“ … 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.)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Indonesia Berau Coal wins supply contracts to Chinese buyers

Reuters, Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:25am EST

JAKARTA, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Indonesia's fifth-largest coal producer, PT Berau Coal, has secured two new contracts from Chinese buyers, a company executive said on Monday.

Including an existing contract for about 700,000 tonnes, Berau Coal will supply about 3-4 million tonnes to Chinese buyers, the executive. The company expected to sell 1.5 million tonnes of coal to China this year.

(Reporting by Fitri Wulandari and Tyagita Silka; Editing by Sara Webb) ((tyagita.silka@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: tyagita.silka.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net; +62 21 384 6364 ext 905)) ((if you have a query or comment on this story, send an email to news.feedback.asia@thomsonreuters.com))

US, RI partnership to fight HIV/AIDS continues

Antara News, Monday, November 30, 2009 14:51 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Under the international theme of "Universal Access and Human Rights," the U.S. Government is once again standing in partnership with the Indonesian Government in supporting World AIDS Day, which is observed on December 1, the US embassy said here Monday.

Indonesia`s theme this year is "Working together community/civil society and government can accelerate access for information, prevention, care and support for all", according to the US embassy in a press release.

World AIDS day provides us with the opportunity to recognize the significant strides we have made in the fight against HIV/AIDS over the last 25 years, and recommit ourselves to joint efforts to overcome the obstacles and challenges that remain, the embassy said.

This year, the governor of Jakarta, with the Minister of Health, the Minister for People`s Welfare and the Secretary of the National AIDS Commission in attendance will launch a program to provide universal access to HIV/AIDS services to most-at-risk populations: injecting drug users, commercial sex workers, clients of sex workers and men who have sex with men.

Other events include the public announcement of the National AIDS Strategy and Action Plan 2010-2014, teleconferences between the President of Indonesia and district governors on making political commitments to HIV/AIDS, and a press conference with HIV/AIDS experts, it said.

The United States supports Indonesia`s National AIDS Program with an annual $8 million HIV/AIDS program, the embassy added.

The U.S. program focuses on prevention efforts and technical assistance and capacity building with NGOs and district governments to expand services for most-at-risk populations in eight provinces where local epidemics are escalating, including; Papua, West Papua, North Sumatra, East Java, Jakarta, Riau Islands, West Java and Central Java.

According to 2008 estimates by UNAIDS, the HIV epidemic in Indonesia is among the fastest growing in Asia. The epidemic is concentrated primarily among injection drug users (IDUs) and their sexual partners, people engaged in commercial sex and their clients, and men who have sex with men. Across Indonesia, there are an estimated 270,000 people living with HIV/AIDS this year, it disclosed.

President to inaugurate Palapa Ring project

Antara News, Monday, November 30, 2009 08:30 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to inaugurate the Palapa Ring fiber-optic network project, which will be started with the construction of the 1,041 km Mataram-Kupang fiber optic line on Monday (30/11).

The President will make contacts with Communications and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring, and West Nusa Tenggara Governor Mohammed Zainul Madjdi in Kupang by way of video conferencing facility from the State Palace, Ministry of Communications and Information spokesman Gatot S. Dewa Broto said in Jakarta, Sunday.

According to Gatot, the construction of the Palapa Ring network in the southern part of Eastern Indonesia is fully funded by state telecommunications company PT Telkom with a segment with a land surface optic fiber cable, scheduled for completion in November 2010.

Vice Director of Public and Marketing Communications of Telkom, Eddy Kurnia, said that in the first phase, Telkom builds the Mataram Kupang undersea optic fiber line, with six "landing points" in the city of Mataram, Sumbawa Besar, Raba, Waingapu and Kupang.

Further Telkom will build a 810 km land cable with 15 nodes in the Mataram, Pringgabaya, Newmont, Taliwang, Sumbawa Besar, Ampang, Dompu, Raba, Labuhan Bajo, Shikara, Bajawa, Ende, Maumere, Waingapu, and Kupang.

"This project is a Telkom commitment to install optic fiber projects in Eastern Indonesia," he said.

Palapa Ring Project is a Government initiated fiber optic backbone development, consisting of 35,280 kilometers of undersea optic fiber line, and 21,708 kilometers of optical fiber underground line.

This project forms seven rings covering 33 provinces and 460 regencies across Indonesia.

The Palapa Ring Consortium members were in the beginning composed of seven companies, but due to the global crisis only three members are now left, namely Telkom, Indosat and Bakrie Telecom.

The Consortium will later build optic fiber lines at the beginning of 2011 from Manado, Ternate, Sorong, Ambon, Kendari to Makassar.

Related Article:

President dedicates Palapa Ring construction

BRI plans to sell Rp 3t of bonds in December to boost lending

Nani Afrida, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 11/26/2009 1:28 PM

Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), the nation's second largest lender by assets, will aim to sell five-year and 10-year subordinated bonds worth up to Rp 3 trillion (about US$318 million) between December 10th and 11th to finance lending.

"The bonds carry a coupon rate of between 10 percent and 11.9 percent. They will be issued in December," BRI finance director Sudaryanto Sudargo told a media expose on the bond sales on Wednesday.

