“ … 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.)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Provinces Asked to Develop E-Governance

Friday, 30 October, 2009 | 16:19 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Surakarta:Progress in technology requires the government to continue improving and adapting their governance systems. One of the efforts is to implement e-government. The Agency for the Assessment & Application of Technology’s (BPPT) information technology and communication center director, Tatang Taufik, said the agency is encouraging every province to develop an e-government system. “We are now initiating e-government in Surakarta, Pekalongan, Purwakarta, Bogor, Kendal, and Banyuwangi," he said, announcing the establishment of e-government in Surakarta yesterday.

According to Tatang, the use of digital technology will improve public services.


Govt pitches in support for micro financing, sets aside guarantee funds

Mustaqim Adamrah, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 10/30/2009 9:40 AM

Aiming to accelerate the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the government will allocate Rp 2 trillion (US$202 million) each year over the next five years as a guarantee for them to secure bank loans.

Access to financing has been one of the major obstacles for the industry to grow, and this is what this fund — which could guarantee lending of up to Rp 20 trillion a year — is expected to change, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Thursday.

“Every year, there will be Rp 20 trillion in funding [for MSMEs], with Rp 2 trillion to be set aside from the state budget as a guarantee,” he said at the opening of the 2009 National Economic Summit.

“In five years, there will be Rp 100 trillion in funding in a scheme to help provide micro and small enterprises with working capital.”

Yudhoyono, however, also underlined that prospective borrowers should be creative and have a sense of entrepreneurship, calling for a reform in the national educational system to help students develop their entrepreneurial skills.

In the future, he said, students who had undergone 12 years of schooling were expected to become not so much “job seekers” as “job creators”.

He lamented the low number of entrepreneurs in Indonesia, less than 1 percent of total population, compared to the United States and Singapore with 15 percent and 7 percent.

MSMEs are one of six economic topics being discussed at the two-day summit being held at the Ritz-Carlton Pacific Place.

The summit is being jointly hosted by the government and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) to hear suggestions from all stakeholders in the economy to help shape the country’s next five-year economic plan.

Sandiago Uno, Kadin’s deputy chairman for micro, small and medium enterprises and cooperatives, said the chamber expected the government to establish a micro financing institution to make it easier for micro borrowers to access loans.

So far, micro borrowers have received Rp 14 trillion under the government’s micro loan program (KUR) this year, out of a total Rp 20 trillion earmarked in the 2009 state budget, Sandiago said.

The government disbursed Rp 12.5 trillion in KUR loans last year, out of Rp 14 trillion allocated in the 2008 state budget.

KUR loans are channeled through BNI, Bank Mandiri, BRI, BPD, Bank Syariah Mandiri and Bank Bukopin.

Related Article:

Mismanagement slows Jakarta's SME loan distribution

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Job seekers to enjoy online permit system

Indah Setyawati, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 10/29/2009 4:19 PM

Jakarta Manpower and Transmigration Agency is cooperating with a website to create an online system to simplify the process of making the yellow cards for job seekers at a job fair.

The job fair will be held at the Trisakti University student halls in Grogol, West Jakarta on Nov. 21 and 22.

Kartini, head of the Manpower Placement division at the agency, said five subagencies in five municipalities would be on duty during the job fair to serve the online yellow card applicants.

The yellow card is one of main requirements the job seekers need to apply for jobs in formal sectors such as industry and governmental institutions. Several companies still require applicants to show their yellow card.

She said applicants could fill in their data on the Visijobs.com website and print out their proof of registration letter. The letter should be brought to the job fair, where officials would print the yellow card, stamp it and attach the applicants' photograph.

"We are providing this service to make it easier for job seekers meeting expected employers during the fair," Kartini said.

Kartini said the agency would apply the online system to attain yellow card in every subagency in 2010. Currently, it was still in the middle of the procurement process, but she expected the system to be available in subdistrict offices in 2011.

A breath of fresh air for start-ups

Mustaqim Adamrah, THE JAKARTA POST, JAKARTA | Wed, 10/28/2009 1:28 PM

Aiming to help cut red-tape and bureaucracy, the Law and Human Rights Ministry is in the process of adopting a system that would cut the registration period for business start-ups to 14 days at the longest.

Head of the restructuring team at the ministry, Freddy Harris, said Tuesday the new system - developed in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private arm of the World Bank - would effectively reduce the registration process from between 30 to 60 days now, to 14 days or less.

"The new system will be fully effective on Jan. 1, 2010," he said on the sidelines of a workshop on business registration reforms in East Asia and the Pacific organized by the IFC.

He said the system was already "semi-online" at present, with 75 percent of the information "produced by the system, not people".

These efforts, he said, were eventually aimed at improving the business climate in Indonesia.

Under the latest Doing Business Survey jointly conducted by the World Bank and the IFC, Indonesia now ranks as the 122nd most competitive country in terms of ease of doing business, up by seven notches from its ranking last year.

The annual survey, first launched in 2004, involves 183 economies including in East Asia and the Pacific.

