“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Russia to build corvettes for Indonesia

ST. PETERSBURG. June 29 (Interfax-AVN) - Rosoboronexport and the Indonesian navy have signed a contract on the construction of corvettes, a spokesman for the Russian company told Interfax-AVN on Friday.

"The agreement envisions further cooperation in designing and building corvettes modeled after the Russian ship Steregushii (Project 20382) for the Indonesian Navy," he said.

The document was signed by Rosoboronexport First Deputy General Director Vladimir Pakhomov and Indonesian Navy Commander Admiral Slamet Soebijanto.

Iran to build oil refinery plant in Banten

Serang, Banten (ANTARA News) - The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is planning to build an oil refinery plant worth US$400 billion in Bojonegara, Serang, Banten, Iranian Ambassador to Indonesia Behrooz Kamalvandi said here on Saturday.

"President Ahmadinejad, the supreme executive leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, has met with the Indonesian president in Jakarta several months ago to sign various Indonesian-Iranian cooperation documents, including on the development of an oil refinery plant in Banten, the Iranian Ambassador said.

In press statement sent to the Human Relations office of the Banten regional government, the ambassador said the refinery plant would likely be built in Bojonegara subdistrict, because it was close to the coast that would make it easy for marketing the product.

In that location, the regional government of Banten is also planning to construct supporting international standard facilities.

"Refinery process needs a lot of water. Therefore, Bojonegara is selected to be the main site of the plant. We have carried out pre-feasibility studies on the possibilities of Bojonegara to be selected," the ambassador said.

He said that the feasibility studies were conducted very carefully and maturely because a site for such a plant needed extensive land.

The project will benefit Banten as it would absorb thousands of workers, he said.

If operations, the plant would produce some 20,000 barrels of oil per day. "This would meet a quarter of Indonesia`s need for oil," he added.

Indosat to launch new satellite in 2009

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Publicly listed telecommunications firm PT Indonesian Satellite Corporation Tbk (Indosat) is set to launch its second satellite in the third quarter of 2009 to replace its first one, which will be switched off in 2011.

The Palapa-D satellite, to be placed into a geostationary orbit at 113 degrees east longitude, will have a useful lifespan of 15 years and will replace the Palapa-C2 satellite, which has been occupying the same slot since 1996.

The project, worth around US$220 million, has been awarded to France-based telecommunications firm Thales Alenia Space France (TASF), which will build the satellite and launch it in China.

Indosat president director Johnny Swandi Syam said Friday that the new satellite would support the company's cellular network, fixed telephone and fixed data services, as well as its corporate services, comprising telecommunications and data, internet broadband and broadcasting.

At present, Indosat, the country's second largest cellular operator after Telkomsel, has 50 corporate customers, including local, national and international television and radio stations.

"Some 60 percent of this satellite's capacity will be used to support our company's internal backbone, while the remainder will serve our corporate customers," he said during the signing of the project agreement between Indosat and TASF.

The agreement was signed by Johnny and TASF vice president Olivier Badard, and was witnessed by Communications and Information Minister Muhammad Nuh.

With a larger capacity and a wider coverage compared with the previous Palapa-C2 satellite, the Palapa-D satellite will have 40 transponders and will have a footprint that covers Indonesia, the countries of ASEAN, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. The Palapa-C2 only has 34 transponders and its footprint is limited to Indonesia, the ASEAN countries, East Asia and the Middle East.

Financing for the project, Johnny said, was included in the company's capital expenditure allocation of US$1 billion for this year.

Indosat's main competitor, PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia, has launched nine satellites since 1976. The last one, Telkom-2, was launched in November 2005 from French Guyana.

Indosat's satellite business, which includes the company's communications data services, contributed about 13 percent of its overall net profit of Rp 483.9 billion (US$56 million) during the first quarter. The biggest contributor was the cellular business, which accounted for 77 percent of net profit.

This year's first quarter net profit was 26 percent higher than the Rp 383.9 billion recorded in the same period last year on the back of an increase in customers.

Most of the company's capital expenditure this year will go on the building of between 3,500 and 4,000 new relay towers.

As of the end of March, the company had built 7,666 relay towers, representing a 28 percent increase on the 5,971 towers it had at the end of the first quarter last year.

Organic farm products in demand, but not available

Apriadi Gunawan, The Jakarta Post, Medan

Demand from overseas for Indonesian organic farm products has increased in the last few years but supplies cannot always meet demand because not enough farmers produce the product.

Caecilia Afra Widyastuti, senior program officer at SwissContact, an organization in the Swiss private sector for development cooperation, said Indonesian farmers were able to provide less than five percent of domestic certified organic products wanted internationally.

She said there was a high demand for Indonesian organic products from Australia, Europe, Japan and the U.S.

Products under demand included organic cacao, vanilla, vegetables and cashew nuts.

"I was recently asked by U.S. business people to send 600 tons of organic cashew nuts -- but we could not meet the demand," Caecilia told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

She said most organic products exported from the country currently came from Sumatra, including Gayo coffee from Aceh.

In North Sumatra, however, organic farm products have yet to gain export licenses as many farmers were still using non-organic fertilizer.

"This is a challenge for North Sumatra farmers," Caecilia said.

"But many farmers in eastern Indonesia have started to switch from non-organic fertilizers to organic ones."

Most farmers were still reluctant to switch to organic plants due several factors, including a longer harvest time and because it was more expensive to invest in organic farming, she said.

Head of North Sumatra Agriculture Office's pesticide lab unit, Nur Halijah, said farmers preferred non-organic farms because they could quickly enjoy the harvest.

Nur said there were also not many domestic consumers interested in buying organic farm products.

Organic water spinach is priced at Rp 1,500 (about 16 US cent) each bundle, while non-organic spinach is sold for Rp 500.

Organic cabbage is sold at Rp 2,500 per ounce, while non-organic cabbage is just Rp 500 an ounce.

Nur said about four percent of farmers in North Sumatra produced organic farm products and not all of their farms were certified -- which was a mandatory requirement for export.

