“ … 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.)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

72 students receive prestigious Monbukagakusho scholarship

The Jakarta Post | Tue, 03/31/2009 10:11 PM

As many as 72 students are set to leave for Japan on Wednesday after having been awarded the prestigious multi-discipline Monbukagakusho from the Japanese Ministry for Education, Science and Technology, kompas.com reported.

Forty eight of them will be following graduate studies, four will partake in the undergraduate program while the remaining 20 are on diploma programs.

Apart from receiving a tuition fee waive, students would receive a monthly allowance and a return ticket.

According to kompas.com, there are 1,791 Indonesian students currently studying in Japan, 690 of which are being paid for by the Japanese government.

Next year's scholarship application will be open to public after April this year. (amr)

Hard Rock donates to learning farm for youths

The Jakarta Post, Mon, 03/30/2009 12:59 PM

CIANJUR: Hard Rock Cafe International has donated US$20,000 to the Learning Farm, an organization providing job training for youths.

The donation was handed over by Hard Rock Cafe International CEO Hamish Dodds, to the Farm's youth program adviser, Jiway Tung, at the farm at Maleber tea plantation in Cianjur, West Java.

"The donation was a result of our fund-raising programs like wristbands and CD sales. Our guests also chipped in," the cafe's general manager, Paulus Panggabean, said.

The Learning Farm was established in 2005 to help school dropouts, street kids and the unemployed gain vocational skills.

Jiway said the farm would use the donation to buy land, because it still had to borrowed property from the Medco Foundation.

NEC to Build Submarine Cable Linking Indonesia and Hong Kong


Martyn Williams, IDG News Service, Tuesday, March 31, 2009 1:50 AM PDT

NEC has won a contract to build a new submarine fiber-optic cable linking Indonesia to Hong Kong.

The Submarine Cable Asia Network (SCAN) will connect the Indonesian capital of Jakarta and the second-largest city of Surabaya to Hong Kong and from there on to other cable networks.

The 4,300-kilometer cable system will have an initial transmission capacity of 40 Gbps with upgrades possible to 1.92 Tbps, NEC said. It will also be built with three branching units along its length to facilitate possible future expansion to other ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries.

The cable is being constructed by Fangbian Iskan Corporindo and Telemedia Pacific. NEC's work is expected to begin during the first half of this year and be completed by 2011.

Indonesia offers US$6.14 bln high-speed rail project

Jakarta (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) -- Indonesia's Transport Ministry has invited investors to build a US$6.14 billion high-speed train and track project covering a distance of 683 kilometers between Jakarta and Surabaya in East Java.

Railway Director General Wendy Aritenang Yazid said the government will facilitate the process of securing the license and guarantee legal certainty for investors agreeing to build and operate the project.

Prospective investors may build and operate the project without involving the state-owned railway company PT Kereta Api, Yazid said.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Indonesia bond exchange to reduce refinancing risks

Reuters, 03.30.09, 07:55 AM EDT

JAKARTA, March 30 (Reuters) - Indonesia will offer investors the opportunity to exchange short-dated rupiah debt for longer-dated paper, the finance ministry said in a statement on Monday, in a bid to reduce refinancing risks.

The ministry plans to swap government bonds maturing in 2009-2012 with fixed-rate bonds FR0034, which mature on June 15, 2021 and have a 12.8 percent coupon.

The government will offer to sell the 12-year bonds at 101.5 percent of par value. The debt traded at around 99.5 trade on Monday.

Debt analysts, however, said the debt exchange offers an opportunity for investors to take profits by selling short-dated paper following a recent rally, and to switch to longer-dated bonds amid expectations of lower inflation.

'Bonds have rallied sharply in recent weeks,' said one Jakarta-based bond trader.

'It's a good time to take profits now.'

For the government, the bond exchange offers a chance to extend its debt maturity profile and reduce refinancing risks if the global capital markets experience further bouts of turbulence and upheaval, analysts said.

Indonesia's government, which faces elections this year, has announced a 73.3 trillion rupiah fiscal stimulus package to boost growth and counter the impact of a global economic slowdown.

With the budget deficit forecast at 2.5 precent of gross domestic product this year, the government has turned to the bond markets for funding and has so far raised more than two-thirds of its gross debt issuance target for this year.

The central bank cut its key interest rate by 50 basis points to 7.75 percent earlier in March, bringing total cuts this year to 150 basis points to support economic growth.

The central bank lowered its growth forecast to 3 percent for this year, down from 6.1 percent last year.

(Reporting by Adriana Nina Kusuma and Tyagita Silka; Editing by Sara Webb)

((ga.arka@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: ga.arka.reuters.com@reuters.net; +62 21 384 6364 ext 911)) Keywords: INDONESIA ECONOMY/DEBT

(If you have a query or comment on this story, send an email to news.feedback.asia@thomsonreuters.com)

Indonesia's Merukh raises stake in Newmont unit

Reuters, Fitri Wulandari, Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:14am EDT

JAKARTA, March 30 (Reuters) - One of Indonesia's leading mining executives, Yusuf Merukh, has lifted his stake in Newmont Mining Corp's (NEM.N) Indonesian unit to 27 percent from 20 percent, paying $427 million for the shares, he said on Monday.

The purchase by Merukh's privately owned company PT Pukuafu Indah is part of a divestment of shares in PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara (NNT), which operates the Batu Hijau copper and gold mine in eastern Indonesia.

Newmont and Sumitomo Corp (8053.T) own 45 percent and 35 percent respectively of Newmont Nusa Tenggara but under the terms of their mining contract must complete the sale of a 51 percent stake in the company to local investors by 2010.

A 20 percent stake has already been sold to PT Pukuafu Indah and Newmont has agreed to sell a 31 percent stake gradually by 2010.

