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

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

Saturday, February 26, 2011

French Firms Eye $10b of Investment in Indonesia

Jakarta Globe, Dion Bisara & Shirley Christie | February 25, 2011

Related articles

Indonesia could see upwards of $10 billion in investment from an unexpected source, ministers said, as French companies expressed interest in participating in infrastructure and energy projects.

Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo walks together with
French Economy, Finance and Industry Minister Christine
Lagarde before their meeting in Jakarta on Friday.
(AFP Photo/Bay Ismoyo)
French investment only played a minor role in the country in recent years. According to data from the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), its investment in Indonesia only amounted to about $307 million from 2006 to 2009.

Hatta Rajasa, the coordinating minister for the economy, met with French Minister for Economic Affairs, Finance and Industry Christine Lagarde and a delegation of 40 French business leaders on Friday. It is the first visit made by France at a ministerial level in 14 years.

He said French businessmen planned to invest $175 million in a project called the Bandung Metropolitan Railway, a network of railways connecting Cicalengka and Padalarang in the West Java city.

Hatta also said that French companies would participate in a $5 billion nickel smelter project in Halmahera, North Maluku. “They are also interested in geothermal and environmentally friendly industries,” he added.

In a separate announcement, Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo said Eramet, a French firm, would work with Japanese firm Mitsubishi and state-owned miner Aneka Tambang on the Halmahera project.

“There are two investment agreements that have materialized with the French in a short amount of time,” he said.

Lagarde confirmed the intention of French companies to boost their investment in Indonesia, although she declined to provide details.

The French chief executives and chairmen who met with Hatta came from sectors such as energy, transportation, water treatment, weather forecasting, railroad development, construction and retail, she said.

“Those companies are determined to improve investment,” she said, adding that the deals ranged in the billions of euros.

Last week, L’Oreal Group, a Paris-based cosmetics and beauty company, declared its plan to construct its largest factory in Indonesia. The new factory will be built at the Jababeka industrial estate in West Java and is expected to be operational by the end of this year.

The 200,000 square meter plant will be able to produce 300 million units annually by next year, with maximum production forecast at 500 million units.

Apart from boosting investment, Lagarde said, the French want to double the growth rate of trade between the two countries. She said the growth rate of trading, which is currently at 5 percent, is too small.

Last year the total value of two-way trade between the two countries stood at $2.5 billion.

France is the 23rd-largest importer of Indonesian commodities. The main exports to France include electrical transformers, static converters, furniture, cocoa butter, fat and oil.

Indonesia is the 13th-largest importer of French commodities, mainly bulldozers, excavators and other heavy machinery.

Indonesia registered a deficit of $762.9 million in trade with France in 2010. The deficit was spurred by declining exports of commodities and items such as natural rubber, paper pulp, footwear and radio and telephone parts.

Friday, February 25, 2011

France confirms plan to invest in Bandung railway project

Antara News, Fri, February 25 2011

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - France has confirmed its intention to invest 175 million US dollars in Bandung`s Metropolitan Railway project that will connect Padalarang and Cicalengka districts, West Java, a minister said.

"France has confirmed its intention to invest 175 million US dollars in the Padalarang-Cicalengka railway project that is designed to overcome the region`s chaotic traffic congestion problem," Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Hatta Rajasa said here Friday after a meeting with French Economic, Finance and Industry Minister Christine Lagarde.

Hatta Rajasa said France was also interested in urban development in Surabaya city, East Java.

On a national scale, France would like to cooperate with Indonesia in developing geothermal energy sources and in extreme climate monitoring efforts being managed by Indonesia`s Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).

"Besides, they are also interested in geothermal energy and environment based industries which will be a government-to-government issue," he said.

France had also confirmed its plan to participate in a nickel smelter project and nickel processing industries in Halmahera, North Maluku, valued at around 5 billion US dollars, through a multinational company, Eramet.

To participate in the nickel smelter project, France was asking for an operation permit valid for up to 50 years while Indonesian government policy only allowed foreign companies to operate for 30 years only with the possibility of extending it every 10 years, Hatta said.

Hatta also hoped the French government would also contribute to the development of Indonesia`s economic regions with an investment of 10 billion US dollars.

Meanwhile, Minister Christine Lagarde said the French economic delegation she was leading was the first to come to Indonesia in the last 14 years. France wanted to step up its investment in and its economic cooperation with Indonesia through ministerial level talks.

"We have also met Vice President Boediono and discussed investment in energy, transportation, water conservation, climate monitoring, railroads, construction and retail companies such as Carrefour," she said.