Physician Ramadhani Soeroso from Gleni International Hospital said she encouraged people to consume organic farm products.

She said non-organic farm products were dangerous for people's health because they could increase the risks of cancer, brain damage and miscarriage.

Non-organic products could also affect sperm production and lower a person's immune system.

But Ramadhani said organic products cleansed a person's blood, served as a detoxification and helped the regeneration process for new cells.

"Organic food comes from farms that are chemical free and free from non-organic fertilizer," she said.

Pearloil to conduct exploration in Bulu Block

Surabaya, East Java (ANTARA News) - Oil exploration company PearlOil (Satria) Ltd. is planning to drill two exploration wells in the Bulu Block in the Java Sea, an oil and gas industry official said.

PearlOil, along with the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Agency (BP Migas) and the East Java office of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry Java were popularizing the plan among officials of relevant agencies in Gresik, Lamongan and Tuban districts, BP Migas spokesman Amir Hamzah said on Friday.

He said oil and gas supplies in the country had dropped sharply in recent years so that oil and gas exploration activities were needed to meet rising demand.

"The government has set itself the target of producing 1.3 million barrels of oil per day in 2009. We hope the government will be willing to support the oil and gas exploration activities," he said.

He said both BP Migas and PearlOil were still unable to give an estimate of the volume of oil and gas deposits held by the Bulu Block.

The volume of the deposits would be known after a seismic survey had been carried out by a geological or exploration team, he said.

"To check the oil and gas deposits, exploration activities must be conducted. The block may start production four years after the explorations have been carried out," he said.

Fishery minister asks foreign companies to build industries in RI

Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA News) - Maritime and Fishery Affairs Minister Freddy Numberi said foreign companies wishing to invest in the maritime and fishery sectors in Indonesia should set up industries in the country which are operating in these sectors.

In a statement here on Friday the minister also banned foreign fishing boats from operating in Indonesian territorial waters unless they could show their commitment to build industries in the fisher sector in association which local fishermen.

This measure is aimed at providing the employment opportunites to the local populaton.

Some foreign companies have terminated their cooperation with Indonesia like the Philippines, Thailand and South Korea, he said, adding that China will follow suit on July 17 this year.

"It doesn`t mean that they have no opportunity to carry out fishing activities in Indonesian waters. They are welcome, but only under a cooperation with local fishing companies, and by setting up industries operating in the fishery sector," he said.

Minister Numberi said, foreign fishing companies which failed to abide by this Indonesian government decision, especially those whose cooperation with Indonesia had been terminated, will be sternly dealt in accordance with the law.

"For Maluku in particular, we should build a fishery business as the region has many potentials in the maritime and fishery sector," Numberi added.

Germany to write off RI`s debts if nat`l parks in Sumatra are preserved

Kota Agung, Lampung (ANTARA News) - The government of Germany has agreed to write off half of Indonesia`s foreign debts if the country could properly preserve the national parks in Sumatra.

Chief of the South Bukit Barisan National Park (TNBBS) Task Force Ir Lusman Pasaribu said here on Friday the agreement made in the form of an MoU would be effective 2007 to 2011.

However, the government of Indonesia provided 6.25 million euros for the preservation of the South Bukit Barisan, Mount Leurse and Kerince Slebat national parks.

"If our government is able to implement the agreement, Germany has agreed to write off twice the value of fund allocated to the national parks," Lukman said.

It was reported that some other countries who acted as creditors for Indonesia as well as international non governmental institutions (NGO) had expressed readiness to provide such support under this facility and fund for the preservation of the three national parks in Sumatra.

Therefore, according to Lukman, the government of Indonesia along with the management of the three national parks should work hard to show to the international community that this country is really able to manage and preserve their flora.

"We should show them our ability to implement the agreement and manage the preservation of the South Bukit Barisan national park," he said.

Covering 356,800 hectares of land, the South Bukit Barisan National Park has a number of protected exotic and rare flora and fauna. Together with two other national parks, South Bukit Barisan national park was nominated as a cluster natural world heritage site as the last shield for the conservation of tropical forests in the world.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Gresik plans to build two new plants

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

To strengthen its position as the country's largest cement manufacturer, publicly listed PT Semen Gresik is planning to increase its current production capacity of 17 million tons per year by building two new plants.

The plants, each of which will have a capacity of 2.5 million tons per year, are expected to add 4.4 million tons to the company's total production and to come onstream in 2011.

"We'll invest around US$600 million on the construction of the plants, and are now studying which locations would be most suitable," said president director Dwi Soetjipto after the company's annual shareholder's meeting Thursday.

He said that the potential locations included sites in Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi.

"The shareholders have told us to start the construction work as soon as possible, and that's what we want to do," said Dwi.

In tandem with the construction of the two new plants, Semen Gresik is also planning to build seven new power plants with a total capacity of 350 megawatts (MW) to supply energy to both the proposed and existing plants.

The company will invest a total of $350 million on the construction of the seven coal-fired plants.

Excluding the cost of the power plants, the company's investment in business expansion will amount to some $1 billion, Dwi explained.

He said that around 30 percent of the money would come from the company's retained profits, while the remaining 70 percent would be borrowed from third parties, such as banks.

"We'll look for the cheapest source of investment financing, and we'll decide what it is in the second semester," he said.

Besides approving the plan to construct the new cement and power plants, the shareholders also agreed to carry out a 1:10 stock split, meaning that each company share, currently priced at Rp 48,000, will be split into 10 new shares. After the split, the price of each share will be Rp 4,800.

Dwi said that the stock split was intended to increase liquidity in the trading of the company's shares.

Dwi also announced that Semen Gresik would pay out 50 percent of its 2006 net profit of Rp 1.3 trillion as a dividend, giving shareholders Rp 1,091.62 per share.

The company's net profit increased by 29 percent last year from Rp 1 trillion in 2005. Total sales amounted to 16.76 million tons, with 88 percent being accounted for by the domestic market, and the remaining 12 percent being exported. Its overall share of the domestic market rose to 46.9 percent from 45.4 percent in 2005.

