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Japan ready to sign loan agreement for Patimban port

Workers finish the construction of a peer at the Patimban seaport in Subang, West Java. (tempo.co/Nanang Sutis

News Desk
Jakarta | Tue, July 25, 2017 | 05:50 pm

Japan ready to sign loan agreement for Patimban port

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has said it is ready to sign a loan agreement with the Indonesian government to finance the Patimban port project in West Java.

Speaking to journalists after a meeting with Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan in Jakarta on Tuesday, JICA’s senior representative in Indonesia, Muraoka hiromichi, said his agency was now waiting for the government to proceed with the project.

"It depends on the process in the government of Indonesia. We are waiting for the process," he said.

The loan agreement was initially to be signed in June but was delayed because it had not been put in the foreign loan document – or "green book" – of the National Development Planning Board.

The Transportation Ministry has estimated the contract value of the project at around Rp 10 trillion (US$750.86 million).

As one of the national strategic projects, the Patimban port, construction on which is expected to being at the end of 2017, will help improve logistics in the country.

The port is designed to have a container capacity of 1.5 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) once it is partially completed in 2019 and 7.5 million TEUs by 2027, about half the capacity of the country’s busiest port, Jakarta’s Tanjung Priok.

The port is located in Subang, about 70 kilometers from the Karawang Industrial Estate in Bekasi, West Java, where many Japanese industrial firms, particularly automotive manufacturers, operate. (dis/bbn)

All ASEAN countries but Indonesia ban cigarette advertising

Workers complete the manufacturing process of hand-rolled cigarettes in Kudus, Central Java. (Antara/Yusuf Nug

News Desk
Jakarta | Tue, July 25, 2017 | 07:37 pm

All ASEAN countries but Indonesia ban cigarette advertising

Indonesia is the only ASEAN member country that has not yet totally banned tobacco companies from advertising their products in print media, television, radio and movies, putting young people at high exposure to cigarette advertisements, the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) claims.

“More than a half of Southeast Asian countries, including Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, have also totally banned cigarette advertisements in sellers’ premises," SEATCA executive director Bungon Ritthiphakdee said as quoted by Antara in a statement on Tuesday.

Banning cigarette advertising is one of the control measures SEATCA has called for to prevent the negative health impacts of cigarette consumption.

Tobacco tax and customs in Southeast Asian countries have gradually increased, even though the selling price of cigarettes in several countries is still cheap, below US$1 per pack, Ritthiphakdee said.

All Southeast Asian countries have put health warning labels on cigarette packs as well. Thailand, for example, has started to implement plain cigarette packaging and the packs are sold in a closed rack. Only adults may buy cigarettes after presenting their identity cards. Kiosks near schools, hospitals and public facilities are prohibited from selling cigarettes.

In Indonesia, however, cigarette selling is more liberal and tobacco products can be found anywhere, including near schools and hospitals, Ritthiphakdee said.

“Some kiosks also have children as shopkeepers, while young people should in fact be protected from the negative effect of cigarette-smoke exposure.”

In Southeast Asia, tobacco kills at least 500,000 people per year. Half of adult men in the region are smokers, accounting for 10 percent of the total smokers in the world, Ritthiphakdee said. (afr/ebf)

Japan joins feasibility study for Jakarta-Surabaya railway: Govt

Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan (Antara/Puspa Perwitasari)

NEWSDESK
Jakarta | Wed, July 26, 2017 | 09:03 am

Japan joins feasibility study for Jakarta-Surabaya railway: Govt

Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said on Tuesday that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had joined the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology in conducting a feasibility study on the Jakarta-Surabaya railway project.

“The Japanese government has expressed its intention to be more involved in [projects],” said Luhut after meeting with representatives of JICA in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Ridwan Djamaludin, who is in charge of infrastructure coordination at the Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister, said the feasibility study would also involve experts from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), the Diponegoro University (Undip) and the 10 November Institute of Technology (ITS).

The study is expected to answer a number of questions related to the project, including the speed of the trains, the technology to be used and whether new tracks are needed or the train will use the existing tracks.

Earlier this year, the government decided to appoint Japan as its main partner in developing the railway connection between the two cities. The project is expected to increase train speeds to 160 kilometer per hour from the current 90 km/h.