Newmont also offered to sell a 7 percent stake, valued at $348 million, to the Indonesian government this year, Merukh said.

Merukh's comments came as various shareholders await an announcement by an arbitration court in Indonesia over a previous share sale by Newmont in its unit.

Newmont began offering to sell its shares in NNT in 2006, initially offering 3 percent for $109 million. The following year it offered 7 percent worth $282 million. Indonesia's finance ministry was given the right of first refusal.

However, the government said the share sales could not go ahead because Newmont had missed a deadline to complete the deals.

In February 2008, the energy ministry threatened to annul NNT's contract of work, saying it had not sold its shares in time to local investors. But Newmont said it had sold a 2 percent stake to the Sumbawa local government in January 2008.

Both the government and Newmont filed cases against each other in the arbitration court in March 2008 after talks between both parties on the divestment collapsed. The arbitration court is due to announce its ruling on March 31.

The Newmont case has attracted considerable attention from foreign investors and international mining firms, providing yet another example of a conflict between the Indonesian government and a foreign party over ownership of the country's resources.

Indonesia hosts international resource firms including Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold (FCX.N) but has struggled to get big new foreign investment in recent years, largely due to uncertainty over the mining laws. (Editing by Sara Webb and David Holmes)

Dutch company to make electric cars for Europe, US

Malaysia's Proton, Dutch company set to make electric cars for Europe, US by 2010

Yahoo Finance, 30 March 2009

Vijay Joshi, Associated Press Writer, Monday March 30, 2009, 10:03 am EDT

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (AP) -- Malaysia's national car maker Proton and a Dutch-based company signed a $555 million deal Monday to make zero emission electric cars that they said would be more powerful that any existing model.

Proton and Detroit Electric, a startup company that owns the technology, signed the agreement in the presence of Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to produce the sedan cars, initially targeted for Europe and the U.S.

"We have the audacity to bring to the people an affordable, practical, everyday car ... with zero emission," Detroit Electric Holdings Ltd. Chief Executive Albert Lam said in a speech.

The four-door vehicle will roll out of Proton's factory by early next year, Lam told The Associated Press in an interview.

The aim is to produce 40,000 units in the first year, ramping up to 270,000 by 2013, he said. The cars will be priced between $23,000 and $33,000, depending on the model and taxation.

Under the agreement, Detroit Electric will use Proton's underutilized assembly line. Detroit Electric's motor, lithium polymer battery, the drive train and other components will be fitted in the bodies of two Proton models, Persona and Gen 2. They will be sold as Detroit Electric, without a specific brand name.

If it succeeds, Detroit Electric would be among the first to mass-produce an electric car driven purely by a noiseless battery-powered motor, unlike current hybrid engines that combine gasoline engines and electric motors.

General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Motor Co., PSA Peugeot-Citroen, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Tesla Motors are all seeking to develop electric cars market amid rising consumer interest in "green" technologies -- and at a particularly difficult time for the industry amid the global slowdown.

U.S.-based Tesla Motors has a prototype that has a claimed range of 160 miles (257 kilometers) and is scheduled to be produced by 2011, and cost about $50,000. A Peugeot-Mitsubishi collaboration, the iMiEV hatchback, expected to reach European consumers next year, has a stated range of 90 miles (145 kilometers).

Lam said Detroit Electric's base model, meant for city driving, will have a range of 150 miles (240 kilometers) on a full charge of eight to 10 hours and will have a top speed of 120 miles per hour (195 kmph).

The higher model will have a range of 200 miles (320 kilometers) with a top speed of 120 miles per hour. Plugging the car to an ordinary electric power outlet would charge the battery, manufactured by a South Korean company.

"We will be the spark that triggers change and tells people now is the time," said Lam. "Let's push change in the industry for environment's sake, for the sake of less dependency on petrol, for the sake of zero emission and for noiseless driving."

Lam, a British citizen and a longtime auto industry executive, joined a group of Dutch investors and inventors of the car's motor to set up a company in Damwoude, Netherlands. Lam bought the rights to the company's name -- Detroit Electric produced electric cars in the U.S. in 1907 -- to restore its historical legacy.

The engineers developed the car over 18 months and two working models were demonstrated to journalists last year.

Proton, which has struggled in recent years, could benefit from the agreement and create a niche market for itself.

"The project shows that Proton can adapt well to the current challenging economic climate," said Proton Managing Director Syed Zainal Abidin bin Syed Mohamed Tahir. "As a manufacturer, we have to think differently from others and start venturing into new areas where there are potential for growth," he said.

He said the deal will earn Proton revenue of at least 2 billion ringgit ($555 million) over four years, even if it makes only 40,000 cars per year.

Proton will have the option of buying the Detroit Electric technology after a nine-month evaluation period and to sell the car under its own brand in Southeast Asia.

Associated Press writer Eileen Ng contributed to this report.

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Canada opens job opportunities for Indonesians

Denpasar (ANTARA News) - Canada has opened job opportunities for foreign workers including from Indonesia, in the formal sector, a Canadian immigration lawyer, Louay Alghoul, said here on Monday.

"The Canadian government has opened the opportunity for job seekers in other countries, including Indonesia, to work in the formal sector in Canada," Alghoul said at a business meeting on Indonesian migrant workers.

He said the foreign workers could be employed on long-term contracts and ultimately have the chance to become Canadian citizens.

"In addition, they will receive high wages and good protection," he said, adding that in Canada local and foreign workers were treated equally.

He said the job opportunities offered available in Canada for foreign workers were in the fields of health, construction, and hotel industry.

In addition, he said, Canada was seeking serious partners from Indonesia to cooperate in the manpower employment field.

"We even want to open an official representative office in Indonesia," he said.