In spite of some improvements, Indonesia is still ranked far below Singapore (1st), Thailand (12th), Japan (15th), Malaysia (23rd), Mongolia (60th) and even Ethiopia (107th), but is doing better than Nepal (123rd), Brazil (129th), India (133rd), the Philippines (144th) and Cambodia (145th).

Brigit Helms, IFC Indonesia's head of advisory services, said the ministry could cut red-tape by, first, eliminating the mini-mum capital requirement, and two, and by dispensing with the role of notaries in registering a business as this "can add more time to the process".

"Any top rated countries, like Singapore and New Zealand, don't *have the minimum capital requirement, while* in many other countries, people can go directly to the electronic governance system . and input their information," she said.

"As many as 95 percent of companies in Indonesia are informal. That means they're marginalized, they may be small, they don't have access to credit, they don't pay taxes," she said.

"They'll really contribute as fully as they can so that the economy can grow, if we can make busi-ness registration easier for these informal businesses. The benefits are *potentially* enormous to the economy."

In response to IFC's suggestions, Freddy said the ministry might consider eliminating the present requirement for Rp 50 million (US$5,250) in minimum capital, and would also look at redefining the role of notaries.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Expert: Indonesia short of 9,000 veterinarians

Slamet Susanto, The Jakarta Post, Yogyakarta | Wed, 10/28/2009 9:46 PM

Indonesia will need 9,000 more veterinarians by 2020 to deal with future infectious animal diseases and to help develop cattle farming, an expert says.

Bambang Sumiarto, dean of Gadjah Mada University’s School of Veterinary Sciences, told a workshop on Wednesday that with only 11,000 veterinarians available, many regions could not eradicate infectious animal diseases due to a shortfall in specialists.

“As a result, experts other than veterinarians are taking over the veterinary jobs,” Bambang said.

There are currently five veterinary schools across the country producing graduates – UGM, Bogor Institute of Agriculture, Syiah Kuala University in Banda Aceh, Airlangga University in Surabaya and Udayana University in Denpasar. Brawijaya University in Malang, East Java, Mataram University in West Nusa Tenggara and Wijaya Kusuma University in Surabaya have only recently opened veterinary schools, and have yet to produce qualified veterinarians.

With less than 1,000 veterinary students graduating annually, the country faces difficulties in improving animal health, he said.

In the past few years, Indonesia has been fighting both avian influenza and its H1N1 variant, two diseases transmitted by animals.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Indonesia to launch satellite for disaster mitigation

www.chinaview.cn, Deng Shasha, 2009-10-27 17:17:30

JAKARTA, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Indonesia Aeronautics and Space Agency (LAPAN) prepared to launch a satellite in 2011, spokesperson of the LAPAN Elly Kuntjahyowati said here Tuesday.

The satellite is aimed to address communication problem in post-disaster phase and to provide a picture of the affected areas quickly, which can be used in the assessment of the natural disaster.

The plan came out as Indonesia, which sits on a vulnerable quake-hit zone called the Pacific Ring of Fire, has suffered from a series of major quakes recently.

Quakes measuring 7.3 and 7.6 on the Richter's scale killed more than 1,000 people and destroyed many buildings in West Java and West Sumatra recently. The country had experienced difficulties in communication after a 7.6 magnitude quake struck West Sumatra and destroyed telecommunication infrastructure.

The satellite will cover the whole of Indonesia's territory, the spokesperson said. "The satellite can support communication in an emergency situation," she told Xinhua over phone.

Head of Space Technology of LAPAN Heru Robertus said that the satellite did not use a permanent devise on earth. It only used mobile equipment. "So there is no possibility of communication being cut down because of the destruction of the infrastructure on land," he said.

The spokesperson added that the satellite could also take real-time picture of the disaster areas, so people can make a fast assessment on the severity of the natural disaster.

She said that the satellite would be launched with rocket belonging to the Indian Space Research Organization. A launching contract had been signed, said Kuntjahyowati.

West Sumatra reconstruction to cost Rp7 trillion

Syofiardi B. Jb, The Jakarta Post, Padang | Mon, 10/26/2009 8:35 PM

The government has estimated that rehabilitation and reconstruction in the quake devastated province of West Sumatra will cost Rp 7 trillion (US$745 million).

“We have not set the actual budget for the rehabilitation and reconstruction program, but for the time being it may cost Rp 7 trillion,” Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Agung Laksono said Monday.

He said the government had declared the Sept. 30 earthquake, which killed over 1,100 people and destroyed 134,000 houses, a provincial disaster instead of a national disaster.

Agung and five other ministers visited Padang to observe the ongoing emergency response program in the quake-hit towns of Padang Pariaman and Padang ahead of the rehabilitation and reconstruction works that are expected to start on Nov. 1. The Cabinet members also heard the presentations of acting Governor Marlis Rahman on the progress of the emergency response program.

“We will report results of our visit to the President and hopefully he will support our proposal,” Agung said.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Indonesia's New Presidential Unit To Tackle Delayed Infrastructure, Push Investment Talks

The Jakarta Globe

Indonesia will tackle stalled toll road, power plant, and mining projects in order to eliminate bottlenecks and speed up economic growth, the head of a new presidential delivery unit told Reuters on Monday.