The French economic delegation`s purpose was also to increase the volume of trade between the two countries which currently still stood at the relatively low figure of about 2.5 billion US dollars.

Editor: Heru

Epson opens new factory in Cikarang

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 02/25/2011

PT Indonesia Epson Industry, a subsidiary of Japan-based Seiko Epson Group (SEG), launched its new plant at EJIP industrial estate in Cikarang, Bekasi, West Java, on Friday.

SEG director Hagata Tadoaki said that the company wanted to boost its production capacity to more than double by 2012 by opening the new facility.

“Currently, our Indonesian plant produces 6 million printers per year. With the new plant, we expect to start producing 13 million units annually by 2012,” he said during the opening ceremony of the new plant in Cikarang.

He said that in line with the expanding production capacity, Indonesian plants would contribute more than 50 percent to Epson’s total sales.

Currently, Epson’s only Indonesian plant makes up 40 percent of Epson's global sales, which reaches 15 million units.

Hagata said the new plant would absorb 5,000 new workers, adding to around the 10,000 people already employed. (lnd)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Miniature traditional Gowa house to be built in South Africa

Antara News, Wed, February 23 2011

Gowa traditional house or Balla Lompoa. (gowata.blogspot.com)

Maskassar (ANTARA News) - A miniature traditional Gowa house from South Sulawesi, known as Balla Lompoa, will soon be built in South Africa.

South African Ambassador to Indonesia Noel N. Lehoko discussed the plan to build the Gowa traditional house at a meeting with South Sulawesi Vice Governor Agus Arifin Nu`mang here on Wednesday.

The miniature of Gowa traditional house in South Africa is expected to further strengthen cultural ties between the country and South Sulawesi.

"The purpose of my visit here is to connect the cooperation that has been done and to renew a memorandum of understanding that has expired," the South African envoy said.

Relations between South Africa and South Sulawesi have lasted for 300 years but remained strong because there used to be Syeh Yusuf tomb in South Africa but it has been removed to South Sulawesi.

Meanwhile, Agus Arifin said that in the past visit to South Africa by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono the plan to build a miniature of Balla Lompoa in Cape Town was discussed.

"The South African envoy mentioned the from central government and thus we will prepare the miniature of Balla Lompoa to be built in Cape Town," Agus Arifin said.

In addition, he said the cooperation with South Africa in the field of education, culture, trade, and tourism would also be developed.

Agus Arifin said that one of tourism cooperation that could be developed was a tour package to South Africa like Umrah package plus to Cairo and Palestine.

In education field, he said South Africa could also be a choice by South Sulawesi students to take their doctorate degrees in mining.

"South Africa with its surrounding countries have a high economic level and are open to South Sulawesi because of their cultural relations," Agus said.

Editor: Priyambodo

Australian government supports clean water program

Antara News, Wed, February 23 2011

"This will help improve their health, quality of life and economic potential."

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Australia government supported clean water access program for about 2,000 households in Serang, Banten.

(FOTO ANTARA/Sahrul Manda Tikupadang)
"More than 100,000 people in Serang now have easier and cheaper access to clean water. This will help improve their health, quality of life and economic potential," AusAID Infrastructure Counselor Ben Power said in a press release received here, Wednesday.

Serang is one of 35 Indonesian districts that have received grants to install new water connections. Australia is working closely with the Indonesian Government to administer this program.

"Australia is proud to be working with Indonesia to improve access to clean water and is committed to helping Indonesia reach its goal of halving the amount of people living without access to clean drinking water," said Power.

The grant is part of Australia`s 25 million Australian dollars commitment to Indonesia to increase piped water in poor urban communities, and to increase the number of households with sewerage connections.

This support will give about 60,000 households across Indonesia new connections to piped water and up to 10,000 household`s sewerage connections.

A further 400,000 Indonesians will have access to cleaner water and better sanitation as a result of the Grant Water program.

Furthermore several cities and districts in Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, West Nusa Tenggara and Sulawesi will also received benefit from this new water and sanitation initiative.

As well as this grant program, Australia is helping local governments manage community water supply and sanitation utilities to ensure the sustainability of this development.

Editor: Priyambodo

Daihatsu Indonesia's unit says to invest 2.1 trln rph in new car factory

Reuters, JAKARTA | Tue Feb 22, 2011

Feb 23 (Reuters) - PT Astra Daihatsu Motor, a unit of Japan's Daihatsu , will invest 2.1 trillion rupiah to build new car factory with a capacity of 100,000 units in Indonesia, the firm said in a statement on Wednesday.