RI exports tuna worths US$337.89 million

Denpasar (ANTARA News) - Indonesia`s tuna and skip jack tuna fish exports in 2008 reached 125,933 tons worth US$ 337,89 million, or up from 121,316 tons worth US$304.34 million a year earlier, fisheries official said.

Dr Ali Supardan, Fisheries Catch affairs Director General at Maritime and Fisheries Ministry made the statement here Monday, adding that the country`s fish export in the last four years (2005-2008) rose.

During the period, the fish export volume rose at the average of 12.43 percent, while its revenue was up by 11.53 percent, he said.

According to him, the country`s main fish export destinations were Japan, United States and European Union (EU).

In the meantime Supardan said the number of Indonesian fishing boats which were recorded in the "Indian Ocean Tuna commission (IOTC)" reached 874 units.

In addition, Widi A. Pratikto, Maritime and Fisheries Ministry secretary general said Indonesia has been participating in managing the tuna fishing in the Indian Ocean as well as supporting the fish conservation in the region.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lombok Int'l Airport should complete this year : VP Kalla

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sun, 03/29/2009 4:30 PM

The construction of the Lombok International Airport in Tana Awu village, Central Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara is targetted to complete by October this year, state officials said Sunday.

In a coordinating meeting between Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Transportation Minister Jusman Syafeii Djamal and State Enterprises Minister Sofyan Djalil in Mataram,

Kalla emphasized the importance of the rapid completion of the airport project in order to support the Dubai Emaar Properties investment project on the island.

It is expected that the completion of the airport would go in hand with the completion of the planned tourist resort, he said.

The construction of the airport, which so far has costed Rp 802 billion, is expected to complete by the end of 2009 for operation in 2010.

Kompas.com reported that up to 69.91 percent of the airport runway infrastructure were done, while 64.77 percent of the passenger terminal and parking area construction needed to be completed. (amr)

Myanmar, Indonesia seek direct trade link

www.chinaview.cn, 2009-03-29 10:39:54

YANGON, March 29 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar and Indonesia are seeking direct trade link, direct banking transaction and direct Yangon-Jakarta air link to boost their bilateral economic and cooperation, the leading local weekly Yangon Times reported in this week's issue, quoting Indonesian official sources.

So far, the two countries are trading through Malaysia, carrying out banking transaction through Singapore and connecting without direct air link.

The report also quoted the two countries' businessmen as saying that Indonesia imported from Myanmar beans and pulses, onions and marine products, while it exported to Myanmar in return crude oil, cigarettes, and medicines.

Indonesia's beans and pulses import from Myanmar amounted to 20,000 tons annually, the report added.

Indonesia is Myanmar's fourth largest trading partner among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) after Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, having a bilateral trade of 235.09 million U.S. dollars with Myanmar in 2008. Of the total, Indonesia’s exports to Myanmar amounted to 209.03 million dollars, while its imports from Myanmar were valued at 26.06 million dollars, according to Myanmar official statistics.

Meanwhile, Indonesia's investment in Myanmar has so far reached over 241 million dollars since late 1988 when Myanmar opened to such investment, standing the 9th among Myanmar's foreign investors.

Editor: Deng Shasha

East Timor to be Home for New Golf Resort


The developer that built Malaysia's Sutera Harbour resort plan to build the first luxury resort in East Timor. Edward Ong, the principal of the Singapore-based Ock Group, will build the soon-to-be-named resort on a coastal setting outside East Timor's capital of Dili. The resort will consist of a 350-room hotel (the nation's first five-star hotel), a business park, and a 27-hole golf complex.

The resort will be modeled after the 348-acre Sutera Harbour resort in Sabah, Malaysia, which Ong opened in 2000. Sutera Harbour has two hotels (956 total rooms), a marina, a spa, and a 27-hole, Graham Marsh-designed golf complex.

East Timor, Asia's newest country, is in Indonesia, 400 miles northwest of Australia. It won its independence in 2002 after considerable violence and internal strife. The country is still struggling to build an economy - its unemployment rate is said to be 40 percent - and it lacks dependable electrical power and necessities such as a large airport and office space.

Initially, the resort will target business travelers. But Ong hopes East Timor will eventually generate enough tourism to warrant the construction of more hotel rooms and other attractions. "It's a virgin place that people have not explored yet," said Ong, who hopes to open the resort in 2012.

This story originally appeared in Asian Golf Business.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Govt delays maiden export of LNG from Tangguh

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government is delaying the maiden export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Tangguh refineries in Papua province to Fujian, China, initially scheduled in May this year.

Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources Purnomo Yusgiantoro said on Friday he was not sure how long it would take for the government to postpone the LNG exports from Tangguh.

Previously, the government has delayed a maiden export of the Tangguh LGN from February to May 2009 due to a technical problem.

He however said that the government would likely carry out the maiden export from Bontang, East Kalimantan.

"The government is willing to make sure that the Bontang gas production would not be affected following the decline in LNG demand from the refineries due to the global economic crisis," the minister said.

The government also assured that the Tangguh refineries in Papua would have been ready before it exported the commodity. It also wanted that the LNG terminal in Fujian would also be completed first.

The minister explained that the Indonesian team sent to inspect the terminal in Fujian had returned to Indonesia.

"The team reported that Fujian for the time being only asked for one cargo of LNG to test the use of its terminal. The demand would be met by shipping the LNG from Bontang," he said.

100 UEA investors to visit Padang

Padang (ANTARA News) - Some 100 investors from the United Arab Emirates (UEA) are expected to visit here late June to explore the possibility of investment, an official said.

They would come to West Sumatra to see for themselves small islands off the provincial capital Padang, Padang Mayor Fauzi Bahar said here on Friday.

They were expected to develop the islands into tourist resorts, he said.