The new unit, set up last week when President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced his new cabinet, will also urge talks between investors and the government over big energy and mining projects, many of which have foundered because of uncertainty over cost recovery issues related to the spending and ownership.

Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, who was appointed head of the new unit, told Reuters in an exclusive interview that his work would cover a diverse array of problems “from infrastructure to mining” in order to remove barriers to investment in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

“Here are the problems the nation is facing - toll roads, mining, power plants, logistics,” he said.

President Yudhoyono “wants the unit to help him make sure that all government programs, the strategic ones, can be implemented effectively and on time. One of my functions is to be an extension of the president in getting input, especially from investors.”

Indonesia has lagged rivals China and India when it comes to attracting investment, and this has held job creation and economic growth in check.

“With toll road construction, plans set up years ago have not been accomplished. That is something we are ready to de-bottleneck,” he said, noting that the east-west Java toll road, which stretches over 1,000 km along the main island and would enable faster transport of goods, has made very little progress.

Indonesia may issue a new land acquisition law soon, making it easier to obtain the land required for big projects. The new law, which may be issued as a presidential decree, could be very effective, Kuntoro said.

Energy and mining projects also need to be tackled, he said, adding that to reach agreement on many of the stalled projects, the government and investors “have to be ready to open their minds, that’s the key for success”.

A former energy and mining minister who later headed the post-tsunami reconstruction work in Aceh province, Kuntoro has a reputation for cutting through red tape to get things done fast. In Aceh, he insisted on having the authority to appoint contractors to build new homes, extend visas for foreigners involved in the reconstruction effort, and got exemptions from customs and import duties for medical and other equipment.

That helped ensure that out of $7.2 billion of pledged funds, 93 percent had been disbursed by 2008, he said.

Yudhoyono, who won a second, five-year term in July, appointed a mix of technocrats and career politicians in his new cabinet last week.

While investors welcomed the appointment of reformers and technocrats including Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Trade Minister

Mari Pangestu, they were less enthusiastic about some of the less well known names and political appointments.

Some analysts are concerned that the new unit headed by Kuntoro, whose job is equivalent to a minister, could face resistance from vested business interests or less reform-minded ministers.

“I’m just a stone’s throw” from the president, said Kuntoro, speaking from his new office in a wing of the white, colonial-era, Istana.

“It’s the president who gives me the instructions to make sure all plans are implemented.”

He will work with 13 staff reporting directly to the president and providing daily reports to Vice President Boediono, a technocrat whose focus is on structural reform of the economy.


Honda to Increase Motorcycle Capacity in Indonesia, Nikkei Says

Bloomberg, by Fergus Maguire

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Honda Motor Co. plans to spend more than 10 billion yen to increase its annual production capacity for motorcycles and scooters in Indonesia by 20 percent to 3.6 million units, Nikkei English News said, without citing anyone.

The Japanese automaker’s joint venture with P.T. Astra International will build a facility with annual output capacity of 600,000 units at one of its three existing plants, the report said. The company aims to begin operations at the new facility in 2011, the report said.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

3,168 vacant posts in Jakarta administration

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sun, 10/25/2009 6:46 PM

The Jakarta administration has opened 3,168 vacant posts for the public since Saturday as part of its efforts to improve the quality of its human resources.

The administration said the job requirements could be obtained from www.rekrutmen.jakarta.go.id and that all job applications had to be submitted by Saturday, Oct. 31, at the latest.

"Online recruitment is aimed at increasing transparency and accessibility," Budi Astuti, head of Jakarta Human Resources Department, said, a quoted by kompas.com.

The Jakarta administration is advertising 233 jobs in its health agency, 987 technical staff positions, and 1,606 jobs in finance and information.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Private parties needed in promoting e-learning

Hasyim Widhiarto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 10/23/2009 10:13 PM

The Government should push the private sector to help schools with limited financial resources to install supporting technology for e-learning, an expert says.

Heru Suhartanto, a professor of computer science from the University of Indonesia, said while the government and some academic institutions had successfully developed the backbones for e-learning programs (such as content, software and network systems), they needed to make sure all schools could adopt and operate their programs.

“For example, it would be difficult for a school without a reliable Internet connection or their own server to run and apply certain e-learning programs,” he told The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of the opening of an Internet workshop for high school teachers of information and communications technology (ICT), on Friday.

“That’s why the participation of third parties, such as industries, is needed urgently to help more schools in Indonesia gain proper internet-based facilities and begin taking advantage of existing e-learning technology.”

Heru also emphasized the importance of maintenance.

“Maybe it would cost only Rp 5 million (US$530) for a school to buy an [Internet] server, but it is almost certain they would have to spend more to pay a skilled IT officer, if they want to make sure their e-learning program was maintained convincingly,” he said.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Indonesia Pumps More Money into Tourism

The Jakarta Globe, Nurfika Osman, October 23, 2009

A jet skier plies the waters under a setting sun in the Bunaken area of North Sulawesi, one of the destinations that could benefit from a boost in tourism marketing.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has been given a significant financial boost to attract more tourists, the minister said on Thursday.