The government is also still mulling whether the train will be powered by diesel, which would cost some Rp 30 trillion (US$2.2 billion), or electricity, which would cost Rp 80 trillion.

Japan lost to China in the project for a high-speed railway connecting Jakarta and Bandung, West Java. (dis/bbn)

World Bank advises Indonesia to push for reforms

World Bank president Jim Yong Kim speaks at an event called: Indonesia's Great Prosperity Ahead: Will It Happe

Anton Hermansyah The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Wed, July 26, 2017 | 09:22 am

World Bank advises Indonesia to push for reforms

The World Bank is calling on Indonesia to improve its investment climate to lure more investment into infrastructure development.

World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim advised the government to provide a clearer calculation of risks and returns on investment. Furthermore, it should only offer project guarantees where necessary, so that they did not function as a subsidy.

"By using that principle, you can maximize the government’s support, so you can distribute the budget to the other projects. Tools like the guarantee fund cannot be used as a way of subsidizing private-sector investment," Kim said at the Indonesia Infrastructure Finance Forum in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The leader of the Washington-based institution is on a two-day visit to Indonesia to discuss policy reforms with high-ranking officials, including President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani. The declared goal is to increase state revenue and spend it more efficiently.

Kim also advised the country to reduce privileges for state-owned enterprises (SOEs) over private firms to create healthy competition, cut red tape and further develop the capital market, which could provide long-term hedging for investors. (lnd)

Indonesia, world's biggest Muslim country, puts more women into senior roles

High-profile Indonesian officials include Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati.PHOTO: REUTERS

PUBLISHED JUL 25, 2017, 6:09 PM SGT

Indonesia, world's biggest Muslim country, puts more women into senior roles

JAKARTA/SINGAPORE (Bloomberg) - In the late 1980s, Pakistani clerics beseeched Indonesia to pray for them after Benazir Bhutto became prime minister and the first woman to govern a Muslim majority nation.

Ms Khofifah Indar Parawansa, now a Cabinet minister in Indonesia, recalls the incident with some irony. The clerics told Abdurrahman Wahid, who would later become Indonesia's president, that Pakistan would be "unlucky for being ruled by a woman", she said.  

Ms Parawansa, 52, is one of nine female ministers in the world's most populous Muslim nation, exemplifying the country's success in breaking gender and religious stereotypes.

At 26 per cent, Indonesia has the largest ratio of female ministers among the 10 biggest countries based on population size, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union or IPU, a global organisation of parliaments based in Geneva.

Women have made grounds in Indonesia from politics to central banking. High-profile officials include Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi - a first in the country's history - and Maritime and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti.

Rosmaya Hadi became Bank Indonesia's only female deputy governor this year.


Part of Indonesia's success has been setting gender quotas for candidates that political parties put forward for public office. Females now hold almost a fifth of the seats in Indonesia's national parliament, up from 8 per cent in 2003 when a non-compulsory quota was first introduced, according to IPU.

In 1995, only four countries used gender quotas, according to research published by the Asia & The Pacific Policy Studies in January. Twenty years later, more than 120 countries had adopted some form of gender quota to increase women's representation, according to IPU.

In countries such as Rwanda, Cuba and Iceland, women lawmakers make up more than 40 per cent of parliament. Among the most populous nations, China leads the way with about a quarter.

But there is still a long way to go for Indonesia to boost gender diversity in its economy. The South-east Asian nation has one of the lowest female participation rates in the labour market in Asia at 38 per cent, compared with 44 per cent in China and 43 per cent in Japan, according to the World Bank.

Indonesia also has one of the largest gender gaps - the difference between labour-force participation of men and women - along with India, Bangladesh, Turkey and Mexico, according to a report by Standard Chartered PLC.

"In spite of much progress, gender equality is an unfinished agenda," Imrana Jalal, senior gender specialist at the Asian Development Bank in Manila, said in an interview.

"Removing gender disparities against women not only upholds their basic rights and promotes social justice, but is also good for development. Making job discrimination unlawful can help economies by deploying talent to occupations that can make the most of it."

Women's participation in the labour force, particularly in developing nations, has remained low despite significant progress in boosting economic growth, lowering fertility rates, and improving education.

In places like Indonesia and the Philippines, social norms still dictate the kind of jobs women can do, with many restricted to handling mainly housework and childcare responsibilities.