The mayor said the UAE investors expressed their wish to visit Padang during his visit to Dubai early this month.

He said the local administration would continue its effort to attract investors in line with the Indonesian president`s call for each regional government to open as many investment opportunities as possible.

VP to chair coordination meeting in Lombok airport

The Jakarta Post, Sat, 03/28/2009 6:51 PM

Vice President Jusuf Kalla is scheduled to chair a coordination meeting on the Lombok International Airport (BIL) and tourism development projects in Mataram, Lombok, on Sunday morning, a local administration official said.

"The vice president will chair the consultation meeting soon after arriving at Selaparang airpot in Mataram on Sunday morning," Andi Hadiyanto, offical spokesman of the West Nusatemggara (NTB) provincial administration, said as quoted by Antara Saturday.

He said the vice president and his entourage would leave Halim Perdanakusuma airport in Jakarta at 6 local time on Sunday morning and arrive at Selaparang airport at 8:50 a.m. local time.

"After the meeting at Selaparang airport, the vice president and his entourage will proceed to Satya Graha building at No.8 Ahmad Yani street for a Golkar Party internal activity," Hadiyanto said.

Hadiyanto said at 11 a.m. the vice president would also inspect Turda sport stadium on Tuan Guru Faisal street to obtain first hand information about the physical condition of West Nusa Tenggara foot ball trainers.

Then, at noon, Kalla and his entourage would leave Selaparang airport for East Nusa Tenggara's provincial capital of Kupang.

Friday, March 27, 2009

President instructs reconstruction of Situ Gintung dam

Antara News, 28 March 2009

A broken dam on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia on Friday, March 27. Heavy rain caused the dam to burst, sending a wall of water and mud crashing through hundreds of houses. (Supri/Reuters)

More Photos >

Tangerang (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has instructed the relevant authorities to reconstruct the Situ Gintung dam in Ciputat, southeast Jakarta, which burst early Friday morning killing at least 35 people.

The President issued the instruction when he inspected the disaster site on Friday.

"The burst dam must be rebuilt. We will also design the new structure in a proper way so that it will not cause any further public concern," the President told the press when observing conditions near the broken dam.

In the disaster, a 250-meter-long section of the dam broke down allowing huge volumes of dam water to sweep over residential areas. It occurred at around 2 am Friday following several hours of heavy rains on Thursday night.

Besides instructing the rebuilding of a dam of better quality, the president also said the government would help residents whose homes were damaged rebuild their dwellings.

"The government, as it used to be, will help residents reconstruct their damaged houses," Yudhoyono said.

The head of state hoped that the central and local governments would properly coordinate their efforts in the reconstruction of the Situ Gintung Dam so that the emergency response given by both sides would proceed smoothly.

"Our system has since the beginning been on the right track. Before I arrived here, the vice president, the chief people`s welfare minister and others have also come here to carry out their respective tasks and functions in the framework of their emergency response duties," the president said.

Search and rescue officers were trying to rescue residents being trapped in their submerged houses. The survivors were evacuated to higher grounds near the University of Muhammadiyah Jakarta (UMJ) campus.

The floodwaters still reached a height of one to two meters late Friday morning.

Some survivors said that the disaster reminded them of a deadly tsunami which devastated Aceh Province and Nias Island on December 26, 2004.

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State-backed road projects to soon provide 600,000 new jobs

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 03/27/2009 2:14 PM

The Public Works Ministry expects 605,000 new jobs could be quickly created by building highways financed by the state budget.

"Originally, we predicted the acceleration of national road development would absorb 550,000 new workers. But if we add the stimulus factor ... we can have another 55,000 workers," the ministry's director general for highways Hermanto Dardak said on Wednesday.

"The stimulus package for road development amounting to Rp 1.7 trillion (US$195 million) will add to our existing Rp 18.7 trillion for roads. We have submitted the project proposal to the Finance Ministry and hopefully they can disburse the package as soon as possible," he said.

According to Hermanto, the ministry will use the budget for developing, maintaining and reconstructing around 33,000 kilometers (km) of roads and 62,000 meters of bridges.

The archipelago has about 350,000 km of roads -- 35,000 km of which have been built by the central government Public Works Ministry.

The ministry will prioritize the development and reconstruction of damaged highways that function as vital arteries for national distribution of goods and commodity trade.

Among these are the Tanjung Priok access road in Jakarta, and the Bogor ring road in West Java.

Four highway sections -- Eastern trans - Sumatra, Lahat - Tebing Tinggi, Manokwari - Sorong and the Manado - Mapanget link roads -- will receive extra funds from the stimulus package, according to Hermanto. The largest portion of the road construction budget will be for the bridge connecting the East Java capital Surabaya and Madura island.

"We have allocated Rp 4.5 trillion for the completion of the Suramadu bridge, which is expected to finish by the end of June," Hermanto said.

The ministry has allocated Rp 11 trillion for the construction of new roads; Rp 325 billion for land needed to build new roads and around Rp 2 trillion for capping land prices and completing land purchases.

The allocation for land acquisitions and capping will be prioritized for the Solo-Kertosono, Medan-Kualanamo and Cileunyi-Sumedang-Dawuan highway projects. (hdt)

JICA Loan For MRT On Track

The Jakarta Globe, Muhamad Al Azhari, March 26, 2009

The development of Jakarta’s long-delayed mass rapid transportation system, or MRT, appears to be gathering steam, with a Finance Ministry document revealing that Indonesia and the Japan International Cooperation Agency are set to sign a deal on Tuesday that would set aside 48.15 billion yen ($491 million) in low-interest loans for the project.

The deal represents part of JICA’s 120-billion-yen commitment to finance 85 percent of the transportation system, which the municipal government hopes would help solve the capital’s traffic problems.