The firm expects production to start by end of 2012 and the factory will be located in East Karawang, West Java province, it said.

The statement confirmed an earlier report by Nikkei, which also said Daihatsu was considering a low-cost car in Indonesia.
(Reporting by Fathiya Dahrul)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

South Korea’s Lotte to Build $5b Petrochemical Project in Banten

Jakarta Globe, Camelia Pasandaran | February 22, 2011

Related articles

South Korea’s Lotte Group is planning to invest up to $5 billion in a petrochemical project in Banten province, with construction expected to start next year.

“We will start the feasibility study to develop a petrochemical project in Merak, Banten province, this year. The investment is estimated to cost between $3 billion to $5 billion,” Lotte chairman Shin Dong-bin told reporters after meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Shin said the group was expecting to start the construction of the plant next year and finish within four to five years.

Gita Wiryawan, chairman of Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), praised Lotte’s plan, saying that “Lotte has been investing in Indonesia, in the retail sector, duty free. It’s great that they are expanding here.’’

Gita added that Lotte would also launch Lotteria, a fast-food chain, in Indonesia.

Lotte has also recently stated its interest in acquiring a stake in Matahari Putra Prima, Indonesia’s largest retailer by market value, through its retail subsidiary. The deal was turned down by Matahari because Lotte’s offer was too low.

Last week, Indonesian ministers flew to Seoul, meeting with President Lee Myung-bak to ask South Korean companies to invest in Indonesia. South Korean firms were said to be interested in investing as much as $20 billion in various infrastructure sectors in Indonesia.

Indonesia is trying to entice more foreign investors to help meet Yudhoyono’s target of an average annual growth rate of 6.6 percent over the remainder of his presidential second term, which will end in 2014.

The country is targeting total realized investment to rise to 230 trillion rupiah this year from 208.5 trillion rupiah last year, Gita said in January.

President suggests construction of millions cheapest houses

Antara News, Tue, February 22 2011

Bogor, W Java  (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has suggested the construction of million of very cheapest houses for the poorest and poor people in the country.

"We can build several million homes with the very cheapest prices within one year and will continue to do so," the president said in his closing address of government working meeting at Bogor Palace on Tuesday.

The head of state proposed that the prices of the cheapest houses would range from Rp5 million to Rp10 million per unit, because they were classified into temporary residence before the owners moved to a more permanent home.

President Yudhoyono`s suggestion would be a guideline which is to be discussed in the cabinet meetings.

According to the president, the funds for constructing the very cheapest houses could come from related state enterprises, corporate social responsibility funds, and those allocated from the government budget.

The construction of the most inexpensive houses is one of six new programs, proposed by the president.

The five other programs are related to cheapest transportation, cheapest clean water facility, cheapest electricity program, improvement of fishermen standard of living, and program to improve the lives of suburban community.

President Yudhoyono said the six new programs were the fourth group of pro-people programs.

Editor: Aditia Maruli

Govt to develop biogas for small industry

Antara News, Tue, February 22 2011 

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government will develop biogas technology as an energy source for small and medium scale industries, a senior official said.

Director General for Small and Medium Industries Euis Saedah said here on Monday that biogas could serve as a solution to the use of efficient energy for small and medium industrias.

"The development of biogas has yet to be aimed at supporting the existence of 3.8 million IKMs while in fact the development of bio gas is quite suitable with IKMs` condition which are small scale and separate with each other," she said.

She said that the number of IKMs now reached 3.8 million with employed about 8.75 million workers. About 90 percent of these industries were small industries and the remaining ones were middle scale with groups of sectors such as food, chemicals, construction materials, clothing, handicraft and metal as well as electronics.

In the meantime, Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) Suryo Bambang Sulisto said the government had not yet provided incentive for the development of biogas in Indonesia.

"The incentive is needed so that the people would turn to alternative energy," she said.

She said that since it was developed 20 years ago, there were now only 14,000 units of biogas development devices in Indonesia.

"Kadin has a target to install one million units in the next three years," she said.

Editor: Aditia Maruli

US universities hold US education fair in Jakarta, Medan, Semarang, Surabaya

Antara News, Tue, February 22 2011

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - U.S. Ambassador Scot Marciel, here, Sunday (Feb. 20) spoke at the Spring 2011 EducationUSA Fair, held in partnership with 38 prominent U.S. educational institutions.