This social structure has economic costs. The removal of gender bias in education, the labour market, and the household would increase per capita income by 70 per cent over a generation in a typical Asian economy, according to the ADB.

RELIGIOUS TENSION

Ms Parawansa, who is now Social Affairs Minister, said her advance up the political ranks has had its challenges. She was a young member of the parliament in 1998 at 32 when she stood up to speak out against then-dictator Suharto, calling for "political reformation".

The speech was controversial enough that her husband worried for her safety, she recalled.

"The seniors were trying to block me: This little kid, a woman, what is she up to?" Ms Parawansa said in an interview from her office in Jakarta, dressed in a long-sleeve batik shirt and pumpkin-coloured headscarf.

"Many people were surprised with my speech. I could see that not all people liked it."

Women in public office in Indonesia also need to contend with growing religious conservatism in the country. The election of Jakarta's governor this year was marred by religious and ethnic tensions, and President Joko Widodo last week banned a hardline Islamist organisation in the country, adding to political risks in the country.

For Ms Parawansa, who once aspired to be a motorbike racer, opportunity is key to getting more women into high-profile roles.

"Today, I see both men and women are equally tenacious," she said. "It shouldn't be waited, opportunity must be pursued."

Young Asian adults likely to face cash crunch in retirement

Lorna TanInvest Editor/Senior Correspondent

Young Asian adults likely to face cash crunch in retirement

Young adults - so-called millennials - in the region are at substantial risk of a cash crunch in their later years, with many expecting to carry mortgage debts into retirement or even run out of money altogether.

This alarming picture was painted by the findings of a new survey on Asian investors in all age brackets above 25, conducted in September and October last year as part of the Manulife Investor Sentiment Index (MISI).

Despite widespread optimism about their retirement - with almost nine out of 10 (89 per cent) saying that they expect to be able to maintain or improve their standard of living in retirement - nearly one-third (30 per cent) of millennial investors expect to run out of money later in life.

Millennials are people who entered adulthood early this century.

Mr Roy Gori, president and chief executive of Manulife Asia, said: "Asia's millennials are naturally optimistic about their retirement as many will have grown up in an era of unprecedented economic development. With that prosperity comes a longer and better quality of life and, with that, higher expectations of the future.

"But the economic model that underpins our current understanding of retirement is quickly changing. Young people today will need to start saving, and investing, sooner rather than later. Otherwise, they face a retirement of anxiety, not adventure."


The MISI aimed to measure and track respondents' views, across eight markets in the region, on key asset classes and issues related to personal financial planning.

The survey was based on 500 online interviews each in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, as well as 500 face-to-face interviews in Indonesia.

Respondents were middle-class to affluent investors aged 25 years and above who were the primary financial decision-maker when it came to their households and their own investment products.

Manulife said that while no two investors will have the same retirement requirements, a common rule of thumb is to accumulate about 25 times the amount that one expects to spend in the first year of retirement.

Yet the survey showed that, on average, millennial investors expect to accumulate only one-third of what is typically required for their golden years.

FAMILY AND HEALTH BURDENS ARE LIKELY TO STRAIN MILLENNIALS' RETIREMENT SAVINGS

Millennials acknowledge the challenges threatening their financial security later in life. Nearly four in 10 (38 per cent) expect to financially support both their parents and children at the same time, significantly constraining their ability to invest and prepare for life after work.

In comparison, only 29 per cent of older investors expect to support their family in the same way.

Younger investors are slightly more concerned than generations past about the impact of health on their finances. Two out of five millennials (39 per cent) expect healthcare to become too expensive during retirement, and more still (43 per cent) expect their health to deteriorate to the point where they can no longer work. Despite these challenges, 71 per cent of millennials expect to work in retirement, compared with 66 per cent of older investors.

TRADITIONAL INVESTMENT MODEL NO LONGER REFLECTS REALITY OF REAL ESTATE

Many investors, including millennials, continue to seek financial security through real estate. Nearly half (45 per cent) of millennials who intend to purchase local property across Asia seek to generate rental income from it. However, their expectations of a return may not reflect the uncertain fortunes of the real estate market within the region.

Mr Michael Dommermuth, Manulife's head of wealth and asset management for Asia, said: "Younger investors looking to address their retirement shortfall should reconsider their investments in the context of rapidly maturing or already mature real estate markets. While previous generations relied heavily on real estate for their retirement fund, economics and demographics mean that today's millennials need to take a different approach.