The funds from JICA are being provided under the Special Terms for Economic Partnership, a soft loan scheme, and will be divided into four disbursements.

The first tranche, agreed to in June, amounts to 1.86 billion yen. On Wednesday, the central government gave 758 million yen as part of this tranche to the Jakarta administration to pay for consulting services and an equity stake in PT Mass Rapid Transport Jakarta, which will develop and operate the project.

“This grant shows the commitment of the central and local governments to develop infrastructure amid the global [financial] crisis,” Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo said at a ceremony to mark the release of the grant to the Jakarta administration at the Finance Ministry’s headquarters.

“We expect this project will progress smoothly and that people will reap the benefits,” Fauzi added. “Having [the MRT] in our city is not just a dream. This is real and it should be available as soon as possible.”

The first part of the MRT is expected to link Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta to Dukuh Atas in Central Jakarta with a 14.5 kilometer rail network built both underneath and above the ground.

The second part will connect Dukuh Atas to Kota, also in Central Jakarta, and the third will link East and West Jakarta. Both the second and third phases are still undergoing feasibility studies.

Unlike Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok and other regional capitals, Jakarta has no subway or light-rail system, resulting in the city’s trademark traffic jams.

The idea of building an MRT system in Jakarta was first put forth in the 1980s. Former President Suharto’s government also pushed unsuccessfully for the project in 1995. The proposal was revived by former Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso in 2002, but it was not until 2006 that JICA and the government finally agreed on funding and logistics.

Another mass transport project, the Jakarta monorail, has been in limbo since financing fell through in late 2007.

And despite the recent progress on the MRT system, Jakarta residents may still have to wait a while.

Tenders for the project may not begin until the end of 2010, with construction not scheduled to start until early 2011. The system itself is expected to be operational by early 2016.

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PLN Supports Earth Hour Campaign

Bernama, 27 March 2009

JAKARTA, March 27 (Bernama) -- State-owned electricity company PT PLN's Greater Jakarta and Tangerang distribution unit supports the Earth Hour campaign to have the public turn off electricity for one hour on Saturday, Antara news agency quoted a spokesman as saying.

"PLN also calls on its clients in Jakarta and Tangerang to participate in the Earth Hour campaign launched by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)," Hadi Sanjoto of the PLN's Greater Jakarta and Tangerang distribution unit said here on Thursday.

"We expect the public to fully participate in the campaign by switching off their lights, at least one light for each individual, for one hour on Saturday (March 28), from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm," he said.

However, PLN will still supply electricity to its clients and will not conduct a power blackout during the campaign.

Some 2,712 cities, towns and municipalities in 83 countries have already committed to vote Earth for Earth Hour 2009, as part of the worlds first global election between Earth and global warming.

Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights.

Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome's Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness.

In 2009, Earth Hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of one billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote.

Related Article:

On March 28 you can VOTE EARTH by switching off your lights for one hour. 8:30PM local time, wherever you live on planet earth. Saturday 28 March 2009

Government to Skip Local Level For Quick Stimulus Delivery

The Jakarta Globe, Dion Bisara & Muhamad Al Azhari, March 26, 2009

The government plans to bypass local legislatures when it distributes the stimulus fund for infrastructure projects worth Rp 12.2 trillion ($1.06 billion) to local governments, to ensure funds are disbursed on time, the chief economics minister said on Wednesday.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said that the decision not to employ the regulation on decentralization and assistance was taken after consultation with the Supreme Audit Agency, or BPK.

As part of the central government’s regional autonomy limitations, the regulation gives direct powers to provincial governments, municipalities and districts to take over the management of projects, including handling their own spending.

Sri Mulyani explained that the stimulus package contained projects that, under the Law on Regional Autonomy, would usually have to be managed by local governments.

Normally this would mean central government money would be distributed through a special allocation fund, or DAK, which would have to be approved by local legislatures when they reconvened in the month of August, Sri Mulyani said.

Presently, these legislatures are in a long recess because of the general elections, which kick off next month, Sri Mulyani said.

The government had planned to start disbursing funds in March, but the process was delayed when the House of Representatives, which has to approve government ministries’ proposals, was unhappy with their spending plans.

Investors Sought For $4.5 Billion in Government Projects

The Jakarta Globe, Muhamad Al Azhari, March 26, 2009

The State Ministry of National Development Planning announced on Wednesday that it was offering eight infrastructure projects worth a total of $4.5 billion to investors through joint government and private sector partnerships.

The government said it could afford only about 30 percent of the Rp 1.429 trillion ($124.32 billion) needed to finance infrastructure projects it has planned for 2010-14. It hopes to secure the rest from the private sector.

Potential private investors, however, have lacked interest in the partnership scheme because they are wary on the return on investment and many complain that government-offered projects are not ready to be developed. The investors are also facing liquidity troubles.

To catch their attention, the ministry has made available the eight projects, which it considers ready to go, out of its grand design to construct 87 projects which include toll roads, railways and power plants.

The government defines projects ready for development as those which have completed bidding documents, already have a special team to handle procurement and have acquired official support for settling obstacles, such as land acquisition and financing guarantees.

The most expensive project on offer is a 2,000 megawatt coal-fired power plant in Central Java Province, estimated to cost $2 billion.

The government is also offering a toll road project in North Sumatara Province worth $126 million connecting Medan to Binjan and another worth $476 million linking Medan, Kualanamu and Being Tinggi. Another is a planned toll road in West Java Province worth $395 million.

The government also has two railways in the pipeline. The first, worth $740 million, would be located in Central Kalimantan Province. The other project would be a $700 million rail line connecting Soekarno-Hatta Airport to Manggarai. Other small projects include a cruise terminal in Bali Province worth $24 million and the construction of water supply facilities in Bandung for $54 million.