Government to set up SME promotion center in each province

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government will soon set up a small and medium enterprises promotion center in each region across the country, an official said.

"Hopefully, each region will have a SME promotion center so that the marketing network of their products will be getting wider," assistant to the state minister for cooperatives and small businesses Sri Ernawati said here Thursday.

She said the government had regularly set aside a budget to encourage SMEs to expand their market.

By forming an SME promotion center in each region, SMEs` potential products could be marketed optimally and known widely by tourists visiting the regions, she said.

In addition, the promotion centers would hopefully become a special attraction to tourists and a venue to exhibit and promote the potential products of the regions, she said.

Jakarta itself has already had a number of SME promotion centers, namely the one in Waduk Melati and Cilandak Town Square which organized sales promotion on Wednesdays, she said.

"This is one of our ways to expand the market of our products," she said.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Govt to provide Rp21 billion for fishermen in N Sulawesi

Manado, N Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - The government will this year disburse Rp21 billion to assist fishermen in North Sulawesi, of which Rp3 billion will be taken from the North Sulawesi regional budget.

"Rp15 billion of the money will be used to construct fishery ports in Minahasa, Likupang and Kema districts," Head of North Sulawesi Fishery and Maritime Agency, Xandramaya Lalu said here on Tuesday.

He said that direct assistance for fishermen would be provided through fishermen`s groups. The funds would be provided to empower the fishermen in the coastal areas of North Sulawesi.

Xandramaya said that 10 percent of the funds were now ready to be disbursed while the remaining 90 percent was expected to be allocated in the second semester of this year.

Bank Mandiri to extend Rp1 trillion in credits to sugarcane industries

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Bank Mandiri, the country`s largest lender by assets, will provide Rp1 trillion in credits for sugarcane-based industries this year, a bank official said.

"We have set ourselves the target of providing Rp1 trillion in credits for industries with sugarcane-based products this year," Sunarso, Bank Mandiri`s plantation specialists group head, said at a seminar on the prospects and financing of sugarcane-based industries here Tuesday.

He said though his bank had made the commitment to extend Rp1 trillion in credits, it would depand on the ability of the industries concerned to absorb the funds because it was still difficult to allocate credits to this sector.

Sunarso said Bank Mandiri had up to April 2007 extended credits worth Rp520 billion to industries with sugarcane-based products, including those turning out down-steam products.

"Bank Mandiri is fully committed to carrying out its intermediary role in the plantation sector. Of our plantation portfolio, sugarcane industries and trade in their down stream products account for 2.4 percent of the market share, or about Rp540 billion," he said.

In the farming sector, the amount of credits provided up to April 2007 reached Rp13.8 trillion, while in the plantation and trade sectors the figure was Rp8.1 trillion, Sunarso said.

In the meantime, Bank Indonesia (BI) on the occasion called on banks to increase their credits for sugarcane-based industries.

"Banks` role in providing credits for sugarcane-based industries has remained small because the industries have not shown their real potentials," BI Deputy Governor Muliaman D. Hadad said.

He said there were actually a lot of banks which had provided credits for sugar industries. This was because the industries` non-performing loan level was low and they had good prospects not only in sugar production but also in the making of down-stream products such as ethanol.

Muliaman said BI had recorded that a total of 32 banks had financed projects in this sector with credits totaling Rp1.6 trillion

Portugal interested to build fishermen`s settlement in Pangkalpinang

Pangkalpinang (ANTARA News) - A Portuguese investor, Aunda, is interested to deal with a fishermen`s settlement project which will raise 400 houses for 400 families in Selindung, Pangkalpinang city, Bangka-Belitung province, a mayor has said.

"The expected fishermen`s settlement will be completed with fishery product processing facilities like an ice bloc factory and shops to make the area lively," Pangkalpinang Mayor H Zulkarnain Karim said here Monday.

The presentation on the fishermen`s settlement project has been made to a number of investors from different countries since 2006 but only Aunda (Aliga) from Portugal consistently expressed interest to invest in the project.

Aunda expressed agreement on the project in March 2007 to the Pangkalpinang city administration. On June 19, Aunda followed up on the agreement by observing the location where the fishermen`s settlement would be raised.

The project is expected to start this year.

At the initial stage, Aunda would only sink capital in the fishermen`s settlement project whose land would be provided by the city administration, and the Portuguese investor would likely extend the business by building a seaport in support of an integrated area project (Waterfront City) in Pasir Padi area.

Aunda had also successfully built such a project in Southeast Sulawesi province and thus Pangkalpinang would follow suit in an effort to improve local people`s welfare, Zulkarnain said.

Rajawali group to invest U$300 M - U$430 M in plantation, mining sector

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Rajawali Corporation Group is to invest US$300 million - US$400 million in the plantation and mining sectors after calling off its bid to become a strategic investor in national flag-carrier PT Garuda Indonesia, a spokesman said.

"We had earmarked the same amount of funds for the Garuda divestment program but since the government decided to postpone the plan to 2009, we will divert them to the expansion of our activities in the plantation and mining sectors," Darjoto Setiawan, Rajawali Group managing director, said here Monday.

The government had previously intended to invite strategic investors to revitalize Garuda which run up debts totaling US$794 million mainly with European countries belonging to the Export Credit Agency (ECA).

Darjoto said Rajawali Group in February 2007 sent a letter to the government to express its interest in investing in Garuda but there was no reply so that it decided to call off its bid last June 14.

The amount of funds the group had set aside to secure a stake in Garuda had been calculated in consideration of Garuda`s present conditions, including the airline company`s need to procure aircraft.

"The amount did not include loans we could provide, if needed," he said.

He said the government`s decision to postpone the involvement of strategic partners in Garuda was not wrong but Rajawali Group was ready to participate any time the government decided to divest the airline.

Now Rajawali Group would use the funds it had originally intended to invest in Garuda to expand its businesses in the plantation and mining sectors.