He said that the yields for the five-year and 10-year bonds were set 9.4 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively.

According to Sudaryanto, the bonds will officially be listed on the secondary market as of Dec. 17 at the Jakarta Stock Exchange (IDX).

"The rating agency PT Pefindo has given the bond issue an AA+ with a stable outlook," he said, adding that the lender had appointed PT Danareksa Sekuritas, PT Bahana Securities and PT Mandiri Sekuritas as underwriters.

The so-called book-building period, a process to help in part to gauge investor interest, has begun on Nov. 25, to last until Dec. 4.

According Sudaryanto, BRI would use the proceeds from the bond sales to help finance its credit expansion.

"The company is issuing the bonds to strengthen our capital adequacy ratio *CAR* and expand our business," he said, rejecting speculation that the bank would acquire smaller banks in the near future.

The bank's CAR, which compares a lender's capital with its risk-weighted assets including loans, is hovering at between 13.5 percent and 14.5 percent.

Next year, the lender is targeting a 25 percent growth in lending, higher than the estimated 22 percent growth this year - already far above the 15 percent average lending growth target for the banking industry for 2009.

With this lending growth target, BRI estimates to post at least a 15 percent rise in net profits next year with profits to hit about Rp 6 trillion.

This year, as of September, net profits have reached Rp 5.3 trillion, on the back of a 26.9 percent growth in lending. The BRI loan portfolio outstanding as of September reached Rp 219.56 trillion.

Mandiri bank opens branches in Malaysia

Antara News, Monday, November 30, 2009 00:47 WIB

Kuala Lumpur (ANTARA News) - State-owned Bank Mandiri is establishing a subsidiary Mandiri International Remittance Sdn Bhd in Malaysia with eight branches, the bank`s president director Agus Martowardojo said.

"The Bank Mandiri subsidiary will focus on the remittance business. We will open eight branches this year and in 2010 their may reach 30," he said here on Sunday.

The subsidiary dedicated by State Enterprises Minister Mustafa Abubakar, in the presence of Bank Indonesia (BI/the central bank) Deputy Governor Ardhayadi Mitroatmodjo, Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia Da`i Bachtiar, and Transfer Deputy Director of the Malaysian State Bank, Oei Sam Kwang.

Agus said that the opening of the eight branches in Malaysia has cost of US$1.5 million. "Next year, we set a target to net 20 percent of remittance from Malaysia to Indonesia, which reaches Rp8-10 trillion per annum," he added.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lampung prepares groundwork to invite investors

Oyos Saroso H.N. , The Jakarta Post , Bandarlampung | Sat, 11/28/2009 1:07 PM

The Lampung provincial administration is formulating regulations in response to anticipated consequences from the construction of the Sunda Strait bridge (JSS) after the central government took over the endeavor as a national project.

The regulations, in the form of local ordinances, will focus on investment and development in Lampung with a view to protecting the community from any negative impacts resulting from the bridge's presence or operation.

"Without regulations, money would rapidly flow out of the province because people in Lampung could easily go to Jakarta to shop and spend their money. Also, industries that are very lax or not concerned with environmental safety could invest or move their operations to Lampung if adequate regulations were not in place," Lampung Governor Sjachroedin Z.P. said.

Sjachroedin expressed hope the JSS, connecting the islands of Java and Sumatra, would be completed quickly.

"We don't want to be lose out to the bridge connecting Dumai in Riau with Malaysia," he said.

Sjachroedin said he was pleased by the central government's positive stance on the proposal - formed by the Lampung and Banten provincial administrations and governors from across Sumatra - to build the bridge.

"We are rather impatient because studies of a planned Java-Sumatra bridge have been conducted since the 1980s. Had the central government refused to assist, we *the Banten governor and governors from across Sumatra* would have built the JSS ourselves. We would have invited investors and managed it together with the Banten provincial administration," Sjachroedin said.

Prior to discussions at the national level, he added governors of eight provinces in Sumatra and the Banten governor had discussed the plan and the project's potentially huge benefits.

According to Sjachroedin, PT Artha Graha had conducted the project's feasibility studies.

"We invite the central government to conduct another study should they wish to do so," he said.

"The social disparity between Lampung and Banten provinces can certainly be reduced if the JSS project is realized," he added.

"The JSS, which is planned to have a height of 70 meters with a span of 30.4 meters, is designed to be able to withstand earthquakes and tsunamis. We are aware of the presence of the active Mount Anak Krakatau in the Sunda Strait which is prone to eruption and could trigger a tsunami," Sjachroedin said.

The JSS project has also highlighted possible impacts on the Archipelagic Sea Lanes of Indonesia (ALKI), which organizes marine navigation. The deepest sea gap included in the ALKI is located between Sangiang and Prajurit islands spanning 3.5 kilometers. According to the JSS plan, two of the bridge's support pillars will be built on each island.

The cost of the JSS project is estimated at Rp 92 trillion (US$9.79 billion), which will be divided into two phases. The first phase, costing Rp 1.8 trillion, would cover the feasibility studies and engineering costs, while the second phase would be the construction, costing Rp 90.2 trillion. The project has an estimated time to completion period of between six and 10 years.