Tourism Minister Jero Wacik said the ministry’s budget for this year has been increased by 36 percent from its 2009 level to Rp 1.366 trillion, plus Rp 426.3 billion for marketing.

In a press conference short on details, Jero, who often evaded direct questions, said the ministry now answered to the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy, not the Coordinating Ministry for People’s Welfare.

He said the increased budget was the reason for the shift.

Jero said the budget was still insufficient but added that he was optimistic that the tourism sector would continue to grow.

“The next five years will be harder because we have a working [performance] contract with the president, but I am sure we will continue to be as successful as we have been over the past five years,” he said.

“Visit Indonesia Year” in 2008 saw a record number of tourists arriving in the country: 6.4 million compared to 5.5 million visitors in 2007.

Tourism generated $7.3 billion in 2008, according to the ministry, up from $5.75 billion the previous year.

Tourist arrivals are expected to suffer in 2009 due to the global financial crisis, but in March the ministry was still forecasting a slight increase.

Jero said challenges still facing the tourism industry included immigration issues and the number of flights into the country.

But he said he was optimistic that flagship carrier Garuda would be able to increase the number of direct flights it operated, including to European countries after its ban was revoked.

Its ban on flying to the EU was lifted in August.

Jero said he would collaborate directly with the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights on immigration issues, specifically visas for tourist arrivals.

“We cannot let the bureaucratic system in immigration offices create difficulties for foreign tourists,” he said.

Asked about his strategy to boost tourism, including during the first 100 days of his new term, Jero said it was too early to comment.

“We are still thinking about the best strategy to boost this sector. I will collaborate with my staff and announce it soon,” he said.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Indonesia to borrow $750 mln from World Bank for power plant

Forbes, 10.21.09, 07:06 AM EDT

JAKARTA, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Indonesia will get a $750 million loan from the World Bank to fund a hydro-electric power plant in West Java, a senior ministry official said on Wednesday, a move aimed at easing crippling power shortages.

Years of under-investment in infrastructure, including the power sector, means that Indonesia suffers from frequent blackouts, while many remote parts of the 17,000-island archipelago are not even connected to the national grid.

'We hope to sign the loan agreement with the World Bank in December,' said Dedy Supriadi Priatna, deputy for infrastructure at the planning ministry.

The 2x500 MW hydro-electric plant is expected to cost about $850 million, Priatna said, and will allow state power distributor PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) to produce cheaper electricity.

'The new (pump storage) system will help PLN produce cheap power, about 200 rupiah ($0.213) per kwh compared with about 3,000 rupiah per kwh for diesel power plants, particularly during peak hours,' Priatna said.

Officials estimate that Indonesia needs to invest about 1,600 trillion rupiah ($170.4 billion) in infrastructure over the next five years in order to meet its growth target of 6-7 percent a year, but the state budget can only cover some 30 percent of it.

Holland Education Fair Held in Indonesia

Kompas, THURSDAY, 22 OCTOBER 2009 | 6:16 AM


"Seluruh universitas yang hadir adalah universitas yang telah menandatangani kode etik pendidikan tinggi Belanda, sehingga mereka diperbolehkan merekrut mahasiswa internasional dan program studinya yang kebanyakan program berbahasa Inggris," ujar Marrik Bellen, Direktur Nuffic Neso Indonesia, Selasa (20/10)

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - A Holland Education Fair 2009 will be held in four Indonesian cities, namely Yogyakarta, Bandung, Jakarta and Makassar, as part of a campaign of Dutch higher education institutions to "go international.""According to Neso (Netherlands Education Support Office)

Indonesia data, the number of foreigners studying in the Netherlands increased by 7.5 percent to 76.000 in the 2008-2009 period," said Ariono Hadipuro of the Neso Indonesia Education Promotion in Jakarta on Wednesday.

The main characteristic of higher education in the Netherlands was the ethnic diversity of students, programs of study or research, and openness to foreign students and teachers who enter the Netherlands as well as knowledge of the international world, he said.

Most foreign students in the Netherlands still came from the European continent. However, the Asian continent provides a significant contribution in the number of foreign students in the Netherlands, accounting for up to 20 percent of the total.

Therefore, in following the previous years, Neso Indonesia will hold a Holland Education Fair 2009 in Yogyakarta on November 10, 2009, Bandung (November 12), Jakarta (November 14-15), and Makassar (November 17). The exhibition venues are the Hotel Novotel in Yogyakarta, the Hilton Hotel in Bandung, Hotel Mulia in Jakarta, and the Clarion Hotel in Makassar.

A total of 23 universities from the Netherlands will participate and send representative to the Holland Education Fair 2009. According to Director of Neso Indonesia Marrik Bellen, all universities participating in the event had signed a Dutch higher education code of ethics that allows to recruit international students and most of the courses offered by these various universities were in English.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Australia donates A$12 million for reconstruction in West Sumatra

Syofiardi Bachyul Jb, The Jakarta Post, Padang, West Sumatra | Wed, 10/21/2009 7:40 PM

Australia will extend the second part of an aid package worth between A$10 million (US$9.2 million) and $12 million to help the West Sumatra administration deal with the impact of a magnitude 7.6 earthquake on Sept. 30.