Medco Eyes Diverting Gas to Batam

The Jakarta Globe, Mita Valina Liem, March 26, 2009

A subsidiary of PT Medco is planning to divert as much as 49 billion British thermal units of gas per day initially planned for a power plant in Java to a power plant in Batam Island in Riau Islands Province, an official at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry said on Thursday.

Medco, or Medco Energi Internasional Tbk, is the country’s biggest privately-owned oil company, Evita Legowo, director general for oil and gas at the ministry, said the gas extracted from Lematang block in South Sumatra Province, operated by Medco E&P Indonesia, may flow through a pipeline belonging to state-owned gas company, PT Perusahaan Gas Negara Tbk and its subsidiary, PT Trans Gasindo Indonesia.

“The gas may be diverted to supply a gas-fired power plant in Batam, but we haven’t decided who will get the gas yet,” Evita said, adding the ministry would have to decide before May when the gas is to come on-stream.

The destination options would be either to PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara’s power plant in Batam or to PT Dale Energy Batam, Evita said.

“The receiver will have to pay for a [gas distribution] toll fee to the transporter and BPH Migas will set the price of the fee.” Infrastructure, such as pipelines for transmission and distribution to support gas supplies to power plants, was limited, and the country relies heavily on PGN’s pipeline, Evita said.

Batam, which has an export-focussed industrial zone, and Java are two important destinations which often compete for local power.

The lack of a comprehensive pipe network throughout the country means the government has to choose carefully which areas it supplies.

The ministry plans to invite BPMigas, the country’s upstream oil and gas regulatory body; BPH Migas, the country’s downstream oil and gas regulatory body; PGN, as well as gas distributors, such as TGI and PT Pertagas, a subsidiary of state oil and gas company PT Pertamina, to calculate how much pipe the country needs for gas distribution networks.

“If we already know how much capacity the country needs for the pipe and the commercial calculations are ready, there will be a lot of investors interested in building the pipe,” Evita said.

PLN said the company could save more than Rp 5 trillion ($435 million) by adopting a gas conversion program at some of its plants in 2009.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

IBM Jumps on the High-Speed Rail to China

Fastcompany, BY Ariel Schwartz, Wed Mar 25, 2009 at 1:50 PM

Oil prices may not be rising quite as dramatically as they were a year ago, but mass transportation--and more specifically, high-speed rail--is still growing in scope and importance. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), three quarters of G-20 countries (including France, China, Germany, Indonesia, and Italy) plan to increase funding for transportation infrastructure. And since the cornerstone of any successful transportation network is reliable computer technology, it's not surprising to hear that IBM is jumping on the high-speed rail train.

The computer giant announced plans today for high-speed rail projects in China, Taiwan, and the Netherlands. IBM will be responsible for managing maintenance, logistics, and IT needs in the China and Taiwan projects, while the Netherlands will rely on the company for resource utilization. It's not a small job.

In the Netherlands, IBM will oversee nearly 5,000 trains passing through a network of 279 stations. The Guangzhou Metro Corporation (GZ Metro) transports 2 million passengers per day across 60 stations, and is investing $1.76 billion this year to expand the network.

All of this is great news for denizens of these three countries, but what about those of us in the United States? When do we get our fancy high-speed rail lines? Relatively soon, if the U.S. government's $8 billion in rail-line stimulus funds goes ahead as planned. And when we do get our high-speed rail, IBM is likely to be a part of it. The company, which manages Amtrak's reservation system, is already angling for a chunk of the stimulus money. In the end, IBM might be known more for its ubiquitous transportation software than its consumer technology.

Indonesia - Libya to Expand Collaboration

Thursday, 26 March, 2009 | 09:16 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Yogyakarta:The governments of Indonesia and Libya recently agreed to expand their existing collaboration. An MoU between the two countries was recently signed by Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda and Libyan Social Affairs Minister, Ibrahim A.M. Al Sharif, in Yogyakarta yesterday. “The value trade between Indonesia and Libya trades so far amounts to only US$400 million. This is far from the potential that can be achieved by both countries,” Hassan said.

Hassan said Indonesian companies have a US$ 1.2 billion stake in Libya’s infrastructure and construction projects. Libya is very interested in improving bilateral cooperation in the areas of trade, culture, social programs, education and youth. “Libya will be wide open to Indonesian investors,” he said.

Hassan also said that Libya is interested in buying airplanes manufactured by PT Dirgantara Indonesia in Bandung. In order to follow up on the Yogyakarta meeting, the Indonesian Trade Minister will visit Libya on April 3 for further discussions.

Meanwhile, according to Ibrahim, Libya will also pave the way for Indonesia to develop cooperation with African countries that have had good relations with Libya, given Libya’s active support in the development of member countries of the African Union, currently led by Libyan President, Col. Mohammar Khadafi. “We will open wide these opportunities,” Ibrahim said.

Ibrahim also said that the meeting opened the way for both countries to improve collaboration in all sectors. Hassan concurred, saying Indonesia had been collaborating with Libya in global affairs, such as when it was a temporary member of the United Nations’ Security Council two years ago.

Moreover, as fellow members of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), Indonesia and Libya have been cooperating in seeking a peaceful solution to the decade-long conflict in South Philippines between the Philippines government and Moro rebels. “Libya is a very influential country in Africa and the Middle East, while Indonesian has the same standing in Asia, particularly Southeast Asia,” Hassan said.

The role of the two countries, according to Hassan, can also lead to wider cooperation between Asian and African countries.


Barun Roy: Little Singapore?

If Indonesia can keep up its political will, a new business centre will emerge in Asia

Business Standard, Barun Roy / New Delhi March 26, 2009, 0:30 IST

If Indonesia can keep up its political will, we're going to see a new business centre emerge in Asia.