At the end of October, Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Radjasa said Indonesia would prioritize the development of domestic infrastructure, including the completion of the JSS.

Hatta added that the government would look to develop local economies through the JSS project. He said the recent focus on the JSS project was also aimed at preventing commodities in Sumatra from being sent to Malaysia and to create better connections between Java and Sumatra.

Related Article:

Indonesia To Build World's Longest Bridge

Experts to talk in climate change workshop in E Kalimantan

Antara News, Saturday, November 28, 2009 23:59 WIB

Balikpapan, E Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - Several environmental experts including Prof Emil Salim will speak in a workshop on climate change which will be held here on Tuesday (December 1/2009).

"Several governors and environmental experts will attend this workshop," head of Balikpapan environmental agency, Syahrumsyah said here on Saturday.

The workshop carries a theme dubbed "Regional initiatives in anticipation of Global Warming and Climate Change Mitigation".

Speakers in the workshop will include a member of the Presidential Advisory Council (Watimpres) for Environmental Affairs, Emil Salim, Environment Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta and Chairman of the Climate Change Board, Rahmat Witoelar, Syahrumsyah said.

Several governors who will participate in the workshop are among others from Central Kalimantan, Teras Narang, from Jakarta, Fauzi Bowo, from West Kalimantan, Cornelis Lay, from Papua, Barnabas Suebu, from North Sulawesi, Sinyo Sarundayan, from Aceh, Irwandi Yusuf and from East Kalimantan, Awang Faroek as the host.

The workshop is aimed to give understanding about the latest condition on climate and its impact either globally, nationally and locally, he said.

In addition, it is also aimed at seeking initiatives or efforts for both mitigation and adaptation purposes that have been, are and will be done by the stakeholders in the region and building commitment on policy, funding and integrated action strategies in emission reduction efforts, Syahrumsyah said.

The most important outcome of this workshop will be formulation of the "Balikpapan Declaration" to be submitted in the Conference of Parties (COP) 15 UNCCC (United Nations Climate Change Conference) in Copenhagen in early December 2009," Syahrumsyah added.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Environmental damage in S Kalimantan alarming : minister

Antara News, Saturday, November 28, 2009 00:59 WIB | Environment

Banjarmasin (ANTARA News) - Environmental damage in South Kalimatan has reached an alarming level, Environment Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta said here on Friday.

He said South Kalimantan, known as the "province of one thousand rivers", would some day be hit by big floods if the serious environmental problem was not addressed properly.

"Uncontrolled deforestation, air pollution, and water pollution over the past 15 years are major problems in the province," the environment minister said.

The minister said fires and illegal logging activities in the 2003-2007 period alone had destroyed more than 1.7 million hectares of forest in the province.

He said the extensive forest damage in the province had diminished the water flows in river basins and therefore floods and landslides frequently happened.

In 2007 alone floods hit the province 32 times and in 2008 and 2009 the number continued to increase because of silting up of rivers and illegal logging activities.

Such a condition, according to environment minister, was worsened by the malfunctioning of rivers as a result of domestic and industrial activities.

To overcome the problems, the local government would launch clean-water and blue-sky programs, in addition to the construction of waste water management systems, and rehabilitation of degraded forests.

Friday, November 27, 2009

UNWTO Picks Bali As Green Tourism Model

Tempo Interactive, Friday, 27 November, 2009 | 10:49 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The United Nation’s tourism body has announced its decision to pick Bali to become one of its model for green tourism development. In a visit on Thursday (26/11) by Assistant to the Secretary General of United Nation World Tourism Organization Geoffrey Lipman, to the Bali regional office, the body said Bali had potentials for the green tourism concept.

The region has the natural awareness in keeping the harmony between human, nature, and faith which Lipman said “ Is still alive and strongly adhered until now.” But the challenge lies on how to apply the concept in facing the actual problems like energy availability and climate change.

Through the program UNWTO wil help Bali in solving its tourism problems and promote features of the province. The Green tourism Lipman said was part of the Green economy which should be applied in addressing the natural destruction.

Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika said the UN Body has the competence to improve Bali’s image in green tourism but the community have to return to their old concept of nature conservation and agriculture.

Tourism , I Made said, has lured many Balinese to leave agriculture and “The challenge is how to make Balinese farmers become wealthier and modern.”

Non governmental organizations which were invited to the UN presentation doubted the real benefit of the program for Balinese.

Made Suardana from the Wisnu Foundation said regional government should demand more concrete concept and support from the UN fearing that the program will only make Bali as global public relation gimmicks, while the actual task and responsibility will be completely left to the province.


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China Seeks More Investment on Indonesia Agriculture

Tempo interactive, Thursday, 26 November, 2009 | 21:52 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Chinese business representatives meeting with Industry Minister MS Hidayat on Thursday have expressed their wish to get tax incentive for investment.

Chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce Huang Mengfu said many chinese companies are seeking investment opportunity and cooperation with local companies.

MS Hidayat said the government offered the chinese delegates opportunity to invest in shipbuilding and steel industry, but no offer on investment facility made in the meeting.”