"In the plantation sector, we already control 100,000 hectares of oil-palm plantations in East and South Kalimantan and are planning to open more plantations as well as acquire existing ones in Papua," he said.

The group - owned by businessman Peter Sondakh -- also had coal mines in East Kalimantan, Darjoto said without disclosing the mines` production capacity.

He only said half of the US$300 million - US$400 million would be allocated for the group`s plantation business and the other half for its mining venture.

Netherlands to build infrastructure in Balikpapan

Balikpapan (ANTARA News) - The Netherlands is interested in building infrastructure in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan province.

"The Netherlands Ambassador to Indonesia along witht five to 10 Dutch investors, are soon coming to the Balikpapan," mayor of the oil city Imdaad Hamid said here on Monday.

The infrastructure project will cover clearn water, a port, electricity and public transportation.

With regard to the infrastructure project, the Netherlands, Imdaad said, would serve as an information center for countries in Europe.

Imdaad said this would be the first time that the Netherlands is building infrastructure projects in East Kalimantan, as they had built on the oil and gas sector in the past.

The Indonesian-Netherlands Association (INA), which has set up the Indonesian-Benelux Chamber Of Commerce (IBCC), will be seeking the Dutch government`s technical support to the project.

The technical support will include licensing from the Balikpapan city administration.

Australia`s Incitec evaluating $700-800 mln Indonesian coal gas plant

Sydney (ANTARA News) - Australia's largest fertilizer firm Incitec Pivot Ltd said it will conduct a feasibility study into investing in a coal gasification plant in the Indonesian province of Aceh worth around 700-800 mln usd.

The plant will produce gas feedstock for three fertilizer plants in Aceh which are currently producing well below capacity because of a lack of gas supply.

Incitec will fund, build and operate the proposed plant in return for receiving the ammonia and urea offtake. The feasibility study is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2008.

Incitec chief executive Julian Segal said his company has been in discussions with the Indonesian parties for some months, but it remains too early before they can be completely satisfied that any project would meet their strict investment criteria.

IPL plans to undertake the feasibility study with the Indonesian government-owned fertilizer company PT Pupuk Iskandar Muda (PIM), which owns two of the three ammonia and urea plants in Aceh, and the state-owned engineering company PT Rekayasa Industri.

The third fertilizer plant, owned by PT Asean Aceh Fertilizer, currently does not have sufficient natural gas feedstock to operate.

The three fertilizer plants have an installed capacity of greater than 1.7 mln tonnes per annum, but are currently producing only 300,000 tonnes.

The fertilizer plants will remain Indonesian owned and operated.

"If the parties agree to proceed, the project would underpin full-scale fertilizer production for all three plants, secure local fertilizer supplies for Indonesia and provide an additional source of ammonia and urea for Incitec for at least 20 years," Segal told Thomson Financial.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Yahoo in mobile Internet service deal with 6 Asian carriers

The Jakarta Post

SINGAPORE (AP): Yahoo Inc. said Wednesday six mobile carriers in Asia will use Yahoo's Web-based search service as the default engine on their mobile portals.

The operators are Globe Telecom Inc. in the Philippines, Idea Cellular Ltd. in India, LG Telecom in Korea, Maxis Communications Bhd. in Malaysia, PT Telekomunikasi Selular in Indonesia and Taiwan Mobile in Taiwan.

The operators have about 100 million subscribers combined, Yahoo said during a press briefing at a telecommunications conference in Singapore.

The Sunnyvale, Calif., Internet giant said the service will provide tailored and instant answers to any searches performed by cell phone users.

"These strategic partnerships demonstrate our commitment to invest in this (mobile) space and be the leader ... in Asia," said David Ko, vice president and general manager for a Yahoo division.

Ko declined to provide the financial terms of the deals reached with the six carriers. He said the company is in talks with operators in other regions for possible partnerships.

Yahoo has been losing ground to Google Inc. on the World Wide Web, an issue that some analysts say led to the resignation of Terry Semel as chief executive earlier this week. Co-founder Jerry Yang replaced Semel as chief executive.

Asia will be biggest driver of growth for Coca-Cola

The Jakarta Post

SINGAPORE (AP): Asia will be the biggest driver of Coca-Cola's growth over the next 10 years, the head of the world's biggest beverage company said Sunday, adding that the company had lost out by not investing enough in the region in the past.

"Asia is at the core," Neville Isdell, the chairman and chief executive of the Atlanta, Georgia-based Coca-Cola Co., said in an interview with The Associated Press.

"Because we haven't been making sufficient investments, we have underperformed the opportunities that are present in Asia," he said in Singapore on the sidelines of the two-day World Economic Forum on East Asia conference, which brought together some of the world's most influential industry leaders.

Isdell's comments come on the heels of Coca-Cola's upbeat financial results for the first quarter of 2007, when its profits jumped 14 percent.

The company said its worldwide unit-case volume sales grew 6 percent - the highest rate since 2002.

Isdell said Coca-Cola has invested more than US$1 billion over the last 12 months in Asia, particularly in the Philippines, China, India and Indonesia.

"There is no question that the biggest driver of our growth over this century, and over the next 10 years, is Asia. It's a very simple equation. It's where people are, and it's where the economic growth is, and it's clearly where we are focused," Isdell said.

"If you are not a major player in Asia you will not be a successful global company," he said.

The company's market share in Asia's non-alcoholic,ready-to-drink beverage market is currently "in the teens" and will become much higher in the next five years, Isdell said, without elaborating.

"We believe we will be the engine of growth for the industry," he said.

In a wide-ranging interview, Isdell talked about the acquisition strategy of Coca-Cola, which purchased Vitaminwater maker Glaceau earlier this month for US$4.1 billion. He said Vitaminwater would be available in Asia in the next few years.

He refused to say if Coca-Cola is thinking of buying Scottish mineral water maker Highland Spring, which some analysts have valued at US$1 billion.