U.S. Ambassador Scot Marciel (Antara)
The EducationUSA Fair, which was open to the public, included university representatives and presentations on "Study in the USA" and the student visa application process, a press statement of the US Embassy in Jakarta, said here, Tuesday.

The EducationUSA Fair started on Sunday, February 20 in Jakarta, followed by events in Medan on February 22, Semarang on February 24, and Surabaya on February 26 before concluding in Denpasar on February 28.

Attendees will be able to meet university representatives and follow activities through EducationUSA`s website and social media channels, including Facebook, Skype, and Twitter.

The EducationUSA Fair is an annual advising activity coordinated by AMINEF/EducationUSA that provides accurate and impartial information on studying in the United States by facilitating direct interaction between students and university representatives.

This Fair also enhanced students` exposure to the thousands of possibilities of majors, programs, scholarships and assistantship opportunities available at U.S. academic institutions.

The Fair is part of AMINEF`s EducationUSA initiative to contribute to the goals set forth in the Comprehensive Partnership agreement between the governments of the Republic of Indonesia and the United States of America to double the number of Indonesians studying in the U.S. in the next five years.

During the Fair, representatives of the U.S. Embassy Consular Office provided information on the visa application process.

The Consular section welcomes student visa applications and has made the application process as easy as possible. Student visa applicants are guaranteed an appointment on any Monday the Embassy is open.

The Education USA website at www.educationusa.or.id provides more details of the visit agenda along with additional information on universities, courses, and studying in the United States.

Editor: Priyambodo

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bank Mandiri allocates $12 million for IT development

The Jakarta Post, Sat, 02/19/2011

The country’s biggest lender in term of assets, state-owned Bank Mandiri, has earmarked US$12 million for IT system development.

“In 2011 we allocate US$12 million, or about Rp 1 trillion, for our IT system development, with which we hope to be able to expand our services,” Bank Mandiri corporate banking director Fransiska Nelwan Mok said Saturday while addressing a workshop on transactional banking in Kuningan, West Java.

“Indonesia, as a country with large population and income per capita of US$2,500, will demand wider financial transaction services,” she said, as quoted by Antara.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Genting Unit Discovers Gas in Indonesia

Jakarta Globe, Bambang Djanuarto | February 18, 2011

Related articles

Genting Bhd.’s exploration unit discovered natural gas in the Kasuri block in the Indonesian province of West Papua, said Elan Biantoro, a spokesman at Indonesia’s oil and gas regulator BPMigas.

Genting Oil and Gas Ltd. found the gas at the Asap-1X exploration well with a potential flow rate of 100 million cubic feet a day, Biantoro said by phone from Jakarta today. The discovery was earlier reported by Upstream publication.

“We hope the discovery will help us increase gas production to meet increasing domestic demand,” Biantoro said. The Kuala Lumpur-based company completed the drilling test at three layers of the block on Jan. 28, he said.

Genting Oil, which has four oil and gas projects in Indonesia, won rights from the Indonesian government to explore the Kasuri block in May 2008. It also operates in China and Morocco, according to information on the parent’s Web site.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Govt offering investors chance to develop cotton plantations

Antara News, Thu, February 17 2011

Related News

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government is offering investors a chance to develop cotton plantations to meet growing demand from the domestic textile industry, an Industry Ministry official said.

Right now the domestic yarn spinning and textile industries depended on imported cotton because of low domestic cotton output, the ministry`s director general of manufacturing industry base, Panggah Susanto, said here on Thursday.

He said domestic cotton output currently supplied 2.5 percent of the national needs.

Data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) show the country last year imported US$2.23 billion worth of cotton compared to US$1.48 billion a year earlier.

Indonesia, with a population of 234 million, now imports cotton from China, Australia, the United States, and South Korea.

Because of large dependence on imported cotton, the domestic textile industry is easily influenced by a change in global cotton prices.

The government said earlier it would encourage the development of cotton plantations to reduce the country`s dependence on imported cotton.

To that end, the Agriculture Ministry has decided to develop cotton as one of the strategic commodities which will receive priority in the implementation of the 2010-2014 plantation development program.

Editor: B Kunto Wibisono

Gas using industries to build LNG receiving terminal

Rangga D. Fadillah, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 02/17/2011

A consortium of gas using-industries on Thursday announced it would set up a US$200 million liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal in Banten province, in efforts to meet demand for the resource.

The secretary-general of the Forum for Natural Gas Using Industries (FIPGB), Achmad Widjaja, said the consortium expected the floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU) to start operating in April 2012.