Huang said the Chinese companies are seeking to invest in agriculture and in electricity industry. Huang refused to reveal the value of potential investments from China saying “Our job was to build network between China and Indonesia.


Asian investors interested in buying former Bank Century

Antara News, Friday, November 27, 2009 02:52 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Firdaus Djaelani, chief executive of the Deposit Insurance Agency (LPS), said several investors from Asia were seriously considering to buy Bank Mutiara or former Bank Century.

"Several of them have shown serious interest and have come three times to enquire about Bank Mutiara," he said at a press conference.

LPS became Bank Mutiara`s sole majority shareholder after the agency provided the funds needed to prevent ailing Bank Century from collapsing. After the bailout, the bank was renamed Bank Mutiara.

However, Firdaus said, none of the interested investors had so far filed a letter of intent. "They are still talking. But I am optimistic the bank can be sold," he said.

The government has given LPS three years` time and the possibility of extending the period by another two years to sell the bank to recoup the bailout funds totalling Rp6.7 trillion.

"We will sell it for Rp6.7 trillion within five years but if we fail we will sell it for the best possible price," he said.

The president director of Bank Mutiara, Maryono, said he also believed the bank could be sold at the targeted price.

He assumed the bank`s net price would reach an average Rp250 billion per year and so, within five years, a total of Rp1.250 trillion would have been collected. "Since the LPS took it over, the bank`s net profit will not be spent on dividends," he said.

With the value of the bank`s assets recorded at around Rp500 billion based on four times their book value, Rp7 trillion would be a reasonable selling price for the bank, he said.

Some 99.996 percent of the bank`s shares are now held by the LPS with the rest or 0.004 percent belonging to the public and private parties.

"However, if the bank is sold to the holders of 0.004 percent of the shares, they cannot enjoy the proceeds. This is because the bank`s equity was negative when LPS took it over," he said.

ADB earmarks $500 million for RI`s mega power program

Antara News, Friday, November 27, 2009 03:12 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has earmarked US$500 million in loans to speed up the second phase of Indonesia`s program to build power plants with a combined capacity of 10,000 megawatts, an ADB official said.

The ADB loans were intended to finance the construction of geothermal power plants as part of the 10,000 megawatt-capacity power development program, ADB infrastructure specialist for Indonesia Rehan Kausar said here on Thursday.

"We have prepared US$500 million in loans to finance the geothermal projects," he said.

Of the total, US$350 million came from the bank and the remaining US$150 million in the form of clean technology funding from a number of international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, he said.

So far, the Manila-based bank had extended US$161 million in loans for renewable energy projects, including the second and fourth units of the Lahendong geothermal power plant worth US$30 million and US$40 million respectively, he said.

According to state power utility PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), the second phase of the 10,000-megawatt power development program called for the construction of steam power plants with a capacity of 4,294 MW, thermal power plants with a capacity of 1,626 MW, geothermal power plants with a capacity of 3,583 MW and hydro power plants with a capacity of 1,174 MW.

The mega program would be implemented after the issuance of relevant presidential regulation which is currently being discussed at the Office of the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs.

Kausar said the ADB was also ready to extend US$100 million in loans to improve transmission cables in the interconnection system of the Java-Bali grid.

The bank was waiting for the Indonesian government`s approval, he said.

If the Indonesian government approved the project, the ADB would discuss the proposal at a board of directors meeting scheduled for January next year in Manila, he said.

Oil and gas blocks once again fail to attract investors

Alfian , The Jakarta Post | Thu, 11/26/2009 1:28 PM

Indonesia has not attracted enough new investors to help develop the oil and gas sector, after failing to find viable bidders to take up offers to explore and develop oil and gas blocks, putting future oil output at risk.

After failing to award most of the oil and gas blocks offered to firms in the first half of 2009, government had to face the same outcome again in the second half of the year.

Of the total of 24 oil and gas blocks offered between June and November, only three blocks have secured investors, director general for oil and gas at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, Evita H. Legowo, announced Thursday.

"I am deeply sad with the results, but this is the reality. Our oil and gas investment may decrease next year. It may also impact on our oil and gas output in the next six to ten years."

She was even more upset as seven of the 24 blocks, which were offered through the direct offer mechanism, also largely failed to attract bidders. Under the direct offer mechanism, early exploration is initiated by oil and gas contractors and these companies will later on be prioritized to develop the blocks if exploration is successful.

"Normally, all blocks offered under the direct offer mechanisms can secure developers. But, this time, of the seven blocks offered under the mechanism, only five blocks attracted bidders. Unfortunately, only two of these bidders can meet all the requirements," Evita said.

The two successful contractors are PT Sele Raya, which won the Blora block in Central Java, and a joint venture of Baruna Nusantara Energy and Niko Resources Ltd, which won the North Makassar Strait block.

For exploration activities in the first three years, PT Sele Raya has committed US$3.44 million, including $1 million in signing bonuses.

As for the three years exploration in the North Makassar Strait block, the joint venture of Baruna Nusantara Energy and Niko Resources Ltd will spend $15 million, including $1 million in signing bonuses.

For the remaining 17 blocks, all of them located in the eastern part of Indonesia, the government offered them through the regular tender mechanism. The government also failed to find developers for most of these blocks.