Batam to get toxic waste plant

Fadli, The Jakarta Post, Batam

A Bogor-based company will build a toxic and hazardous waste processing plant in Batam, Riau Islands, this year.

The company, PT Prasadha Pamunah Limbah Industri (PPLI), will be the first Indonesian company to get into the business of managing toxic and hazardous waste in Batam.

The company's director Machmud Badres said the large amount of toxic and hazardous waste produced by industries in Batam made it economical to set up a facility to pool the waste there.

He said he expected the presence of the facility would encourage industries in Batam to properly process their waste.

"According to our plans, the facility will be built this year. We're still calculating the amount of total investment (needed) and the waste processing capacity of the depot," Machmud said.

He said the company was still negotiating with the relevant agencies in Batam, including over whether it could build the facility outside the waste processing area managed by the Batam Industrial Development Authority (BIDA).

According to Machmud, industries in Indonesia producing toxic and hazardous waste have shown a lack of environment awareness.

Despite laws urging the safe disposal of toxic and hazardous waste, many companies still dump their waste with little regard for the environment.

Machmud said that despite having the capacity to process 100,000 tons of waste a year, the unwillingness of Indonesian companies to properly dispose of their waste meant the company only processed half that much.

"I can't mention the volume of B3 waste churned out by the industries in Indonesia. The volume varies considerably. But looking at the volume we process, it's less than optimal," Machmud said.

He said there had been a number of cases in which authorities had successfully prosecuted companies for illegally dumping hazardous and toxic waste.

"Processing B3 waste only takes up 0.1 percent of the total production cost, so there should be no reason why the high cost of processing waste should lead companies to dispose of their hazardous waste carelessly," said Machmud.

The exact number of companies producing toxic waste in Batam is still unclear but is estimated to be in the hundreds.

Shell targets more growth in Indonesian market

Ika Krismantari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Since the government opened Indonesia's downstream oil and gas business two years ago, the sector has attracted numerous new players interested in entering the market.

A subsidiary of oil giant Royal Dutch Shell Plc, PT Shell Indonesia was the first foreign oil giant to enter Indonesia's retail gasoline market when it opened its first gas station in Jakarta in 2005. This was made possible only after the government revoked the monopoly held by state oil and gas firm PT Pertamina over the country's non-subsidized gasoline retailing industry.

Following on the heels of Shell were Malaysian state oil and gas firm Petroliam Nasional Berhad, or Petronas, and a number of other international companies.

The Jakarta Post recently interviewed the newly appointed president director of Shell Indonesia, Darwin Silalahi, on the company's plans in the downstream sector.

Question: How do you see Indonesia's retail gasoline market following the liberalization of the sector in 2005

Answer: For major players such as Shell, the retail business is significant and a critical part of our portfolio business. We will always be looking at business opportunities in emerging markets such as Indonesia. Indonesia has always been on the radar screen of Shell and, in fact, Shell actually had a retail development team in anticipation if the government opened the market.

Indonesia, with over 220 million people, is one of the key strategic markets for Shell globally, and Shell is keen to grow its business in Indonesia. Our global retail strategy is to grow in high-growth markets, such as Indonesia.

Indonesia is a highly under-pumped market, meaning that the number of stations, compared to the population, is still too small. Compare it to Malaysia, where we are number two in the country. There, the population is between 20 and 30 million people, and they have 900 stations. Indonesia as a whole only has 3,000 plus pump stations, and that means a huge growth potential.

The government is considering opening up the entire retail market for other business players, either by easing the requirements for distributing subsidized fuels or revoking the subsidy. Your comment on this?

What we need is predictability and clarity in the way the governing regulation is implemented. This is very important for players which will be looking at investment with suitable size and a long-term time line.

The way we see it the government seems to be serious about reducing or taking out as much of the subsidy as possible from the state's budget. We hear the plan for the government is to open the market for subsidized fuel.

If there is a plan to open the subsidized fuel market, I think that will allow us to be able to serve our customers better with a broader portfolio of fuel products. And that is something that we are looking forward to doing.

What is Shell's plan to open more gas stations outside Java? Will you also be interested in placing a bid in the tender for subsidized fuel?

It's fair to say that for us Indonesia is not just about Jabotabek (Greater Jakarta). Our longer term plan will be to serve the entire country, in a way that makes sense for the customers.

Our development to be able to serve a wider section of Indonesian customers will be contingent on a few things, such as access to subsidized fuels and how quickly we roll out the plan, as well as how well customers respond to our propositions.

We need to make sure that we have the ability to adjust our propositions depending on customers' characteristics, market economics of the area, the supply chain and the regulatory framework of the area.

We don't normally disclose the next location for very obvious reasons. We need to make sure that all the products will work and are in place. We will be not talking in terms of the rate of growth of number of stations, because that is very much determined by how fast the market is being opened up.

And for joining the bids for subsidized fuel tender, we need to make sure that we are able to qualify for that tender, and the key there is distribution infrastructure. I think for us at this stage of development, there is still significant room for growth there, both in Jakarta and other locations.

Beside the gasoline business, is Shell also interested in tapping other fuel markets In Indonesia?

We love to be pioneering the opening up of the Indonesian downstream market, and Shell will also be the first to enter into the Indonesian aviation fuel industry. We have signed an agreement with Pertamina in the aviation sector (in April).

Shell is a global leader. We are serving 20,000 aircraft at 1,100 airports. We are very happy to add Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport to our portfolio of 1,100 airports.

We are also excited to hear about the government pushing strongly for the conversion of kerosene to LPG.

We are currently looking into how and when we can participate in this emerging LPG market here. After all, we too are a global leader in LPG sales.

How do you respond to plans by other major oil firms, such as Total and Chevron, to play a role in Indonesia's downstream business?

Globally, we have proven to be the world's largest retailer with more than 46,000 stations operating globally. And in a lot of markets, we have been competing head to head with some of the global companies you have mentioned, and the fact is that we are still commanding our global leadership.

Shell welcomes new competitors to the Indonesian retail space and we believe it is the customers who will eventually benefit.