One could perhaps call it the slowest-moving development project in Asia, but it’s finally ready for take-off. Last January, ending four decades of foot-dragging, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono officially launched the island of Batam and its two sisters, Bintan and Karimun (BBK), in the Riau Archipelago, as a free-trade zone that, he hopes, would one day emerge as Indonesia’s own Singapore.

That ambition was first voiced in the 1970s, after Pertamina, the Indonesian oil company, started to use Batam as an exploration base, but a confirmation of the islands’ future as a free-trade zone didn’t come before 1989, and it has taken another two decades to make that intention official. In the Asian context, that’s terrible. During that period, while Indonesia was sleeping, Asia’s other islands have surged far forward. Singapore has become a massive economic power, Penang has emerged as one of Asia’s largest electronics manufacturing bases, Langkawi has gone from a sleepy backwater to a major tourist hotspot, and Phuket has come to be ranked as one of the world’s top five retirement spots, besides being a fabled global tourist destination.

Of course, BBK has made progress, too, but only a snail’s progress. Being only a 40-minute ferry ride from Singapore — to its south, part of a sprawl of some 3,000 islands — some Singaporean business has inevitably washed up on its shores and some foreign companies have followed suit. For them, BBK is a useful alternative, where costs are low and space isn’t a problem. There are factories making electronic components, leather goods, garments, toys, consumer and household products, and quite a few shipyards. In fact, some 1,000 foreign and 10,000 local companies are there on BBK already. But their total investments don’t amount to much. And, though BBK’s year-round tropical weather already draws some 2 million visitors a year, it’s still not considered a mainstream tourist destination.

This might now change. The Indonesian president’s seal on the islands’ future, ending their status as only a bonded area, should remove doubts from investors’ minds. The basic physical infrastructure is in place — seaports (as many as 14), good roads, cable-stayed bridges connecting the main islands, a modern airport with a runway longer than Jakarta’s — and a whole new planned city, called Batam Centrum, is being built as an integrated office-shopping-residential complex just across the sea from Singapore. The development goals are now clearer than ever in the past: Batam as a shipyard and electronic base, Bintan as a textile, leather, and leisure complex, and Karimun as a centre for agricultural and marine products development.

On top of everything, Jakarta has chosen Singapore to play the role of a mentor and guide BBK’s development. For foreign investors, there can’t be a better reassurance. According to an agreement between the two countries, Singapore will help develop special economic zones on BBK, frame investor-friendly rules, screen investment proposals. Singapore has the expertise and the experience. This will surely make people take a serious look at BBK as a manufacturing, trading, services, and tourism hub. The Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans are on the prowl, and of course the Singaporeans and Malaysians too. Batam’s shop-house hotels are giving in to dazzling five-star ones. Italian-based oil contractor, Saipem Indonesia, has got a 70-year land concession to start a massive project on Karimun. In April, work will begin on BBK’s second integrated tourism-cum-business resort — on Batam, the first one being on Bintan — that will cost $193 million to build and will include a 6,000-seat convention centre.

Two kinds of investors, in particular, will take a special interest in BBK: Those from Singapore itself and those who have an operational base in the island republic. For them, especially for Singapore’s manufacturing and service companies seeking to relocate their relatively lower-value activities, BBK is an ideal shunting yard. Links with Singapore are already very close. Half of BBK investors are Singaporeans; 65 per cent of BBK imports come from, and 69 per cent of BBK exports go to, Singapore; 70 per cent of BBK tourists are from there; and thousands of Singapore labourers take the ferry every day to go to work across the sea.

Clearly, Jakarta wants BBK to learn the ropes from Singapore and be an engine of Indonesia’s growth, while Singapore wants its island neighbours to grow as a complementary production facility. The aims of both countries are thus nicely matched. It’s late in the game and too many valuable years have been wasted, but BBK has at last come back on track. If things don’t go terribly wrong and Indonesia can keep up its political will, we’re going to see a new business centre emerge in Asia that has the potential to grow up as Singapore’s little brother. It has the space. Now it’s going to have the momentum, provided mainly by the big brother across the sea.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

RI scores another $190m in foreign loan

The Jakarta Post, JAKARTA | Wed, 03/25/2009 9:47 AM

Indonesia will receive an 18.6 billion yen (US$190 million) loan from Japan to fund programs to help improve the investment climate, alleviate poverty and build infrastructure, officials have announced.

The Rp 2.27 trillion loan, which was signed Tuesday, is divided into two parts, each worth Rp 1.13 trillion. The first part aims to support macroeconomic development, such as reducing poverty, while the second is aimed at improving infrastructure reform.

Krisiarto S. Legowo, the Foreign Ministry’s director of East Asia and Asia-Pacific affairs, said the first part of the loan would be a co-financing scheme between Japan and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

The second, similar scheme, will be between Japan and the Asian Development Bank, Krisiarto said, adding the requirements of the loan included a 0.7 percent annual interest rate, a repayment period of 15 years and a five-year grace period.

“The soft requirements and nonbinding procurement were the main reasons we accepted it,” he said.

“The government will include the loan in the state budget, and the National Development Planning Agency [Bappenas] will be in charge of the policies on its implementation."

Bappenas secretary Syahrial Loetan said the agency would earmark the loan to support efficiency in infrastructure development policies.

“What every investor wants when it comes to investing in a pro-ject are clear regulations and profitability,” Syahrial said.

“That’s why we'll use the loan [for programs to] produce clearer and more concise documents, such as feasibility studies, designs and land ownership issues, so that private investors find it easier investing in infrastructure development here.”

He added the Japanese government would also provide another loan worth around $728 million for infrastructure development.

“We will allocate around $57 million of the loan to fund the third phase of development of the Bandung Institute of Technology, and $494 million for the construction of the mass rapid transit [MRT] system, for instance. We plan to complete the signing of the loan by the end of March,” he said.