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told a media conference in the provincial capital of Padang on Wednesday the financial aid would be allocated for reconstruction of schools and health facilities devastated by the quake.

Canberra had disbursed $4 million in relief funds for West Sumatra, part of it was spent on two water desalination processing plants in Padang after the quake paralyzed clean water services in the city.

Smith visited one of the plants on Jl. Samudera on Wednesday and drank the desalinated water.

Deputy Governor Barat Marlis Rahman expressed gratitude to Australia’s commitment to alleviating the suffering of the West Sumatrans.

“Just two days after the earthquake, when we were still scrambling to unearth victims from the rubble, an Australian Search and Rescue team had arrived in Padang,” Marlis recounted.

He asked if the city might keep the water desalination plant as the city water company had been unable to resume service in many parts of the city.

Bali launches coral restoration project

Desy Nurhayati, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar, Bali | Tue, 10/20/2009 9:58 PM

The first coral transplantation project in Nusa Dua was launched Tuesday in an effort to restore the coral reefs and improve marine tourism in the area.

Initiated by the Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) as part of the ongoing Nusa Dua Fiesta, the project invited tourists, fishermen’s groups and several organizations to join the Adopt a Coral program, by donating US$25 for a fragment of transplanted coral.

Some participants donated $500 for an artificial submarine reef and 20 pieces of transplanted corals. The artificial submarine reef is a man-made construction, which is submerged to serve as a platform for transplanted reefs.

The transplanted coral, made by growing small pieces of living coral on a biological substrate, was attached in an artificial submarine reef.

There were 16 submarine reefs, each of which consists of 20 pieces of transplanted corals. The reefs were placed in some spots where the coral coverage was low.'

Sunday, October 18, 2009

127 foreign buyers to attend tourism expo in Lombok

Panca Nugraha, The Jakarta Post, West Lombok | Sat, 10/17/2009 1:11 pm

At least 127 overseas buyers are expected to attend the 2009 Tourism Indonesia Mart and Expo (TIME) in Senggigi, West Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, from Oct. 16 to 19.

The buyers will come from 25 countries, including Australia, Brazil and the United States, as well as from Europe and Asia.

The 15th annual TIME trade fair will feature 119 sellers from 97 tour companies in 16 provinces from across the country offering their tour products, such as from Jakarta, Bali, Central Java and East Kalimantan.

The event, organized by the Indonesian Tourism Promotion Board (BPPI) and involving all elements of the tourism sector in Indonesia, is being held for the first time in Lombok.

This year's TIME organizing committee head, Meyty Robot, said Thursday the international tourism exposition would concurrently promote Lombok's tourism potential.

"People all around the world know about Bali and Lombok, but Lombok is not yet a major tourist destination," Meyty said at a press conference in Senggigi.

"Through TIME, we wish to also promote tourism in Lombok so buyers can see for themselves the potential in Lombok."

TIME is a venue for tour operators and supporting industries in Indonesia to promote various domestic tourism products and services to tour operators from across the globe.

This year's event will not be held in a convention hall, but rather in a 10-by-200-meter tent set up on Senggigi Beach, right in front of the Santosa Senggigi Hotel and Resort.

West Nusa Tenggara Deputy Governor H.M. Badrul Munir said he expected the event to be able to make a real contribution to the development of tourism in the province.

"Based on calculations, we could spend more than Rp 65 billion *US$6.5 million* promoting our in 25 countries, which is a huge amount, but with TIME, the provincial administration only has to pay Rp 5 billion to organize the event," he said.

Badrul added tourism was the province's second-biggest earner after agriculture. The sector is expected to contribute more to the local economy, particularly after the Lombok International Airport begins operating in 2010.

Badrul said TIME would also help the province reach its target of bringing in 1 million visitors annually under the Visit Lombok Sumbawa 2012 program, up from the current 600,000 tourist arrivals a year.

The number of participants at the 15th TIME in Lombok is an increase from that at the previous TIME, in Makassar, South Sulawesi, which was attended by 104 participants from 21 countries and resulted in total estimated transactions of $15.2 million.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

PMI launches cooperatives in flood areas

Hasyim Widhiarto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 10/17/2009 1:10 PM

The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) Jakarta chapter, working in cooperation with the Netherlands Red Cross, on Wednesday launched the first of the city's community-based savings and loan cooperatives focused on working with residents in a flood-prone areas.

Sukarlan, the PMI Jakarta official heading the cooperative project, said the idea for the cooperatives came up when his organization realized that almost all disaster victims in Indonesia had a tendency to rely heavily on government financial assistance after disasters. "It is definitely a misconception if people think the government can cover all losses caused by disasters," he said.

"So, if people realize they live in a disaster-prone area, the only way they can insure themselves is to move to a safer place or save enough money before another disaster happens."

Run and managed by the local community, the new cooperative, named "Siaga Bersama" (ready together), was opened to serve residents of West Jakarta's flood-prone Rawa Buaya and Kedaung Kaliangke subdistricts.