"Millennials who invest in emerging Asia will likely fare better than those who buy a home in maturing Asia, where slowing growth and ageing populations can dampen real estate markets. They owe it to themselves to consider every option available to them in order to plan more effectively for their future."

Presiden bahas dua proyek kereta cepat

Menteri BUMN Rini Soemarno (kedua kiri) bersama Menteri PUPR Basuki Hadimuljono (tengah), Menteri Lingkungan H

Pewarta: Desca Lidya Natalia
Selasa, 25 Juli 2017 20:50 WIB

Presiden bahas dua proyek kereta cepat

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Presiden Joko Widodo memimpin rapat terbatas dengan sejumlah menteri, membahas dua proyek kereta cepat yaitu untuk Jakarta-Bandung, dan Jakarta-Surabaya.

Menteri Pekerjaan Umum dan Perumahan Rakyat Basuki Hadimuljono di Jakarta, Selasa, mengatakan bahwa Presiden Joko Widodo meminta detail pembiayaan antara Indonesia dan China. Proyek ini dikerjakan konsorsium PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC).

"Presiden minta didetailkan kembali karena proyek ini B to B, kemarin kesepakatannya kan 60:40, dengan 60 (persen) risiko (ditanggung) Indonesia. Kenapa Indonesia tidak 10 persen dan 90 persen China untuk memperkecil risiko? Seminggu diminta Pak Luhut untuk menghitung kembali dengan bu Rini," kata Basuki.

Perhitungan TOD itu diminta didetailkan karena kereta cepat ini diperkirakan baru akan untung setelah 15 tahun.

"Kedua soal teknis, bagaimana dengan kondisi geologi kegempaan, tapi itu sudah diatasi komisi keamanan apakah melalui jembatan panjang dan terowongan, tapi tadi tidak ada keputusan," tambah Basuki.

Namun Basuki tetap optimis proyek kereta cepat Jakarta-Bandung itu tetap akan selesai.

"Suatu proyek infrastruktur biasanya dikerjakan oleh pemerintah sementara ini B to B, jadi ini perhitungannya lebih ketat namun semua optimis termasuk Pembahasan lahan menurut laporan sudah 55 persen dari 600 hektar," ungkap Basuki.

Menteri BUMN Rini Soemarno menyatakan masih banyak persoalan dalam pembebasan lahan yang harus diselesaikan. 

"Jadi Bapak Presiden menekankan bahwa BPN (Badan Pertahanan Nasional), Kementerian ATR (Agraria dan Tata Ruang) perlu membantu sehingga pembebasan lahan bisa selesai. Saat ini baru 55 persen dan hal itu tidak ada masalah karena perjanjian kita dengan China Development Bank kita harus bisa bebas 53 persen untuk kemudian kita bisa menarik (utang). Jadi tadi kita juga melaporkan bahwa target kita untuk penarikan bisa kita lakukan di akhir minggu pertama bulan Agustus," kata Rini.

Selain itu sudah ada juga beberapa hal seperti final Penlok (Penetapan Lokasi) di DKI diharapkan dapat selesai pada 31 Agustus.

"Jadi tadi dari Gubernur Jakarta juga sudah ada, insya Allah semuanya lancar. Mengenai konsesi, masa konsesi dihitung sejak konstruksi selesai jadi konstruksi selesai di mana sudah ada uji coba mulai hitungan masa konsesi berjalan. Memang itu saja amandemen yang kita minta," jelas Rini.

Sedangkan soal kereta cepat Jakarta-Surabaya, menurut Menteri Perhubungan Budi Karya Sumadi masih dalam tahap kajian yang dipimpin oleh Menko bidang Kemaritiman Luhut Panjaitan.

"Kereta cepat Jakarta-Surabaya sedang studi, Pak Luhut yang pimpin termasuk apakah menggunakan listrik tempat lama atau baru, dan mitra kerja itu Jepang memiliki preferensi, tapi bukan semata-mata Jepang. Kita harapkan jepang punya visibilitas yang bagus, kalau Jepang tidak feasible bisa juga negara lain," kata Budi.

