “a large open stack collection of 4 kilometers of Asian materials at the University Library, an additional book depository with 38-km of shelf space allowing all of the Asian collections, more than 30-km, to be housed at the University Library, and ultimately creating an Asian Library on the library’s former roof garden.”

Situated on the third floor of Leiden University’s library building, the Asian Library has surrounding windows overlooking the city’s canal and a 16thcentury botanical garden. Its facilities include conference rooms and a film hall.Among its most treasured items are original copies of La Galigo and Babad Diponegoro, both on UNESCO’s Memories of the World Heritage list.

La Galigo, the world’s largest literary work, is a 14th century mythical story from the Bugis in South Sulawesi. Originating from an oral tradition, it was put down in writing around the 19th century. “We have 12 volumes of the work in our collection,” says Roger Tol, head of the KITLV Jakarta office.Babad Diponegoro, meanwhile, is the autobiographical chronicle of Prince Diponegoro, who fought the Dutch colonizers in a five-year war ending in 1830

Tol underlined that both works were jointly submitted for UNESCO’s consideration by Indonesia and the Netherlands. 
Former Indonesian education minister Wardiman Djojonegoro, who has been involved in the submission process, was among the day’s honored guests.

A third submission is on the way: the 13th century Panji tales from East Java, which later spread throughout Southeast Asia. The Asian Library has some 250 Panji manuscripts, “more than any collection elsewhere in the world,” Tol says.

Read also: Great Indonesian literature: Tales of PanjiThe deputy chief of mission at the Indonesian Embassy in The Hague, Ibnu Wahyutomo, was optimistic that the new Asian Library would encourage more Indonesian academics to head to the Netherlands. “We already have some 2,500 students studying here,” he said.

He pointed out that some of Indonesia’s most prominent figures are Leiden University alumni, such as sultan Hamengkubuwono IX, who studied at the School of Economics in the 1930s. 
This head of the powerful Yogyakarta sultanate played an important role in Indonesia’s road toward independence from the Dutch in the 1940s. 

He served as vice president in the 1970s under then president Soeharto.In fact, also present at the opening were two of the sultan’s granddaughters: crown Princess Mangkubumi and her youngest sister Princess Bendoro. 

Head librarian De Belder said he was delighted to welcome the two royals. “They are actively involved in the museum community of Yogyakarta, and are interested in sharing and exchanging information with us.”

One very important mission of the library is its continuous digitalization efforts, so that people anywhere in the world with internet could view its collection. “We would like to share this great collection with the world,” De Belder said.

Marije Plomp, librarian for the South and Southeast Asian collection, explains that “anyone with internet access can get on our website and search for material. 
The site is available in English, and when you click on a title, it will say whether it’s available in digital form.”Some of the material, Plomp continues, “can also be downloaded for free, given that there is no copyright on 

 

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PP Presisi prepares to hold IPO in November
the Jakarta Post  24 0ctober 2017

PT PP Presisi, a subsidiary of state owned construction firm PT Pembangunan Perumahan (PP), has announced its plan to hold its initial public offering (IPO) in November.
PP Presisi will sell 35 percent of its total shares or 4.2 billion of shares at prices from Rp 430 (3.18 US cents) to Rp 550 apiece.

The company expects to collect Rp 3 trillion from the IPO."About 70 percent of the proceeds will go to capital expenditure, while the other 30 percent will go to our working capital. None will be used to pay loans," PP Presisi finance director Benny Pidekso said on Monday.

He added that the biggest portion of capital expenditure would be spent on procuring heavy machinery such as bulldozers and excavators to back up its current and future infrastructure projects.The projects being constructed by the company include airports, ports, toll roads and dams. PP Presisi will also start book building from Oct. 23 to Oct. 31. 

The overseas roadshow will be implemented in a number of countries, including Singapore, to invite investors. 

 

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