"Of the 17 blocks offered through regular tenders, only one bidder was interested. Luckily, the bidder met all the requirements," Evita said.

The block is the Sula I block in Central Sulawesi. The government awarded rights to explore the block to PT Brilliance Energy, which committed itself to spending $16.3 million on exploration activities in the first three years, including $1 million for signing bonuses.

Energy analyst Pri Agung Rakhmanto gave possible explanations behind the lack of interest on the part of investors. "It could be that the profiles of the offered blocks are not interesting for the investors. Or, the government's data *about the blocks* was too poor."

Evita said she and her team would analyze further the overall reasons behind these results in order to be able to come up with a set of possible solutions.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Indonesia's Semen Gresik plans $400 mln capex in 2010

Reuters, Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:47am EST

JAKARTA, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Indonesia's largest cement producer PT Semen Gresik Tbk (SMGR.JK) plans capital expenditure of $400 million in 2010 to help cover the cost of building new factories, President Director Dwi Soetjipto said on Thursday.

Semen Gresik has planned capex of $1.2 billion for 2009-2014 to cover the construction of new factories in Java and Sulawesi, a power plant in Sulawesi, and to improve efficiency. The 2010 spending is included in that amount.

Soetjipto told reporters the firm would fund the 2010 capex from its internal cash.

Semen Gresik, which has a stock market value of $4.5 billion, expected production capacity to reach 18.5 million tonnes this year and aims to increase it to 19 million tonnes next year.

Shares in Semen Gresik ended down 1.39 percent on Thursday, while the broader market .JKSE fell 2.76 percent.

(Reporting by Andreas Ismar; Writing by Tyagita Silka; Editing by Sara Webb) ((tyagita.silka@thomsonreuters.com;

Reuters Messaging: tyagita.silka.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net; +62 21 384 6364 ext 905))

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

RI-Switzerland to form joint economic commission

Antara News, Thursday, November 26, 2009 17:29 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Switzerland are to establish a joint commission to enhance their bilateral relations in the economic and trade sectors, an official said.

"The joint commission will be a forum for regular consultations between the two sides in order to support efforts to increase trade and economic cooperation," Director General for the United States and Europe at the Foreign Ministry, Retno LP Marsudi, said here on Thursday at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the commission`s formation.

Retno said the joint commission would function as a regular forum for representatives of the two countries to discuss efforts to enhance Indonesian exports to Switzerland as well as ways to increase Swiss investment in Indonesia.

She said the MoU signing on Thursday would be followed by a meeting between representatives of the two countries to discuss cooperation in the trade, investment, tourism, industry, agro-industry, environment, and energy sectors.

Meanwhile, Monika Ruhl Burzi, head of the Swiss Foreign Ministry`s Bilateral Relations Division, expressed satisfaction about the signing of the MoU to form the joint commission.

"The establishment of a joint commission for the trade and economic sectors will be a significant step in forging closer cooperation between the two countries in the future," Burzi said.

The Swiss government had since 2008 included Indonesia on the list of countries being prioritized in its foreign economic and trade policies. The other countries were emerging market countries such as Egypt, Ghana, Colombia, South Africa and Vietnam.

Total trading activity between Indonesia and Switzerland last 2008 reached US$ 938.8 million. The figure had increased from the previous year`s US$ 668.9 million.

Switzerland ranks 15th on the list foreign countries investing in Indonesia. The foreign countries accumulated investment in Indonesia in the period January 1990 - September 2009 reached US$740.742.270 billion with 120 projects scattered across the country.

RI to expand research for sustainable development

The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Thu, 11/26/2009 1:30 PM

Indonesia aims to increase its scientific research capacity through the establishment an international research center that fosters cooperation between local and foreign universities.

The Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) launched Wednesday the International Center for Interdisciplinary and Advanced Research (ICIAR), as part of an initiative to promote preservation of the environment and to advance food security.

The center was established through cooperation between the institute and the the State Research and Technology Ministry, as well as the National Education Ministry.

The center is going to work with the United Nations Universities in Japan and New York, the Wageningen University in the Netherlands, the Kyoto University in Japan and the Swiss German University in Serpong, Banten.

Swiss German University is the first international university offering a double degree from both Indonesia and Europe for local students.

State Minister for Research and Technology Suharna Surapranata said in his speech that the center would propel scientific research in the country.

The center's chairman, Jan Sopaheluwakan, said he expected the center to become a melting pot of advanced studies from various scientific fields and to influence decision makers in the country through its research results.

Jan, who is also LIPI's deputy chairman for scientific studies, said the center would focus on developing research on biogeodynamics, sustainable environmental practices, climate change and disaster mitigation, coastal community resilience and conflict and crisis management, as well as food, health, biomedical and intercultural studies.

He said this would be made possible through networking with foreign partner universities.

"United Nations University, for example, has extensive networks in UN member countries," he said during the center's launching ceremony.

"This will help Indonesia catch up with other nations' achievements, which address environmental and human security problems."

Associate Director of the Institute for Environment and Human Security at the United Nations University, Fabrice Renaud, said the new center would extend the role of his institute in promoting solutions related to the environmental dimension of human security.