Menurut Luhut, studi sedang dikerjakan bersama antara Badan Pengkaji dan Penerapan Teknologi (BPPT), PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) dan Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Mudah-mudahan sudah selesai kajian dari BPPT, KAI serta dari Jepang, JICA yang ikut lingkup survei kalau sudah selesai kita akan lihat. Karena ada 100 tikungan belok kiri-kanan sekarang mereka hitung apakah tetap mau pakai itu atau mau bikin satu rel, sekarang sedang dihitung. Kajian kedua apakah mau pakai elektrik atau diesel, nanti dilihat akhir Agustus, kata Luhut.

"Mengenai kereta cepat Jakarta-Bandung, Presiden masih mengevaluasi laporan dari tim, sepertinya jalan, tapi kita lihat bagaimana masih ada beberapa hal yang harus diselesaikan, misalnya, pembebasan tanah," katanya.

Ia melanjutkan, "Kami akan buka hitung-hitungan tanahnya karena pemasukan TOD-nya (terms of delivery atau ketentuan pengiriman) agar sustain tapi l LRT (light rapid transportation) jadi model karena dengan struktur keuangan yang dibuat itu proyek kereta jadi double digit yang akhirnya bankable.

"Suatu ketika, kita tidak akan lagi pakai state budget. Maksud kita adalah semua proyek-proyek menghindari sebanyak mungkin ABPN. Jadi seperti LRT ini jadi model di tempat yang lain," jelas Menteri Koordinator bidang Kemaritiman Luhut Panjaitan di lingkungan Istana Presiden Jakarta.

(D017/A013)
Editor: Ruslan Burhani
COPYRIGHT © ANTARA 2017

Indonesia Tax Amnesty Nets $330 Billion-Now for Reform

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by Reuters
Sumber : www.nytimes.com
MARCH 21, 2017, 12:06 A.M. E.D.T. Continue reading

Indonesia Tax Amnesty Nets $330 Billion-Now for Reform

JAKARTA — Southeast Asia's biggest economy this month is winding up one of world's most successful tax amnesties, with at least 745,000 taxpayers declaring more than $330 billion of assets so far. President Joko Widodo has cited higher tax revenue as the key to boosting infrastructure spending and growth. But if the amnesty is to avoid being just a one-off windfall, Indonesia needs to improve a tax collection ratio well below many of its peers, international agencies and local officials have said.

To that end, Indonesia's finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has set up a special tax reform team to boost collection. It faces an immense task in a country where tens of millions of people - both the wealthy and the poor - remain outside the tax system.

Parliament is considering draft legislation that would overhaul an institution the public views as one of Indonesia's most corrupt, according to global corruption watchdog Transparency International.

"People don't pay taxes because they believe they won't get caught," said Darussalam (like many Indonesians, he goes by one name), a partner at consultancy Danny Darussalam Tax Centre.

The amnesty has provided the government with more revenue than similar plans in countries such as India, Chile, Italy or South Africa, Indrawati said.

The amnesty has been criticised for benefiting mostly the rich. The World Bank blames poor tax compliance amongst high income earners in Indonesia for hampering poverty reduction and maintaining inequality. The richest one percent of Indonesia's 250 million people control nearly half the wealth, charity organisation Oxfam said.

TAX REFORM TEAM

The tax bureau as of 2016 employed about 38,000 people to collect taxes from a workforce of 118.41 million. Less than a third of the workforce is registered at the tax office and even fewer file annual tax reports.

A visit to the tax office in Jakarta provides a window into the challenges the government faces.

Tax inspector Jeffry Martino sometimes works a 12-hour day just to keep tabs on a small portion of the hundreds of companies under his watch.

He has 661 taxpayers under his watch, but focuses on the biggest 100 companies that contribute the most to his target of collecting 495 billion rupiah ($37.02 million) this year.

"We are the spearhead of state revenue collection," said Martino, at his temporary office with a misfiring air conditioner.

His job would be easier if tax auditors had far fewer clients and more access to third-party data, such as banking information, he said.

He might get that wish under proposed legislation to reform the tax system.

The draft in Indonesia's parliament calls for giving tax collectors wider access to bank data in line with Indonesia's pledge to join a global effort to share tax-related financial data.

"HUNTING IN THE ZOO"

Andreas Eddy Susetyo, a member of the commission overseeing the bill, said it may take up to a year to finish discussions and even then progress may be interrupted because politicians would be distracted by campaigning ahead of 2019 elections.