Next week, a similar cooperative will be launched in Cawang, East Jakarta.

Prior to establishing the cooperatives, Jakarta PMI and the Netherlands Red Cross have (for two years) been running regular micro-finance training programs for residents, Sukarlan said.

"We first taught people in communities how to manage a small lending and savings groups. Once they are ready we help them establish a cooperative," he said, adding that he was expecting each cooperative to attract 2,000 members by next year.

Flooding has become an annual occurrence in Jakarta, with 40 percent of the city currently at or below sea level, and an outdated and poorly maintained drainage system.

The Jakarta administration has identified more than 70 flood-prone areas in the city.

Aside from floods, many areas in Jakarta are also vulnerable to fires. Data from the city's Fire Fighting and Disaster Mitigation Agency shows that Jakarta has 53 fire-prone areas - mainly in slum areas throughout the city's five municipalities.

With both floods and fires being everyday occurrences, any attempts to improve city residents' capacity to recover independently from such disasters have become increasingly important, critics say.

H. Chandra, the managing director of PT Reka Desa, the consultancy company hired to provide micro-finance training and to establish the cooperative system, was positive that the cooperatives would work.

"The most important thing is to encourage residents to utilize cooperatives as places to save money, not for borrowing," he said.

A cooperative is a joint-owned and member-controlled organization formed by a group of people to serve their economic interests.

According to data from the Jakarta Trade, Cooperatives and Small-and-Medium Enterprises Agency (KUMKP), there were more than 7,000 cooperatives registered in the city, but only 4,000 of them were active.

During the first six months of this year, the city's cooperatives booked a combined turnover of Rp 4.4 trillion (US$470.8 million).

Govt to support community forests through sharia financing

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 10/17/2009 1:10 PM

The forestry ministry is working with Bank Muamalat to provide sharia bank revolving funds to back development of community forests, a senior government official said.

Speaking in a seminar on Thursday, Deny Kustiawan, head of the ministry's center for forest development financing, said the sharia funding would be partly supported by government funds.

Deny said regular banks still considered investing in community forest development but since it involved a high risk then government intervention was needed.

The government has decided to develop a total of 1,550 million hectares of community forest during the next five years. But every hectare to be developed needs an investment of Rp 11.7 million.

The support for developing community forests emerges in response to the declining output of logs from natural forests operated under government concessions due to massive deforestation. The government said developing community forests would allow a period of rehabilitation for degraded natural forests.

Deny said the government had allocated Rp 1.4 trillion (US$148 million) this year to help finance development of community forests via three possible financing schemes: conventional financing, sharia funding and a special financing scheme with regional development banks (BPRs).

"We expect to get an additional Rp 625 billion next year," Deny said

He said the government would not make any specific allocation of on the proportion of funds for each of the financing schemes.

"Let the market decide. If the public prefer the conventional one let them do so. If they choose the sharia scheme then let them do it. We'll help them do the financing through whichever way they choose," he said.

The sharia scheme will be the last to roll out among the government's initiatives to support development of community forests.

Deny said the ministry was in the process of assessing two loan proposals from local cooperatives: Madina Cooperative in North Sumatra and the North Maluku Cooperative.

"We are still working on the formulas for financing that adhere to sharia principles," he said.

Analysts have expressed reservation on the effectiveness of financial support as the key problems in developing community forests still rest on the conflicts arising from uncertain or overlapping land ownership.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Infrastructure before fertilizer subsidies: Agriculture Minister

Mustaqim Adamrah, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 10/16/2009 8:29 PM

Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono says the next government should prioritize development of “off-farm” facilities (mainly infrastructure) instead of “on-farm” facilities, such as fertilizer subsidies.

“We still see subsidies much larger than the program itself. Why don’t we reallocate some of the budget [in the Agriculture Ministry] for infrastructure development rather than for fertilizer subsidies that are short-lived,” Anton said Friday after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Indonesia United Cabinet farewell ceremony.

However, he could not specify the amount of investment required for infrastructure projects in agriculture.

A number of foreign investors, mainly from the Middle East, were reluctant to open business in eastern Indonesia because of the lack of proper infrastructure, as well as the availability of idle land, Anton said. These were “the biggest problems [in investment] in agriculture,” he said.

Among Middle Eastern investors interested in operating in Indonesia was the Saudi Arabia-based Binladin Group.

The group was expected to set up an operation on 500,000 hectares of land across Indonesia, with an expected investment of Rp 39 trillion, which would be spent within the course 15 years.

Besides Papua, the government has also offered land in Kendari, Central Sulawesi and in Lampung for the Binladin project.

Middle Eastern companies have been aggressively investing in agricultural businesses around the globe to help them secure future food supplies, since their own climatic conditions and geographic location are considered unfavorable for the production of adequate agricultural produce.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

IFC to invest $400m to help 41 million Indonesians

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 10/15/2009 5:43 PM

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, announced Thursday a plan to invest up to US$400 million per year in a five-year program to improve the quality of life of 41 million Indonesians.

Adam Sack, the IFC's country manager, said the investment would address three main objectives: promoting sustainable urbanization, increasing rural incomes and reducing the impact of climate change.