"We are putting the individual, social groups and their livelihoods at the center of debate, analysis and policy," he said.

"Our university has acted as a bridge between the UN and the academic world since 1973."

Senior Researcher at Wageningen University, A. Schrevel, said his university would work together with the center on low-land management projects in Sumatra and Kalimantan for two to three years.

"Significant peatland losses on the islands have increasingly contributed to the release of emissions," he said.

Jan said this center would change the old paradigm of local uni-versities.

"Most local universities have not yet prioritized research programs. Lecturers help their students research certain topics only to help them fulfill their academic requirements," he said.

He called such universities as "teaching universities", which had yet to improve their research functions due to limited facilities. (nia)

New BKPM head to focus on expediting licensing system

Vincent Lingga, The Jakarta Post, Yogyakarta | Wed, 11/25/2009 9:34 AM

“I will give you my name card with an email address so that you can email me your problem, and I will see to it that the matter you raised is rectified.”

That was how Gita Wirjawan, the new chief of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), addressed businessmen at the Indonesia-Australia Business Council conference Tuesday who complained about arduous investment licensing procedures and red tape at the ministry of justice and basic human rights.

Gita, formerly an investment banker and private-equity fund manager, said he was determined to develop a truly one-stop licensing center at BKPM, something even Soeharto failed to accomplish under his 32 years of authoritarian administration.

He realized his uphill task as the salesman of the Indonesian investment climate because most of the factors which determine the quality of the country as the place of investment lie beyond his jurisdiction.

“Expediting the licensing system should be the start because I was shocked to find that in the Easing-of-Doing Business Ranking of 178 countries surveyed annually by the IFC, Indonesia this year ranked 122nd, even behind Rwanda.”

Therefore, Gita added, he had embarked on cooperation and coordination with more than 15 other ministries in launching concerted efforts to woo investment.

“I also have started communications and cooperation with regional investment coordinating boards and have identified what I call potential regional champions as the target for investment promotion.”

He is optimistic about improving Indonesia’s rating in the IFC Ease of Doing Business ranking to 60-70th within two years.

“And we need at least about US$200 billion in foreign and domestic investment each year to generate an economic growth rate of 6 to 6.5 percent.”

According to Gita, Indonesia is now riding on the back of a fantastic (period) of economic and political stability as a result of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s re-election last July.

“As Indonesia is richly blessed with a wide variety of natural resources and the majority of its population is young, our country should be among the most favorite places for investment.”

Next on the government’s priority program is the adaptation of the labor regulations which have long been complained about by investors as too rigid and counterproductive to labor-intensive businesses, Gita said.

“The government also will straighten out the procedures for land acquisition for infrastructure such as roads. Investors simply require clarity and legal certainty that there is a cap on the price of the land they will acquire,” he pointed out.

Vice Minister of Trade Mahendra Siregar, who also addressed the two-day conference which ended Tuesday, said the national single window (NSW) system for clearance of shipments and goods would be fully operational at major ports next year.

The NSW is a clearance system enabling a single submission of information and data, single and simultaneous processing of data, and a single point of decision-making via close collaboration among line ministries and other parties involved in the customs clearance process.

Sound too big a promise?

“Given the way this Cabinet works, we are optimistic about achieving our targets. All ministries are directly monitored by the Presidential Unit for the Supervision and Control of Development [UKP3],” Siregar said.

UKP3, headed by Kuntoro Magkusubroto, a well experienced and highly capable technocrat, is the ears, eyes and hands of the President, working as a trouble-shooter, and Mr. Fixer.

Gita is similarly bullish about achieving the target for his investment promotion, pointing out that “with an annual economic growth of 6-6.5 percent a year, we will be able to increase the size of our economy from $550 billion now to $900-950 billion within five years.”

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ADB Conference Promotes Investments in Indonesia's Energy Efficiency Sector

Asian Development Bank

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Investments in energy efficiency solutions in Indonesia offer a potential $4 billion market for commercial banks and the industrial sector, a Jakarta conference co-organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) heard today.

"Indonesia's energy sector is a vast green field of investment opportunities that awaits the participation of the domestic and international banking as well as industrial sectors," said Anthony Jude, Director of the Energy and Water Division in ADB's Southeast Asia Department. "Energy efficiency investments, like low hanging fruits, reap significant returns."

The $4 billion figure is ADB's estimate of the potential market size for retrofits and other energy-saving improvements in commercial buildings and industrial facilities. Types of projects range from electrical system retrofits to improving efficiency of air conditioning systems (including chillers), lighting and waste heat recovery.

For example, a commercial bank might co-finance a $420,000 project to upgrade the air conditioning, pumps and lighting systems of a large office building. These upgrades will bring about huge electricity savings – in this scenario some $100,000 a year – therefore paying back the initial investment in just over four years.

The Jakarta conference, "Financing $4 billion Energy Efficiency Solutions in Indonesia," brought together close to 200 representatives of commercial banks, government, and major industries. The event, which ADB is co-hosting with MKI, the Indonesian Electrical Power Society, and KADIN, the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce, was designed to create mutually beneficial partnerships between commercial banks, equipment suppliers and energy service companies that will in turn promote environmentally sustainable growth.