“We hope the government will soon issue the permit to start the construction of the FSRU so that we can finish it on schedule by April next year,” Achmad said after a discussion about the plan in Jakarta.

He added that the planned FSRU would have a total capacity to store up 500 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of LNG -- equivalent to one-third of industries total needs.

“The LNG will be imported from several gas-producing countries including Russia, Qatar and Nigeria. The consortium has already spoken to suppliers on how to transport the LNG to Indonesia,” Achmad said.

DHL Supply Chain builds multi-user warehouse

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 02/17/2011

PT DHL Exel Supply Chain Indonesia, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL, started the construction of a multi-user warehouse worth €3 million (US$4.07 million) in Cililitan, East Jakarta, on Thursday.

The company's managing director, Abdul Rahim Tahir, said the 10,000-square meter facility, intended for customers in the automotive and technology industries, would be one of the largest of its kind in Indonesia.

“We are sure the need for multi-user warehouses will continue to grow in line with the expansion of various industries as indicated by strong economic growth. That's why we're investing in building more warehouses,” he said.

Tahir added that his company also planned to expand its business networks in Indonesia in the next two years by building other warehouses in nine locations — Aceh, Batam, Jambi, Cirebon, Probolinggo, Tarakan, Palangkaraya, Samarinda, and Manado — with a total investment of between €20 million and €30 million.

The company currently operates in 17 locations across Indonesia. (lnd)

L'oreal building ‘largest factory’ in Jababeka

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 02/17/2011

Paris-based cosmetics giant L’Oreal says it is building a factory that will be the largest factory in the Jababeka industrial area in Cikarang, West Java. The company has allocated US$50 million for project construction.

PT L'Oreal Indonesia president director Jean-Christophe Letellier said Thursday in Jakarta that the factory was expected to have a production capacity of 300 million units per year as soon as it commenced operations, adding that capacity would expand to up to 500 million units by 2015.

He said 25 percent of the products would be targeted at the domestic market, while the rest would be exported.

“The construction began in October last year and is expected to be complete in October this year,” Letellier said, as quoted by tempointeraktif.com.

The factory is being built on a 200-hectare area, he added.

Toyota Plans Low-Cost Car for Traffic-Choked Indonesia

Jakarta Globe, Francezka Nangoy, Ardhian Novianto & Reuters | February 17, 2011

Toyota, through subsidiary Daihatsu, plans to invest 20 billion yen ($238.9 million) to build a factory in Indonesia to produce low-cost cars, Reuters reported on Wednesday. But far from offering freedom, there are fears that a surge of small autos may shut down the capital’s roads.

About 750,000 vehicles are expected to be added this year
to Jakarta's already-choked streets. (Antara Photo)
More car sales will only add to the daily traffic jams in Jakarta, an analyst said. The city administration has predicted total gridlock by 2012, based on estimates of population growth and 15 percent annual rises in car sales.

Daihatsu, which offers vehicles aimed at lower-income consumers, is eyeing production capacity of 100,000 cars per year. The factory is scheduled to begin operations in 2013, producing 50,000 cars in its first year.

The model will reportedly be smaller than Eitos, a low-cost car Toyota launched in India last year, with a sticker price between 800,000 and 900,000 yen.

Toyota Astra Motor and Astra Daihatsu Motor said they had yet to receive details from Japan.

“Daihatsu Indonesia has not received any formal plan from the parent company. Any further details about the new factory have yet to be specified,” said Amelia Tjandra, marketing director of Astra Daihatsu Motor.

Johnny Darmawan, president director of Toyota Astra, also said he hadn’t received notice. “I guess Daihatsu will be the producer for the new car. Daihatsu is the producer for cheaper car types. It could be another collaborated product, such as Avanza and Xenia — similar in design, but aimed for different market segments,” he said.

Jakarta Police data showed total vehicles in Jakarta reached 11.36 million in 2010, 8.24 million of which were motorcycles and 3.11 million were cars and trucks.

Amelia told the Jakarta Globe recently that even in a worst-case scenario — which would include private vehicles being prohibited from buying subsidized fuel and Bank Indonesia raising its benchmark interest rate amid inflationary pressures — car sales would match last year’s pace, a record 764,710 units.

That would put about 12 million vehicles on Jakarta’s chronically jammed roads.

