Many Indonesians were surprised to learn that well-known herbal medicine brand Nyonya Meneer is close to bankruptcy. Nyonya Meneer is one of the oldest companies in Indonesia, going back far into colonial times, and has strong brand awareness among Indonesians. However, there may come a restart as businessman (and former trade minister) Rachmat Gobel seems committed to save the company.
Update COVID-19 in Indonesia: 1,298,608 confirmed infections, 35,014 deaths (23 February 2021)
23 February 2021 (closed)
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Below is a list with tagged columns and company profiles.
Today's Headlines Rahmat Gobel
Indonesian Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel confirmed that the ban on sales of alcohol in minimarkets and kiosks will continue after 16 April 2015. This ban, stipulated by Minister of Trade Regulation No. 06/M-DAG/PER/1/2015 on the Control and Supervision of Procurement, Distribution, and Sale of Alcoholic Beverages (which was signed by the minister on 16 January 2015), prohibits the sale of beverages with an alcohol content ranging between 1 to 5 percent (referred to as type A alcoholic drinks) in minimarkets and kiosks.
Amid unclarity over the newly introduced mandatory use of letters of credit (L/C), the Indonesian government has showed some flexibility. Starting from Wednesday (01/04) Indonesian exporters of four key commodities - coal, palm (kernel) oil, oil & gas, and minerals - are required to use L/C for all export deals. This new rule was developed in order to increase Indonesia’s export earnings and enhance monitoring sales of the country’s natural resources. However, a temporary exemption is now made possible.
The coal mining industry continued its downward trend in 2014 amid weak global coal demand and an oversupply on the market. The benchmark Newcastle port thermal coal price fell 29 percent (y/y) over 2014 and declined a further 8 percent in the first quarter of 2015. As a result, Indonesian coal miners reported mostly weak 2014 corporate earnings. However, Indonesian miners are concerned that two new regulations will cause more problems. The Indonesian government plans to raise coal royalties and introduce mandatory letters of credit.
Indonesian Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel said that the continuation of economic cooperation between Indonesia and Japan, as set out in the Indonesia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (IJEPA), is to be reviewed soon by both countries. Gobel met Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yoichi Miyazawa in Tokyo today. In the IJEPA it was mentioned that cooperation between both countries can be reviewed after the bilateral free-trade agreement had been in effect for five years.
The new cabinet of Indonesia, which had been announced by Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Sunday (27/10), will be inaugurated this morning at 10:30 am local Jakarta time zone, followed by a plenary cabinet meeting at 14:00 pm. Reactions from people and markets are mixed. Although it is positive that the cabinet includes several professional technocrats (contrary to political party politicians) on key positions such as the Finance Ministry and the Coordinating Ministry for Economics, there is criticism on the ‘reformist nature’ of the cabinet.
Latest Columns Rahmat Gobel
In late 2014 Indonesian rubber producers and exporters were not amused when the government of China decided to approve a new standard for compound rubber imports. The permitted crude rubber content in imported compound rubber was cut from 95-99.5 percent to 88 percent, meaning that compound rubber imports into China became subject to a 20 percent import duty (the same tariff as natural rubber import duties). China’s new policy is a blow to its rubber suppliers, which include Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
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