“Our investment will focus on long-term financing, risk division and capital investment,” he told the press.

He added that the IFC’s strategies would combine investment and advisory services to expand access to financial services for the underserved.

“With this five-year plan, we expect to improve the quality of life of 41 million of Indonesians, facilitate US$13 billion of investments, and reduce 180 million tons of CO2-equivalent of greenhouse gases,” he said.

The initiative targets almost 18 percent of Indonesia’s population. According to the Central Statistic Agency (BPS), 32.5 million or 14.15 percent of Indonesia’s 230 million inhabitants live under the poverty line.

As of June 30, the IFC had committed US$968 million of investment in Indonesia, mostly in financial markets, agribusiness and manufacturing. (bbs)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Govt asked not to tender foreign-funded school reconstruction projects

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 10/10/2009 8:20 PM

Padang administration has asked the central government to issue a special regulation to allow foreign-funded reconstruction of school buildings in the quake-hit West Sumatra capital city without tender.

Head of Padang education agency M. Nur Amin said Saturday the exemption policy would accelerate the rebuilding of the school buildings.

“Direct appointments for school reconstruction projects funded by foreign donors are needed as foreign assistance is subject to time limitations in Indonesia,” Amin told Antara state news agency.

He said a number of international donors had pledged to help rebuild school buildings which were destroyed by the 7.6-magnitude quake on Sept. 30. They included the United States, French, Australian, Malaysian and Singapore governments and Unicef.

The foreign governments and institutions have also sent volunteers to clean up the debris of the school buildings.

Malaysia, for example, has expressed a commitment to rebuilding SD 15 state elementary school near the heroes’ cemetery, the Singaporean army to reconstruct SD 52 state elementary school and the US government to rebuild an elementary school in Jambak village.

“Many foreign donors wish to help us rebuild the schools. Skipping the tender process will speed up the schools’ reconstruction,” Amin said.

According to the 2003 presidential decree, procurement of goods and services worth Rp 50 billion (US$5.3 million) must go out to tender.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

C&O to invest $100m next year

Benget Besalicto Tnb., The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 10/05/2009 9:01 AM

Coal and Oil (C&0) Group of India plans to invest up to US$100 million in Indonesia next year to acquire coal mines and buy more ships to strengthen its position in coal trading in the country,

“We see Indonesia, as a major producer of coal, as the right place to invest. It is part of our strategy to secure our coal supply in the long term,” the Group’s president director and CEO Ahmed A. R. Buhari said last week in an interview.

Buhari pointed out that the coal mine his company planned to acquire should have a production capacity of at least five million tons per year, whether in Sumatra or Kalimantan.

“We’ll use it to fire our Coastal Energen power plant in India that will have a generation capacity of 1,200 megawatts when it starts operation in 2012,” he said.

The company is developing a coal-fired 2,400 megawatt Coastal Energen power plant. The first phase of it will be in operation in 2012 with a capacity of 1,200 MW.

“After that we’ll build the second phase that will add another 1,200 MW capacity. For that we’ll need more coal from other countries especially from Indonesia,” he said.

According to him, for the next few years his firm planned to increase its coal imports to India by about 500 percent from 5 million tons currently to 25 million tons per year.

About 70 percent of the coal will come from Indonesia, while the rest will be imported from South Africa and Australia.

So far, to secure its coal supply for the Coastal Energen Power Plant, it has signed a number of deals with several coal firms in Indonesia to buy around 5 million tons of coal per year from the country.

He quoted a report by McKinsey, which said that as India is continuing to raise its per capita consumption of electricity, India’s total imports of coal will increase by almost three times to 100 million tons by 2015. This year alone, India’s coal imports are predicted to jump by 19 percent to 39 million tons from 33 million tons last year.

India generates about 70 percent of its electricity from coal. The rest is generated from hydroelectricity, gas-fired plants and nuclear energy.

It has seen its electricity demand grow at between 8 and 10 percent per year during the last few years. Its current per capita consumption of electricity is 612 kilowatt per hour (KWh), which is higher than Indonesia’s 496 KWh but lower than that of China at 1,898 KWh and Singapore at 8,176 KWh.

The Indian government said it expects per capita consumption to rise from 612 KWh to around 1,000 KWh per year in the next few years.

“Actually, our total demand in India will rise from 120 gigawatt (GW) to around 335 GW by 2017. To do that we will need a total investment of US$600 billion,” he said.

“Coal will still be the most viable source of energy for us in India. Currently, some 70 percent of our electricity needs are derived from coal-fired power plants. Perhaps that will increase further in the future as I don’t see other more viable sources other than coal.”

India expects per capita consumption to rise from 612 KWh to around 1,000 KWh in the next few years.

GE sees Indonesia as regional locomotive assembly hub

The Jakarta Post | Mon, 10/05/2009 1:52 PM

General Electric is considering making Indonesia its assembly hub for locomotives for the Asia market, hoping to capitalize on the rising demand in the country and other countries in the region.

CEO Jeffrey Immelt said last week that the assembly plant would be developed in cooperation with local partners which already had long experience and a track record in the locomotive business.