Gunawan, a director at auto loan company Indomobil Finance, said most new cars sold in Indonesia cost around Rp 130 million to Rp 200 million ($14,600 to $22,400). “In the future, I believe car sales will keep growing because the demand for transportation will always there,” he said.

However, Gunawan claimed increasing car sales were not the cause of Jakarta’s traffic woes. He said a lack of viable mass transportation was forcing people to buy their own vehicles to get around.

Darmaningtyas, a director at the Transportation Study Institute, a non-governmental organization, warned that cheap cars would only make traffic worse.

“Small cars are not a solution to traffic congestion. Instead of motorcycles, small cars will be the common people’s choice. Therefore, there will be more cars on the streets and more congestion,” he said.

China is also aiming for a slice of the Indonesian market. Chinese carmaker Geely launched the budget price Panda in January. At Rp 98 million, it is the cheapest 1,300cc-class vehicle in Indonesia, Geely said.

News Focus: Japan trying to keep RI out of China`s growing influence

Antara News, by Vicki Febrianto, Thu, February 17 2011

Related News

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Japan is trying to keep its long-time friend Indonesia free of China`s growing economic influence as Tokyo is convinced that Jakarta is a strategic economic co-player.

"The visit by a Keidanren delegation to Indonesia earlier this week is an alternative step taken by Japan to face China`s growing influence here," said Sofyan Wanandi, chair of the Indonesian Businessmen`s Association (Apindo), on Wednesday.

Wanandi said Keidanren is very influential in the Japanese economic system due to the fact that it is a solid grouping of the country`s industries. Thus, whenever Keidanren sends a big delegation to any country personally led by its chairman, those in the know would understand the significance of the visit.

Accompanying Keidanren chairman Yonekura Hiromasha during the visit were Keidanren board of councillors chairman Watari Fumiaki, Mitsubishi Corp.Vice Chairman Sasaki Mikio, Dai-ichi Life Insurance Vice Chairman Morita Tomijiro, Toray Industry Vice Chairman Sakakibara Sadayuki, Mizuho Financial Group Vice Chairman Maeda Terunobu and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Vice Chairman Tsukuda Kazuo.

Wanandi said that Tokyo had been quite aware of the fast growing economic ties between Indonesia and China which has grown at the rate of 25 percent annually since 2001. Jakarta-Beijing bilateral trade has been projected at 50 billion US dollars by 2014 with the 2010 trade figure already reaching 35 billion dollars.

According to Wanandi, Jakarta however would not that easily leave Japan to become close to China considering the fact that Japan had strongly supported Indonesia in its various stages of economic development since the 1960s.

"I think Indonesia can take advantage of this recent approach by Japan. Indonesia can try to attract more investment from Japan," said Wanandi who nevertheless reminded the Indonesian government to shape up and improve the infrastructures so that investments would flow in more smoothly.

In a similar vein, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI`s) economic observer Latif Adam noted that the visit by Keidanren was a form of recognition from Japan that Indonesia really is of strategic importance to Tokyo economically. Japan viewed Indonesia this way as it has been facing acute economic woes.

Adam said that Keidanren was an association of at least 100 major corporations and what was more important, Keindanren was always included in decision-making for investment, export and import policies taken by the Japanese government. Taking the fact into consideration, Indonesia could therefore take advantage by getting into Japan`s global production networking.

China`s Advances

Keidanren had agreed to focus on five main economic fields in its cooperation with Indonesia. "They are committed to development while focusing on five main fields," Economic Coordinating Minister Hatta Rajasa said after a meeting with the Keidanren delegation at his office on Monday.

The five main fields were transportation infrastructure such as railroads, marine ports, airports, roads and economic corridors in Java. In addition, the Japanese side was interested in energy supplies from renewable sources such as geothermal and low carbon emissions coal.

"They will also cooperate in any necessary fields that are related to industrial expansion, especially outside Java Island which are to be connected with ports," said Minister Rajasa, who welcomed the delegation. The Japanese delegation had earlier made courtesy calls on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono.

In a more general perspective, according to available data, Japanese firms still have more investment in Indonesia than in any other Southeast Asian country and presently there are around 1,000 Japanese companies operating in Indonesia employing some 300,000 local staff.

The Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) calculates Japanese firms have invested more than 40 billion dollars in Indonesia in the last 30 years but inflows have steadily fallen dramatically since 1997.

This reflects a relocation of existing Japanese investment from Indonesia to neighboring countries due to a diminishing comparative advantage in labor costs and concerns over the country`s institutional and physical infrastructure, according to observers.