Agus Purnomo, Head of Secretariat at Indonesia's National Council on Climate Change, noted the significance of the conference taking place just prior to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks that get underway in Copenhagen on 7 December.

"The energy sector is a key player in Indonesia's drive to combat climate change," Mr. Purnomo said in a keynote address. "Therefore we strongly welcome national and international commercial banks, as well as equipment suppliers and energy service companies, as critical partners in facilitating new financing opportunities in energy efficiency and renewable energies."

Last year, ADB approved nearly $1.7 billion in clean energy investments, exceeding the bank's target of $1 billion. Under a new Energy Policy passed by its Board of Directors earlier this year, ADB will double its targets for clean energy annually to $2 billion starting 2013.

About ADB

Philips Indonesia supports 'green lighting' for commercial estates, shopping malls

www.chinaview.cn 2009-11-25 16:11:10

JAKARTA, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- Philips Indonesia supports green lighting for commercial estates and shopping mall, which is an efficient and energy saving lighting concept, the company's officials said here on Wednesday.

To show the support, the company held an international lighting seminar to deliver knowledge about lighting concept and trend for the buildings.

The seminar was attended by government officials, professionals like architects, lighting designers, interior designers, property management consultants, building managers and retail companies.

Hendra Rusmana Liu, the company's Senior Marketing Manager for Philips Lighting, said that the energy efficient lighting trend isa concept that should be adopted by building managers.

"A right solution of green lighting will create an attraction for tenants and property customers as well as provide comfort ability for users," said Hendra

According to Hendra, currently there are many parties racing to create environmental friendly buildings at foreign countries.

"There is a mutual agreement between contractors, governments and regulators on green solution vision so that when the concept is rolled, it will provide a meaningful benefit for users and owners," said Hendra.

He added that in Indonesia, the concept is probably still new even though it is not impossible that the country could be able to be part of nations that implement the concept in every building.

In the seminar, Philips shared knowledge about the buildings lighting concept, starting from information to the choice of lighting products. The company also shared its dynamic lighting technology called the State Solid Lighting'.

The seminar was also attended by Kaoru Mende, an international lightning expert who is the founder of Lightning Planners Associates Inc. whose works are widely adopted at various offices and shopping centers around the globe, namely the National Museum of Nature and Science in Singapore and the Swarovski Boutique in Japan's Ginza City, among others.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Aston Expands Further In Indonesia

Hotelsmag.com, Hotels, 11/25/2009 8:23:00 AM (PRESS RELEASE)

Jakarta, 24 November 2009 – Aston International expands further in Indonesia and is targeting a portfolio of 50 hotels under 6 distinguished brands by the end of 2011.

During Aston Fair in Surabaya, Aston International introduced 7 recently opened brand new hotels increasing the group’s total operating hotel portfolio to 20 properties. The new hotels are the “Aston Kuta Hotel & Residence”, the “Bali Kuta Resort by Aston”, the “100 Sunset Boutique Hotel by Aston”, the “Aston Natsepa Ambon Hotel and Conference Center”, the “Aston Samarinda Hotel and Convention Center”, the “Aston Manado City Hotel” and the “Aston Tanjung City Hotel”.

In addition Aston International announced that 14 more Aston Hotels are currently under construction with the first two opening in December 2009 in Medan and Cengkareng and the other 12 scheduled to open between January 2010 and mid 2011. These new Astons will range from 5 star Grand Astons such as the Grand Aston City Hall Medan which is due to open in December 2009 and the Grand Aston Yogyakarta Hotel & Convention Center which is scheduled to open in late 2010 to 4 star Aston Hotels in Balikpapan, Bandung, Bogor, Glodok-Jakarta, Manokwari, Menteng-Jakarta, Jayapura, Purwokerto and Serpong and 3 star Aston City Hotels in Cengkareng, Bangka Island and Bintan.

While continuing to expand the Grand Aston, Aston and Aston City hotel brands the group has also developed a new luxury boutique resort brand called Royal Kamuela and select service hotel brands such as the 3 star affordable lifestyle Quest Hotels and the hip and trendy 2 star favehotels.

Royal Kamuela is currently developing two boutique villa resorts, one with 38 villas in Nusa Dua and the other with 12 villas in Ubud.

Quest and favehotel are set to become Indonesia’s fastest growing select service hotels brands. Since the launch of the two brands just 5 months ago Aston International has been able to confirm a total of 9 new hotels consisting of 4 Quest hotels, the first of which will open early 2010 in Semarang and three more in Kuta, Legian and Menteng-Jakarta and 5 favehotels with the first one due to open this December in Denpasar and four more confirmed for Ambon, Legian, Seminyak and Surabaya.

Aston Internationals Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Mr. Norbert Vas, said “We will continue to grow the 3 Aston hotel brands and are currently negotiating projects in Makassar, Palembang and Surabaya but our midterm strategy for Aston is to consolidate its leading position in Indonesia and start to export the Grand Aston, Aston and Aston City Hotel brands overseas. Quest and fave have been off to a very encouraging start and are so well conceptualized that developers are already rushing in to build them. We are confident that we will operate at least 50 if not more hotels between Aston, Quest, fave and Royal Kamuela by 2011 and predict substantial growth and demand for branded select service hotels such as Quest and fave for many years to come ."