Indonesia to build textiles city in West Java

Jakarta (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - The Indonesian government and private investors plan to make Majalengka in West Java a textiles city under a program to cost Rp1.7 trillion (US$190 million).

Majalengka would be the country's first industrial estate specially for textiles and textile products, Metal, Machine, Textile and Multifarious Industries Director General Ansari Bukhari said.

The central and regional administrations and the Indonesian Textile Association (API) are serious about carrying out a feasibility study on the project, to be completed in three years.

Many textile factories in areas prone to flooding south of the West Java capital of Bandung would be moved to Majalengka, he said.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Bank of India acquires 76 per cent in Indonesia's PT Bank Swadesi

Domain-b.com, 23 June 2007

Mumbai: Public sector lender Bank of India made its first overseas acquisition by buying 76 per cent stake in Indonesia- based PT Bank Swadesi for an undisclosed amount.

The bank has signed an agreement for acquiring majority stake in PT Bank Swadesi, BoI said in a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

BoI has a representative office in Jakarta and the acquisition is expected to enhance its operations in Indonesia.

A mid-sized bank operating in Indonesia for the last 38 years, Bank Swadesi has 16 outlets and a licence for forex business. It is also listed on the Jakarta Stock Exchange.

Earlier in December 11, 2006, BoI had said that it would acquire 76 per cent stake PT Bank Swadesi Tbk and had signed a conditional sale-purchase agreement for this purpose with majority shareholders of the Indonesian firm.

The acquisition, however, is subject to necessary approvals or send this article to a friend confirmations from Bank Indonesia and the Indonesian capital market regulators, BoI said.

This would be the second acquisition of a bank in Indonesia by an Indian lender after the State Bank of India bought 76 per cent stake in Bank Indomonex.

Craft fair celebrates city birthday

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

A bazaar featuring traditional handicrafts from all over the country has been organized at South Jakarta's Cilandak Town Square mall -- better known as Citos -- to help out small and medium sized businesses.

The event, dubbed "We Love Indonesia", will be held all day every Thursday, starting this week until Aug. 17.

The event is being held to coincide with Jakarta's 480th anniversary and the 62nd celebration of Independence Day on Aug. 17.

Each week, the bazaar will display products from one of 10 regions of Indonesia: Greater Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, North Sumatra, Bali, East Nusa Tenggara, Papua, West Sumatra and Kalimantan.

"Through this event, we want to help enterprises promote their goods. We also want Indonesian people to further know their own cultures, and expatriates to see what Indonesian cultures look like," said Baby Jim Aditya, the director of Sinergy, a company coordinating the event along with the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises and the Tourism Ministry.

On its first day Thursday, the weekly bazaar displayed goods produced by small and medium enterprises in Greater Jakarta, including handmade embroidered bags, batik wall cloths depicting traditional puppets, paper lamps and ondel-ondel (traditional Betawi effigy) ornaments.

Next week, the bazaar will feature traditional products from West Java.

Nani from Setu Betawi Group, a collection of several Betawi craft makers, showed off a pencil studded with an ondel-ondel ornament made from areca nut.

"It takes about a month to make 100 of these because we have to dry the nuts first to get the perfect shape and color," said Nani, who made the pencils.

At the market was also a stand displaying West Javanese Baduy handicrafts, at which a woman weaved a Baduy shawl.

"I have been weaving since I was 15 years old," said Bisna, 31.

She added that it usually took her about a week to weave a shawl.

"It's quite difficult, therefore there are only a few women from outer Baduy who can weave," Bisna said.

Unlike the inner Baduy sub-tribe who still make their shawls without any tools, Bisna and other outer Baduy make their shawls with the help of a simple loom.

Besides displaying handicrafts, the event will also feature dances and other traditional performances.

On Thursday, a group of dancers from the Jakarta Pavilion of Taman Mini Indonesia Indah performed the so-called Nandak Ganjen (a dance to charm) accompanied by Betawi Gambang Kromong music.

"I choreographed the dance in order to preserve Betawi culture," said Entong, a dancing teacher from the pavilion.

On Aug. 17, the peak of the event, traditional games from throughout the country will highlight the event along with the games usually performed during Independence Day celebrations.

Govt continues drive to revive forests

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The government plans to rehabilitate 900,000 hectares of forestland this year in its effort to meet an overall target of restoring 5 million ha by 2009.

Forestry Minister Malam Sambat Kaban said Friday that since the inception of the National Rehabilitation Movement (Gerhan) project in 2003, some 2.3 million ha of forestland has been rehabilitated.

"We're focusing on recovering forests on Java first because there is not yet a tree planting culture there," Kaban told The Jakarta Post after opening a Gerhan meeting.

Kaban said Indonesia still faces a number of serious forestry predicaments, such as illegal logging, forest fires and increasing rates of deforestation.

"Deforestation (in Indonesia) has become the center of attention for the international world.

"This has become a global issue because it is considered to have a strong correlation to global warming, which the world is worried about," Kaban said.

Greenpeace applied to the Guinness Book of World Records last month to have Indonesia included in its 2008 edition for having had the fastest rate of deforestation in the world between 2000 and 2005.

Kaban highlighted the importance of reforestation, saying it correlates to three of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, to ensure environmental sustainability and to develop a global partnership for development.

This year, the government has earmarked Rp 4.1 trillion (US$454 million) from the ministry's rehabilitation fund and the state budget to rehabilitate damaged forestlands throughout Indonesia.

At the Gerhan meeting, the director general for social forestry and land rehabilitation, Darori, said Rp 3.38 trillion will be allocated over two phases for rehabilitation works this year.

"In the first phase, there is a proposed fund of Rp 2.17 trillion to be used by 539 working units at various levels," he said.

"Meanwhile, we are still discussing budgets for the second phase of Rp 1.21 trillion with the Finance Ministry."

Kaban has requested that regents come up with at least 10 percent of the rehabilitation fund needed for regencies.

"We need revitalization, capital injection and new technologies," the minister said.