Widodo has vowed to bypass parliament if necessary by issuing an emergency regulation before mid-year giving the tax office access to bank data.

In the meantime, Finance Minister Indrawati's tax reform team aims to increase the tax ratio to 15 percent of GDP in 2020 from about 11 percent now. That compares with a global average of 14.8 percent in 2014, according to the World Bank.

The team, consisting of finance ministry officials and advisers from the World Bank and other agencies, intends to act as a brainstorming think-tank to push through reforms of everything from the tax office's business model to tariffs.

Hestu Yoga Saksama, a tax office spokesman, said the team would redeploy thousands of tax officers to auditing once the amnesty period ends this month.

"We are preparing to take legal action against people we found non-compliant but have not taken part in the amnesty," said Saksama, describing it as a potential quick win.

But the World Bank still estimates Indonesia will miss its 2017 total revenue target by 70 trillion rupiah ($5.23 billion), while the tax ratio will likely stay below 11 percent of GDP.

Rosan Roslani, chairman of Indonesia's chamber of commerce and industry, said that the tax office should not just monitor those already in the system, but go after tax evaders.

"When our tax base is low, there will be some 'hunting in the zoo' because you only have so many people in the system," said Roeslani, who is also advising the reform team. He advocates creating an Indonesian social security number system, similar to that of the United States, to help boost the number of taxpayers.

(Editing by Ed Davies and Bill Tarrant)

Indonesia holds investment week in Singapore

President Joko Widodo

News Desk The Jakarta Post
Tue, March 14, 2017 | 05:33 pm

Indonesia holds investment week in Singapore

The government is holding an event to attract foreign investors called “Indonesia Investment Week Singapore Chapter 2017,” which started on Monday and will end on Wednesday.

It is the first Indonesian Investment Week organized outside Indonesia.

The event at Marina Bay Sands will feature various activities, including an exhibition, a business forum and one-on-one meetings with businesspeople, said Zaidin A. Zaiti, the president director of PT Eksibit Internasional, which organized the event, as reported by tempo.co.

“The event is expected to welcome more than 5,000 international business people in Singapore,” Zaidin said on Tuesday, adding that it was expected to speed up infrastructure development in Indonesia.

Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore Ngurah Swajaya said the two countries would soon commemorate their 50th year of diplomatic relations and the Indonesian Embassy would organize various events to mark the occasion.

“The Indonesian Embassy in Singapore welcomes Indonesia Investment Week with the hope that it will be integrated into events to commemorate the 50th anniversary,” Ngurah said.

Ngurah said the event was supported by a number of institutions including the National Economy and Industrial Commission, the Trade Ministry’s Export Development Directorate General, the Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Ministry, the Investment Coordinating Board, Agriculture Ministry and Industry Ministry. (bbn)

Alibaba’s UCWeb to invest in content development in Indonesia

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Dylan Amirio
Mon, March 20, 2017 | 03:07 pm

Alibaba’s UCWeb to invest in content development in Indonesia

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba group’s UCWeb Inc will invest up to Rp 400 billion into content development and distribution in Indonesia and India for the next two years, after seeing the rising usage of the UCWeb browser in the market.

The main focus for the investment will be for the We-Media program, which encourages unique content creation for the UCNews platform and builds a local content ecosystem for the platform as well.

“The Rp 400 billion investment affirms our commitment to the development of the We-Media content industry in Indonesia, seeing as there’s considerable scope for the surge in content that is differentiated by contributors’ different styles,” UCWeb Indonesia’s general manager, Donald Ru, explained on Monday.

To drive the community, UCWeb announced the We-Media Reward Plan 2.0 on Monday, which aims to recruit up to 1,000 media writers in Indonesia and India to write for the UCNews platform under a minimum income of Rp 10 million per month for their work.

Ru said to achieve greater digital consumption, the browser would continue to explore partnerships with local and international content creators.

We-Media is an effort by UCWeb for UCNews to drive the personalized and unique content by independent contributors such as bloggers, and its appearance in Indonesia, as they claim, will open the door to more opportunities for Indonesia’s writers. (ags)

Industry Ministry allocates Rp 650b for vocational training in 2017

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Stefani Ribka
Mon, March 20, 2017 | 01:35 pm

Industry Ministry allocates Rp 650b for vocational training in 2017

The Industry Ministry has earmarked Rp 650 billion (US$48.6 million) for various vocational training programs as part of its efforts to address a shortage of skilled labor in the manufacturing sector.