“I think Indonesia could become a center of excellence for the locomotive business in the [Asian] region. It could be a great location from which to export to other countries in the region,” he said, after addressing a discussion entitled “Innovation as the driving Force for Economic Transformation”.

He said Indonesia was capable of functioning as a locomotive assembly hub as it already had railway-related industries, with have long experience and good quality human resources, plus the technological capacity to develop the business.

Recently, GE, which was ranked no. 4 in BusinessWeek’s 2008 among the world’s most innovative companies, has secured an order from the state-owned railway operator PT Kereta Api to make 20 new locomotives at the total price of US$40 million. The locomotives will be delivered between 2010 and 2011.

Satya Heragandhi, GE Transportation’s Southeast Asia Sales Director, said that for the next five years the state-owned operator would need about 150 locomotives valued at $300 million to improve its railway services in Java and Sumatra, following the government’s decision to liberalize the railway business, which has previously been a PT Kereta Api monopoly.

In the period 2004 to 2009 PT Kereta Api had ordered 10 locomotives from GE and all had been delivered, he said.

“As the railway industry would be liberalized by 2010, and there is a commitment on the part of the Indonesian government to rejuvenate the railway services in Indonesia, particularly in Sumatra and Kalimantan, so there will be a boom in railway-related businesses,” he said.

He said the locomotives were not completely made in the US at Erie.

“Only the engines and some key parts are made there. The other components are made and assembled by PT INKA.

“I think the local content of locomotives [assembled in Indonesia] has increased from just 15 percent five years ago to more than 21 percent now,” he said.

Kereta Api’s President Director, Ignasius Jonan said recently that the company was committed to improving its services, including safety, comfort and the punctuality of its train services.

He said his company’s development would be directed in future more towards freight services rather than towards passenger services as was the present case.

Satya noted that the growing investments in the locomotive sector were partly the results of a meeting in 2006 between Immelt, his company’s CEO, and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

They had discussed the possibilities for GE investing in the country’s infrastructure, particularly in the railway sector.

GE Transportation is a subsidiary of the widely diversified business group GE, which is a leading global player in railroads, marine and shipping, mining and drilling and in turbines and wind generation.

Archipelago's Indonesia gold project approved

Reuters, Tue Oct 6, 2009 3:58am EDT

MANADO, Indonesia, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Indonesia's North Sulawesi has approved an environmental study for a gold project involving U.K.-based miner Archipelago Resources (AR.L), the province's governor said on Tuesday.

Archipelago Resources, which owns 85 percent of the Indonesian unit, PT Meares Soputan Mining (MSM), had to delay development of its Toka Tindung gold project in North Sulawesi due to environmental concerns from the local government.

The North Sulawesi provincial government had initially rejected the project on concerns over the impact of tailing from the gold mine despite approval from central government.

The province has approved the firm's environmental study after an independent team confirmed the safety of its land tailing-disposal facility, Sinyo Harry Sarundajang, North Sulawesi's governor told Reuters.

"We support the operation of MSM as it has met requirements set by the independent team. The firm has no issue anymore with its environmental study," Sarundajang said, adding the study was in the process of being approved by the environment ministry.

MSM, which started exploration in 1986, said in October last year it expected to delay commercial production to end of 2009 from an earlier plan for first quarter of 2009.

But Archipelago Resources said in June this year: "Provided unanimous political support and project financing are secured by the third quarter of 2009, production at Toka Tindung would be expected to commence in the second half of 2010."

Production was expected at an average annualise rate of 160,000 oz gold equivalent for the first six years of the initial 8.5 year project life, Archipelago said.

Indonesia has some of the world's largest deposits of gold, tin, copper and nickel, and several leading international mining firms, including Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold (FCX.N), have operations in the country.

But the sector has often struggled to attract foreign investment because of legal uncertainty, bureaucracy, allegations of corruption as well as concerns over the environment and disputes with local governments.

(Reporting by Novie Waladow; Writing by Fitri Wulandari, Editing by Ed Davies)

Friday, October 02, 2009

Indonesian Government Approves $26m Aid For Earthquake Victims

Shop owners searching for their belongings on Thursday in the ruins of a building destroyed by an earthquake in Chinatown, Padang, West Sumatra. (Photo: Safir Makki, JG)

Indonesia’s government has approved 26 million dollars in cash aid to help victims of a massive earthquake that may have left thousands dead on the island of Sumatra, the finance minister said Thursday.

Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the allocation of Rp 250 billion would be enough for two months of relief operations in the area of the Wednesday quake, which caused devastation in the coastal city of Padang and its surrounds.

The 7.6-magnitude quake would likely hurt the domestic economy and affect Indonesia’s state budget, Indrawati said.

Padang is home to nearly one million people.

“It will certainly have an effect as Padang and the surrounding areas are areas that have potential to contribute to the economy and the budget,” she added.

At least 529 people were killed in the quake, officials confirmed, but that figure is expected to rise as thousands remain trapped in collapsed buildings.

Officials said they were suffering from a desperate shortage of heavy machinery, but added that aid including tents, blankets and medicine had been sent to the disaster site.