"I have instructed the regents to channel the funds in a way that will cultivate the land more productively."

He said regents could use the fund in a variety of ways permitted by forestry laws and the rehabilitation blueprint.

Iran grateful for RI support: Envoy

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has expressed gratitude to Indonesia for its rejection of a UN Security Council statement condemning calls he made for the destruction of Israel's Zionist regime.

As quoted by the Indonesian special envoy for the Middle East, Alwi Shihab, Ahmadinejad said Indonesia's stance on the UNSC statement had displayed the country's high-level of independence amid pressure from Western countries.

Alwi recently met with Ahmadinejad in Tehran to present a letter from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to the Iranian president.

Earlier this month, Indonesia became the only UNSC member to reject the statement denouncing Ahmadinejad's remarks on Israel.

Indonesia said the decision to target the president's remarks was unfair and that on occasion the UN has remained silent on issues that directly threaten international peace and security.

In light of the government's stance, there was little, if any, reaction from domestic politicians who had been clamoring over Indonesia's decision to throw its weight behind further UN sanctions against Iran in April over its nuclear ambitions.

During the visit to Tehran, Alwi, who was foreign affairs minister under former president Abdurrahman "Gus Dur' Wahid, also held a meeting with Iranian Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Mehdi Mostafavi.

Ahmadinejad said that Iran and Indonesia have long enjoyed an amiable relationship and differences between the two countries should quickly be mended so third parties could not interfere.

"I believe that my relationship with Indonesia, especially with the Indonesian President, is special, and I believe that this special relationship will prevail," Alwi said, quoting Ahmadinejad.

Alwi met with Yudhoyono on Friday to present him with Ahmadinejad's reply to his letter.

Ahmadinejad embarked on a stately visit to Indonesia in May last year in an effort to rally support for Iran's nuclear program.

In his letter to Ahmadinejad, Yudhoyono highlighted the renewal of the relationship between Iran and Indonesia and said the two countries could pursue closer cooperation in cultural affairs, oil and gas ventures, small and medium enterprises and customs.

Yudhoyono also conveyed the government's support for Iran's nuclear projects on the proviso they were conducted with peaceful purposes in mind.

On his visit, Alwi and his delegation also struck a deal for the creation of a fertilizer company.

Both the Indonesian and Iranian governments have agreed to finance the project through the Asian Development Bank.

The Iranian government has also granted an opportunity to state-owned gas company PT PGN to develop Iranian downstream gas sector.

Friday, June 22, 2007

PT Pos to install online systems at 2,000 post offices

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - State-owned postal services company PT Pos Indonesia will install online communication systems at 2,000 of the country`s 3,600 post offices by late this year to support business activity, the company`s chief said.

"Today 1,856 out of 3,600 post offices already use on-line systems but we will have increased the number to 2,000 by late this year," Hana Suryana, PT Pos president director, said here Thursday.

The on-line systems would enable PT Pos Indonesia to develop a business service dubbed Payment Point through which the public can pay phone, electricity and water as well as credit card bills.

Hana said PT Pos Indonesia was also already using the on-line system in a service run in cooperation with 16 banks enabling people to send or receive cash money through ATMs using the Alto system.

In the future, Hana said, PT Pos Indonesia would empower the online system by increasing business content.

Hana said PT Pos Indonesia could cooperate with the Communication and Information Ministry and telecommunication firm PT Telkom to obtain funds for the operation of online systems.

Singapore`s Mediacorp buys 6.5 pct of Indonesia`s MNC from IPO

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Singapore media firm, MediaCorp, said it has acquired a 6.5 pct stake in PT Media Nusantara Citra (MNC), the owner of Indonesia's biggest TV station, RCTI.

The shares were purchased from MNC's recent initial public offering, MediaCorp chief executive Lucas Chow said.

MNC said it sold 4.13 bln shares in the float, equivalent to 30 pct of its enlarged capital, at a price of 900 rupiah each. Proceeds from the offer totaled 3.71 trln rupiah.

Separately, MNC president Hary Tanoesoedibjo said that his firm will work with MediaCorp in order to expand its business in the Asia Pacific region.

Mandala Airlines to buy 25 Airbus A320 aircraft

Jakarta (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - Mandala Airlines says it will buy 25 Airbus A320 aircraft valued at US$1.9 billion to strengthen its fleet, as it faces tighter competition in Indonesia.

Mandala President Diono Nurjadin said the 180-seat aircraft will be used to serve domestic flights. "The first phase is to increase frequency of flights in routes we already serve," Nurjadin said in Paris where he attended the Paris Air Show 2007.

He said the aircraft will be delivered in phases from 2011 to 2014 and meanwhile, Mandala will lease 26-28 Airbus A320 aircraft in phases of six or eight units every year to replace old Boeing aircraft it has.

Post offices to provide access to digital world

Alvin Darlanika Soedarjo, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Indonesian communities will soon be acquainted with new government-initiated Internet kiosks at local post offices featuring at least four desktop computer stations, a scanner, a printer and a digital camera.

In a drive to provide communities with greater Net access for educational and entrepreneurial purposes, the Internet kiosks were jointly conceived by the Communication and Information Ministry and state-owned PT Pos Indonesia.

The joint project has been dubbed the Indonesian Information Community Kiosk or Warmasif.

"Warmasif is an outlet for people in a particular area to communicate, access global information, market their products, make online deals and access a virtual community library," said Director General for Information and Telecommunication Technology Cahyana Ahmadjayadi on Thursday.

The project aims to reduce poverty, narrow the digital divide and create knowledge-based communities, he said at a press conference on the collaborative effort.

"There are already 13 Warmasif kiosks in Indonesia, such as in Palangkaraya, Kupang, Manado, Ambon and Jayapura. We plan to develop 50 more this year in various cities and regencies," he said.

Provincial administrations have been urged to inform their communities on the function and educational and financial benefits of Warmasif.

Kiosk-goers will be linked to a virtual subject-based library developed by the Communication and Information Ministry.