The programs funded include two new polytechnics and free trainings to enhance the skills of school graduates, according to the ministry’s head of training and education, Mujiyono.

The new polytechnics to open in Semarang, Central Java, and Bantaeng, South Sulawesi, will enable students to gain skills in furniture making and metal processing, respectively. They will add to just 10 existing polytechnics nationwide.

“We are also cooperating with the technical directorate general to provide extra funding to the limited budget,” Mujiyono recently said.

With the budget at hand, the ministry aims to train at least 220,000 people to become skilled workers. Of that figure, 190,000 will join a “link and match” program, which aims to synergize vocational school training with demand from manufacturing companies. The rest will take part in a free education and training program, a one-year diploma program and free certification of competence for industrial labor.  

Businesspeople have long complained about the difficulty to obtain manpower with proper skills despite an abundant workforce of 100 million in the country, according to data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS).

The manufacturing sector needs 589,447 additional workers this year, and the number is set to increase to 619,732 workers by 2019, Industry Ministry data show. (lnd)

Kadin secures US$875 million from German firms

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Ayomi Amindoni
Mon, April 18, 2016 | 09:49 pm

Kadin secures US$875 million from German firms

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) Indonesia has inked a total investment commitment worth US$875 million between Indonesian and German firms, in conjunction with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s visit to Europe on April 17 to 22.

Comprised of a cooperation between German miner Ferrostahl Cronimet and state-owned miner Antam worth US$800 million, an agreement between state-owned ship operator Pelni and the major German shipyard operator Myer Werft worth $40 million, and an agreement between Indonesia’s  leading manufacturer in the paper and pulp industry April and Inova Semiconductors GmbH, a fabless semiconductor manufacturer headquartered in Munich, Germany worth US$35 million, according to Kadin chairman Rosan Perkasa Roeslani, the commitments were confirmed with a series of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signings.

“The MoU signing is a real contribution to the development of the national economy," said Rosan in a press statement on Monday, the first day of a visit to Berlin, Germany.

Kadin Indonesia deputy chairman of International relations Shinta Widjaja Kamdani said Kadin had invited several business delegates from various sectors such as energy, industry, maritime, agribusiness, and telecommunications to join the President’s European delegation.

“This is a very important event aimed opening Indonesia up to new investment, as well as to accelerate the finalization of trade cooperation under the framework of CEPA [Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement] with the European Union, which is due to be completed within the next two years," she said.

During the six day visit, the President is scheduled to visit Germany, the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands accompanied by a group of Kadin members, led by Rosan.

In Brussels, the President plans to talk with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker regarding CEPA progress. IE-CEPA was initiated in 2010.

Previously, discussion of the scoping paper had been postponed due to Indonesia’s change in government. An intensive discussion in Brussels on April 4-5, 2016, allowed both sides to bridge many of the issues that could have hindered the completion of the scoping paper. (ags)

Two German firms keen to invest in nickel processing, gas sectors: BKPM

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Stefani Ribka
Mon, March 20, 2017 | 03:14 pm

Two German firms keen to invest in nickel processing, gas sectors: BKPM

Buoyed by Indonesia’s economic growth despite the global crisis, two German firms have expressed interest in investing in the country’s lucrative nickel processing and gas sectors, Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) chief Thomas Lembong says.

One firm is eyeing a project to build a US$800 million nickel smelter with an Indonesian state-owned firm, while another is keen to enter the gas sector with an unspecified amount of investment, Lembong said Monday.

Lembong is leading the board’s delegation on a March 15 to 22 visit to Europe, which also covers France, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Denmark.

“We used this working visit as a chance to meet German firms that are keen on investing in Indonesia,” he said in statement.

Lembong emphasized that Indonesia’s continued growth of about 5 percent against the backdrop of a global economic slowdown remained a pull factor in attracting investors to do business in the country.    

Realized foreign direct investment in Southeast Asia’s largest economy annually rose by 8.4 percent to $28.9 billion last year, with Germany contributing 4.6 percent of the figure.

In the past five years, Europe’s largest economy spent $13.3 billion in Indonesia, according to BKPM data. (lnd)

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