About Aston International

Aston entered the Indonesian market in the late nineties and has an underlying portfolio consisting of 50 properties including hotels, condotels, resorts, serviced apartments and boutique villa resorts, of which 20 are operational and 30 under development due to open between now and 2011.

Aston properties currently operate under the 5 star Grand Aston, 4 star Aston and 3 star Aston City Hotel brands but the company is also developing Luxury Villa resorts under the Royal Kamuela and Kamuela brands and 3 star hotels under the affordable lifestyle Quest Hotel brand as well as 2 star favehotel.

With a proven track record of success, Aston has a very definitive vision of the future - to be universally recognized as the preferred hospitality management company in Asia Pacific.

PGN to invest $1b in LNG receiving terminals

Nani Afrida , The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 11/25/2009 9:30 PM

State gas producer PT Perusahaan Gas Negara plans to allocate US$ 1 billion to build Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) receiving terminals in West Java and North Sumatra, an official revealed Wednesday.

“The investment in the terminals is about $100 million up to $150 million per unit,” [with some multiple units] PGN president director Hendi P Santoso told reporters during a hearing between PGN and the House of Representatives.

The company acknowledged that it was still seeking some loans from banks to finance the terminals.

“We probably will find 30 percent of the budget needed from the internal cash flow, with the rest from bank loans,” PGN finance director Riza Pahlevi Thabrani said.

It was reported that the company targeted to deliver a maximum of 400 million cubic feet per day in additional gas supply from the West Java LNG terminal, and up to 150 million cubic feet per day from the North Sumatra one.

For the West Java project, the company had established a partnership with state oil and gas producer PT Pertamina, and state power utility PT PLN.

Meanwhile, for the North Sumatra project, PGN would be fully in charge of the construction and operation of the project.

The company expected the projects to start operations in 2012.

Indonesia to Produce LNG from Coal

The directorate general is finishing the CBM development guide in 100 days.

Vivanews, Heri Susanto, Ferial, RABU, 25 NOVEMBER 2009, 11:45 WIB

Coal mining (www.warwick.ac.uk)

VIVAnews – The government is planning to develop liquid natural gas (LNG) from coal bed methane (CBM), and if succeeded Indonesia will be the first country to produce LNG from CBM.

Director General for Oil and Gas Evita Herawati Legowo said that the development is aimed to create an easier gas distribution to the domestic consumers.

“We are planning to turn gas from CBM to LNG,: Legowo said in Jakarta on Wednesday, Nov. 25.

She said the directorate general is finishing the CBM development guide in 100 days to accelerate the development and realize the plan.

“If the plant of development (PoD) has yet to be established, the gas could not be sold. Now we are thinking ways to utilize the gas despite the absence of PoD,” she said.

Legowo explained that the government is planning to tone down the production sharing contract (PSC) related to the PoD for the CBM development, which is done, among others, by changing the production sharing system.

Based on the Energy and Mineral Resources Department, the total potential reserve of CBM in Indonesia reaches 453.30 TCF.

Translated by: Ariyantri E. Tarman

Two Indonesian Banks Sign Trade Agreements with ADB

Asian Development Bank

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Two Indonesian banks today signed trade financing agreements with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), a move that will help them provide crucial support for their local exporters and importers.

The agreements, signed by PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk and PT Bank Muamalat Indonesia are part of ADB's Trade Finance Facilitation Program (TFFP) and are the first such agreements signed by Indonesian banks.

"These agreements with ADB will make it easier for Indonesian banks to extend trade financing," said James Nugent, Country Director of ADB's Indonesia Resident Mission. "Easier access to trade finance will help Indonesian companies at a time when external trade is gradually recovering from the effects of the global financial crisis."

Under the $1 billion TFFP, which started operations in 2004, the Triple-A rated ADB provides finance and guarantees through, and in conjunction with, international banks and banks in ADB's developing member countries. By attracting private sector financing, and because the portfolio can roll over once a year, the program could generate $15 billion in trade finance through 2013.

The TFFP is central to ADB's commitment to support trade in emerging economies. Trade is a key tool to boosting economic growth and reducing poverty by creating jobs and attracting private capital. However, borrowers in emerging markets seeking financing for trade have traditionally had difficulty accessing credit. This is partly because banks elsewhere are unfamiliar with local borrowers.

"Participating in ADB's trade finance program will connect those Indonesian banks and their clients more closely in global banking, trade and business networks, which should ultimately reap rewards in terms of higher domestic and world economic growth," said Philip Erquiaga, Director General of ADB's Private Sector Operations Department, which oversees the TFFP.

ADB's Asian Development Outlook 2009 Update, released in September, forecasts growth in developing Asia of 3.9% this year and 6.4% in 2010. It expects Indonesia's economy to expand 4.3% in 2009 and 5.4% in 2010, with the current account surplus to rise to 2.0% of gross domestic product this year and 2.1% next year. In 2008, it was 0.1% of GDP.

About ADB