The total trade volume between China and Indonesia were projected to have reached 40 billion dollars in 2010. Bilateral trade from January to October 2010 has reached 33.75 billion dollars, a 53.6 percent increase compared to same period in 2009.

China and Indonesia is increasing 25 percent per year, because China saw Indonesia as a strategic partner, according to Zhang Qiyue, Chinese ambassador to Indonesia, in a seminar late in 2010.

To date, China`s investment in Indonesia has reached the level of 35 billion US dollars since diplomatic relations between the two countries resumed in 1990. Trade and investment have kept increasing steadily in terms of volume and value, observed Makmur Kellat, a China watcher.

Both countries also signed a strategic partnership in 2005 in which cooperation (not only in the economic but also the culture and defense sectors) was included in the agenda to strengthen existing relations.

Other efforts are also underway to sustain the impressive achievements in trade, investment and energy cooperation, for example, through trade fairs and regular meetings between the business community and policy makers.

Almost no one doubts that Japan, the United States and Europe`s role in investment in Indonesia can be overtaken by China, Kellat said.

With the view to building roads, bridges, ports and the energy sector, it is no wonder government institutions in Jakarta dealing with foreign investment are very keen to tap into China`s massive foreign reserves.

Editor: B Kunto Wibisono

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Seven large Korean companies to expand Indonesian business

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 02/16/2011

Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa says that seven prominent Korean-based companies plan to expand their business operations in Indonesia, saying that the country has not yet tapped into its potential.

Hatta shared the plans to the press after a one-on-one meeting with three big companies in Lotte Hotel, Seoul, South Korea.

The seven Korean companies are Samsung C&T Corporation, KCCI/CJ Corporation, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd, Lotte Group, Hyundai/ Kia Motor Company, Hanhwa Group and Hankook Tire Mfg.

“They are companies that are already present in Indonesia and intend to expand their business in the country,” Hatta said as reported by kompas.com.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

TNI accepts F-16 grants from US

Antara News, Mon, February 14 2011

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Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) has accepted the US offer to grant two squadrons of F-16A/B Fighting Falcons.

TNI commander Admiral Agus Suhartono said to ANTARA here on Monday the process of agreement had been conveyed to the ministry of defense and confirmation was now being waited from the US.

"The process is still going on. It has been followed up by the ministry of defense and we are now waiting for confirmation from the US regarding Indonesia`s decision to accept the offer," he said.

"TNI has actually programmed procurement for new F-16 planes from the US in 2014 which are more sophisticate. In terms of price however it will be cheaper if we accept the grant of two squadron of F-16," he said.

In terms of technology, he said, the 24 fighters could be upgraded with the latest technology equal to that of F-16 C/D Block 52 which is the newest type of F-16.

"The avionic system could be upgraded as well as their weapon system. So the F-16 fighters granted are still reliable weapons to give deterrent effect," he said.

Even they could still be operated until the next 25 years. "So it is more efficient and effective for us to accept the grant rather than to buy six new planes of the type," he said.

Air Force spokesman Real marshal Bambang Samoedro meanwhile said TNI hoped the grant would soon be able to meet its needs for a fighting squadron maximally.

"With the grant the air force could soon get additional fighter jets and must not have to wait until 2014. It will be better in terms of deterrent effects," he said.

Editor: Ruslan

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Indonesia, Finland sign agreement to promote renewable energy

Rangga D. Fadillah, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 02/14/2011

Indonesia and Finland signed an agreement to start a bilateral program to promote the utilization of wood-based biomass and agricultural residues as renewable energy sources in Central Kalimantan and Riau province on Monday.

The Ambassador of Finland to Indonesia, Kai Sauer, said that the program, which is called the Energy and Environment Partnership (EEP), aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change by providing modern, accessible and reliable services in rural areas and industrial applications.

“This program is a manifestation of our commitment to develop the two nations relations through concrete programs,” he told reporters at a press conference held after the agreement signing ceremony in Jakarta.

He continued that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland has granted EUR 4 million (Rp 48 billion) to Indonesia to run the program for the period of 2011 to 2014. The funds would be used to sponsor feasibility studies, demonstrations and pilot projects.

“Project proposals are expected to come from actors representing public and private sectors like local administrations, non-governmental organizations, universities and research institutes,” said Ambassador Sauer.

Matahari to open 17 new outlets this year

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 02/14/2011

PT Matahari Putra Prima (MPPA) intends to open 17 new Hypermart outlets,  director of corporate communications and investor relations Danny Kojongian said Monday.