Comprehensive electronic health and medical resources will also be made available, which will include access to health insurance companies, hospitals, clinics, the Indonesian Red Cross, medical experts and specialists.

The e-business component of Warmasif will help users market their products globally, purchase products from other provinces or foreign countries and make electronic transactions, which will be authorized by their local post office.

The ministry also runs a small and medium business website (e-UKM) to enable users to liaise with other entrepreneurs online.

Open-source operating system Linux will be installed on all kiosk computers in an effort to provide the system with better protection against viruses, Cahyana said.

The project will support the spirit of the Indonesia Go Open Source (IGOS) program, which is a national scheme in which state institutions use license-free, open-source software rather than proprietary products developed by major global software companies.

The deal between the ministry and PT Post Indonesia will also involve training for kiosk administrators.

"Post office employees will be trained to become administrators and guides for members of the community who are still computer and Internet illiterate. There are many of them in remote areas," said PT Pos Indonesia chairman Hana Suryana.

People can find more information about the venture at www.warmasif.co.id.

For PT Pos Indonesia, this is the company's second major digital business venture -- after establishing Internet service provider Wasantara Net in 1996 -- and takes advantage of its widespread network of post offices.

Related article : Special Delivery

Survey shows Indonesian SMEs to be reveling in optimism

Andi Haswidi, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Indonesian small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) have the highest investment expectations among to their peers in eight Asian markets, plus Australia, according to a survey conducted by HSBC.

The investment expectations survey, the first of its kind to be conducted by the London-based bank, indicates that about 64 percent of all respondents in Indonesia plan to increase their investment this year, leaving mainland China in second place on 54 percent, followed by Australia on 45 percent.

The survey was conducted in collaboration with ACNielsen in the first quarter of 2007, and covered 1,800 SMEs in nine countries and territories: Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, India, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.

"We conducted this survey as SMEs are one of the main engines of economic growth as they employ the largest number of employees. In Indonesia alone, about 50 million people work for SMEs," HSBC Indonesia head of commercial banking Khuresh Faizullabhoy said, citing figures from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS).

With the exception of Australia, the countries were chosen because they were representative of the economies of East Asia, Khuresh said, adding that the survey would cover more countries in the future.

A key finding of the investment expectations survey was that none of the Indonesian respondents were planning to cease trading any time soon. This was also the case in India.

"This shows that Indonesian businesses are very optimistic about the future. This is obviously the result of how they perceive the country's economic outlook," said HSBC senior vice president for business banking Andre S. Sudjono.

According to the survey, about 55 percent of Indonesian businesses expect faster economic growth this year, while 29 percent see it continuing at the same pace and 15 percent expect slower growth.

As investment plans directly affect hiring, the survey says that 22 percent of Indonesian small businesses expect to increase the number of their employees by more than 10 percent, while another 22 percent expect the figure to be lower than 10 percent, meaning that a total of 44 percent of the 209 Indonesian respondents are positive about recruiting more workers this year.

This means that Indonesian SMEs are the second most optimistic on hiring after mainland China, where 57 percent of SMEs expect to recruit more workers this year. After Indonesia in third place on 43 percent is India.

In terms of trade growth, 63 percent of Indonesian SMEs expected trade with mainland China to grow, 72 percent saw trade with the rest of Asia growing and 61 percent said trade with the rest of the world would grow.

"Compared to other countries, Indonesian SMEs on 72 percent show the highest expectations of increased trade with other Asian countries rather than China, while in countries such as India and Singapore, SMEs expected more trade with mainland China," Andre said.

Overall, HSBC concludes that the optimism of Indonesian SMEs provides a very good barometer of economic health as they are major job creators and form a critically important part of the economy.

"Their optimism, therefore, is a clear reflection of economic growth," Khuresh said.

Indonesia to get 25 international sea ports

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The government will develop 25 international ports over the next few years in order to facilitate the country's growing foreign trade in regions outside Java, a senior official at the Ministry of Transportation says.

The ministry's director general for sea transportation, Harijogi, said Thursday that the 25 ports would be selected from among the existing 141 ports.

Speaking following a hearing with the House of Representatives' transportation commission, he said that the 25 ports would be developed in such a way that their operations would be focused on serving international routes.

He pointed out that while some of existing ports had already been serving international traffic, they needed to be modernized so as to expand throughput.

"Our research and development unit is investigating which of the 141 ports can be developed as full international ports," he said. He did not disclose the locations of the 25 ports, but said that most of them were located outside Java.

"The research and development unit is auditing the performance of each port and should have concluded its survey by the end of this year," he said.

According to Harijogi, besides the survey, the ministry was also drafting a master plan and investigating which international port security systems should be installed in the 25 ports.

The two tasks, he said, were respectively expected to be completed by August and October.

He refused to comment on how much investment and additional infrastructure would be needed in the future, saying that the master plan was not yet finished.

The ministry's plan to establish new international sea ports, Harijogi said, was key to facilitating the flow of exports and imports as mandated by Presidential Instruction No. 6 of 2007 on accelerated growth in the real, and micro, small and medium enterprises sectors.

Harijogi said the ministry would also discuss the plan with the relevant local administrations. "They should be excited to have their ports upgraded to international standard," he said.

Senior ministry officials, including Transportation Minister Jusman Syafei Djamal, were in the House to discuss the shipping law (amendment) bill with the members of the commission.

The government has proposed in the bill that the private sector be allowed to operate sea ports. The sector is at present the preserve of state-owned port management companies Pelindo I, Pelindo II, Pelindo III and Pelindo IV.

Harijogi said that the change was urgently needed so that the private sector, especially foreign investors, could participate in the modernization of the country's port services.

A number of companies, including foreign firms, have expressed interest in developing and operating ports here but are prevented from doing so by the legal obstacles, he said.

The government also proposes in the revised bill that foreign-flagged vessels be prohibited from carrying local freight within the country's territorial waters, thereby giving a statutory basis to a similar existing prohibition set out in a government regulation.