Syahrial added Japan was a vital economic partner and contributed a large portion of Indonesia’s loans.

“Japan contributes around 40 percent of Indonesia’s total foreign loans of $65 billion,” he said. (hdt)

Indonesia Jasa Marga sees capex of $400 mln for new toll roads

Reuters, Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:26am EDT

JAKARTA, March 25 (Reuters) - Indonesian toll road operator, PT Jasa Marga Tbk (JSMR.JK), said on Wednesday it has earmarked 4.7 trillion rupiah ($407 million) for capital expenditure this year, four times the 2008 sum, for expansion and share purchases.

Frans Sunito, the firm's president director, told reporters that shareholders had approved the management's plan to build eight new toll roads over the next three to four years, at a cost of about 15 trillion rupiah.

Jasa Marga plans to increase the length of toll road it operates to 700 km, from 500 km currently, as a result of the expansion.

Sunito also said 30 percent of this year's capital expenditure would be used to increase its stakes in four firms which hold toll-road concession rights. The firm wants to be the majority stakeholder in three of the firms.

Jasa Marga reported net profit of 707.8 billion rupiah in 2008 on revenue of 3.35 trillion rupiah earlier on Wednesday.

The state-controlled firm is seen as a beneficiary of the government's drive to improve creaky infrastructure in order to boost growth in Southeast Asia's biggest economy.

The government has announced a 73.3 trillion rupiah fiscal stimulus package covering tax incentives and infrastructure projects.

On top of the fiscal stimulus, planning minister Paskah Suzetta said on Wednesday that infrastructure projects worth nearly $3.5 billion would be put up for tender in the second quarter. The projects would be funded by the private sector. ($1 = 11,540 rupiah) (Writing by Andreas Ismar; Editing by Sara Webb)

Indonesian Embassy in Beijing to organize "Indonesia Week"

Beijing (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Embassy in Beijing is scheduled to organize an "Indonesia Week" from June 16-21, 2009 in Wangfujing to promote investment, tourism, and trade among the Chinese public.

"We want to organize the Indonesia Week as part of our efforts to promote the potential of investment, trade, and tourism to Chinese and other international community," embassy spokesperson Rosmalawati Chalid said here on Wednesday.

She said similar event was also planned to be organized from October 10-15 last year but due to the lack of preparation it was canceled.

According to Rosmalawati, the Indonesia Week was a golden opportunity to promote trade commodities, investment and tourism potential to Chinese community in specific and international community in general.

The series of activity would include the exhibition of various commodities, art and cultural performances, fashion show, in addition to business forum with the local government, businessmen and the people.

She said the organization of Indonesia Week was intended to improve Indonesia-China partnership, investment, trade, and tourism in China, especially in Beijing.

"The event is expected to step up bilateral trade volume and the flow of investment and tourism from China to Indonesia," she said, adding that Wangfujing was one of the most visited area in China by domestic and foreign tourists.

City has big plans in store for Kemang

The Jakarta Post, JAKARTA | Wed, 03/25/2009 9:47AM

Kemang in South Jakarta will be transformed into a modern kampung without high-rise buildings, the head of the city's spatial planning agency announced Tuesday.

Wiriyatmoko said Kemang would be developed like Kuta in Bali, where sidewalk cafes, boutiques and homey restaurants lay side by side on a long street.

During the 1980s, Kemang was a quiet residential area, but metamorphosed into commercial hub, with dozens of restaurants and bars squeezed into the area, hounded by hordes of customers and their vehicles crowding the streets.

The area now has some 60 cafes and restaurants, and several hotels.

Kemang was originally meant as a residential zone, but with the frenzied development of the past few years, the administration now plans to make it a legal commercial area.

Businesses in Kemang still have to pay regular fines for converting homes into businesses.

Wiriyatmoko said the administration was studying several options, but gave no details.

“The houses will still be there, with the cafes and restaurants trimmed along the main street. But the administration will not let high-rise buildings be built," he said. “Some buildings will be removed — if I’m not mistaken there are two buildings in breach of regulations.

They've requested permits, but we might have to reject them since they were built before seeking a license.”

High-rise buildings, defined as more than eight storeys tall, are still allowed for residential purposes.

A 1999 gubernatorial decree declared the area a modern kampung.

A.Z. Harahap, head of the South Jakarta Tourism Subagency, said recently his office would develop areas of Kemang and Melawai as culinary tourism sites, as quoted by beritajakarta.com. (iwp)

India To Assist Indonesia To Set Up Its First Commodity Exchange

RTTNews , 3/24/2009 4:09 AM ET

(RTTNews) - India has offered to help Indonesia in setting up its first such bourse. The move is part of the proposed India-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or CEPA, for which the talks are scheduled to begin by this year-end, media reports said.

The Joint Study Group that finalizes the CEPA text has asked the commodity market regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC) and leading commodity exchanges like National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) and Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) to hold talks with Indonesian authorities and companies in assisting the setting up of commodity exchanges.

Leading IT companies like TCS, which played a significant role in the set up and running of NCDEX, will also be roped in to develop the back-end IT infrastructure for such an exchange in Indonesia, the release said.

Though Indonesia is one of the largest producers of palm oil, rubber, coal and iron ore, it lacks a functioning commodities exchange, while other Asian nations like India, China, Japan, Singapore and Pakistan all have vibrant commodity bourses. The other main countries with commodity exchanges are Brazil, the US, Argentina, Iran, the Netherlands, UK and the city of Dubai.

Presently, most of the commodity traders from Indonesia hedge their positions in Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange and other Asian bourses.

As far as India is concerned the country not only has thriving commodity bourses, but also required technology to support the functioning.

by RTT Staff Writer

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