He said the company would start opening new outlets this year, with expansion concentrated in eastern Indonesia.

MPPA runs two main businesses: Matahari Department Store (MDS) and Matahari Food Business (MFB). MFP runs several companies, including Hypermart, Foodmart and medical store Boston. Hypermart currently has 51 outlets in 29 cities in Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan and Bali.

"We also plan to open several outlets in Papua next year," he said as quoted by tempointeraktif.com.

PT MPPA financial director Hendra Sidin further added that the expansion would cost Rp 1 trillion (US$ 112 million), which would come from internal capital.

"The cash from divestment is still sufficient," he said.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sarinah to begin exporting cassava

Antara News, Sun, February 13 2011 

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - State-owned company PT Sarinah is increasing the number of its trade commodities by purchasing cassava from farmers and exporting it for cattle fodder to China.

PT Sarinah President Director Jimmy M Rifai Gani said here on Sunday that his company was buying cassava from farmers in Central Java`s Cilacap district to meet the need for the commodity from China.

"So far, we have actually planned to export it to South Korea which will re-export the commodity to China. We have not yet met importers in China," he said.

He said that his company would sign a contract agreement with an importer from South Korea. "The first shipment is expected to be carried out in April with a volume of 5,000 tons worth Rp10 billion," he said.

PT Sarinah, he said, will export 5,000 tons of cassava every month to China through an importer in South Korea.

Jimmy said that China had demanded for 13,500 tons of cassava for cattle fodder per month but for the time being his side could only met half of it because his firm had not yet found suppliers at home.

"That is why we are trying to find suppliers in other regions. We will look for ones in Lampung province," he said.

He said that in the long run PT Sarinah will develop cassava farmers in regions so that they would be able to provide supplies for the export needs."This is because most of cassava plantations are cultivated in small scales," he said.

Editor: Aditia Maruli

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Shell to open lubricant plant in Indonesia

Rangga D. Fadillah, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 02/12/2011

Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell announced Friday that the company would set up a US$100 million lubricant plant in the western part of Java with a total capacity of 100,000 tons per year.

PT Shell Indonesia president director Darwin Silalahi said the plant would be the company’s production hub, not only to supply the Indonesian domestic market, but also the Asian regional market.

“We’ve been discussing with the Industry Minister [M.S. Hidayat] about what incentives Shell can
get to make the plant competitive for the export market,” he told reporters after meeting the minister in Jakarta.

Darwin said that in addition to fulfilling domestic demand, lubricants from the planned plant would be exported to emerging Asian economies such as China, India and Vietnam, whose demand has been rising over the past several years.

The plant would start operations in late 2013 or early 2014, Darwin said. He estimated that the plant’s construction process would absorb around 700 workers, while its operation would open around 250 new job opportunities.

Industry Ministry director general of upstream chemical industry Tony Tanduk reported that Shell was eying opportunities to profit from the rapid growth of Indonesia’s automotive industry.

“That remarkable growth has caused the demand for lubricants to rise significantly,” he said.

Indonesia’s automobile sales reached 764,710 units in 2010, while motorcycle sales exceeded 7 million. The Indonesian Automotive Industry Association (Gaikindo) projects car sales may top 850,000 this year.

Tony said that the government was now considering several incentive options for Shell. Besides tax allowances, he said the company requested the government lift import duties for raw materials.

Hidayat explained that in the near future the Investment Coordinating (BKPM) would submit a
revision draft on the 2008 government regulation on income tax incentives for investors to accommodate Shell’s requests.

The 2008 government regulation on income tax incentives for investors stipulated that only investors intending to build oil and gas refineries are eligible for an income tax reduction of 5 percent of their total yearly investment for the first six years of the project.

“We want that by the revision, companies committed to building downstream oil and gas businesses will also get that incentive,” Hidayat said.

He revealed that the company was currently conducting studies on suitable locations for the planned lubricant plant. There were two potential candidates; Marunda in North Jakarta and Cilegon in Banten province, he added.

Investments from Shell would provide positive momentum for Indonesia to boost its efforts in developing the downstream industry, Hidayat said. He continued that this year he would focus on luring more investment to the sector.

Darwin said that the $100 million lubricant plant would be the first phase of the company’s investment in downstream businesses.

“If the progress is good, we’ll have no doubt to expand the plant capacities in the future,” he said.

However, he was still waiting for the government’s decision on what incentives the company would receive, because other countries had also offered interesting incentives that might boost the company’s products’ competitiveness.