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Today's Headlines Joko Widodo

  • Uncertainty about Indonesia's Palm Oil Export Levy Lingers On

    Uncertainty remains about the timing of the implementation of Indonesia's new palm oil export levies. In May 2015 Indonesian President Joko Widodo signed a new regulation stipulating that a USD $50 (per metric ton) levy is to be imposed on crude palm oil (CPO) exports, and a USD $30 (per metric ton) levy on processed palm oil product exports. Proceeds from these export levies will be used to fund the Indonesian government’s biodiesel (subsidy) program. However, implementation of the new regulation has been delayed several times.

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  • Islamic Banking in Indonesia: ‘I Love Sharia Finance Program’

    Islamic Banking in Indonesia: ‘I Love Sharia Finance Program’

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo stated during the launch of the “I Love Sharia Finance Program” that Indonesia should become the global center for Islamic finance (also known as sharia banking). The program, initiated by the country’s Financial Services Authority (OJK), was launched in Jakarta on Sunday (14/06). Islamic finance is a form of banking or banking activity that is consistent with the principles of sharia (Islamic law). In recent years, the global market for sharia-compliant financial instruments has risen robustly.

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  • Indonesia’s Economic Growth to Slip below 5% Mark in 2015?

    Indonesia’s Economic Growth to Slip below 5% Mark in 2015?

    Several international institutions revised down their outlook for economic growth of Indonesia in 2015 as foreign investors have been somewhat disappointed with the performance of the new Indonesian government, while the global economic picture remains far from rosy. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse and Nomura Holdings have all slashed Indonesia’s economic growth forecast this year to below the five percent (year-on-year) mark. Last year Indonesia’s economic growth touched a five-year low of 5.02 percent (y/y).

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  • Indonesia Rice Update: Joko Widodo Forced to Allow Rice Imports?

    In order to avert a spike in inflation and social unrest, Indonesian President Joko Widodo may feel forced to allow around 1.5 million metric tons of rice imports in 2015 as domestic prices of rice have been rising on sluggish local harvests. Moreover, an intensifying El Nino is expected to cause dry weather in the months ahead hence further jeopardizing rice productivity. These already tough conditions will be exacerbated by seasonal Islamic celebrations (Ramadan and Idul Fitri) that always trigger increased consumption of food products.

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  • Corporate Tax Indonesia Not to Be Cut Before 2016

    Corporate Tax Indonesia Not to Be Cut Before 2016

    On Monday (11/05) it was reported - quoting an Indonesian tax official - that Indonesian President Joko Widodo had already ordered to cut the country’s corporate tax rate from 25 percent currently to below 18 percent in a bid to attract more investment and to make Indonesia’s business environment more competitive (for example, Singapore’s corporate tax is currently 17 percent). One day later, however, Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro stated that, if the corporate tax is to be revised, it will be next year at the earliest.

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  • Groundbreaking Trans-Sumatra Toll Road; Infrastructure Projects Indonesia

    Infrastructure Indonesia: Groundbreaking Trans-Sumatra Toll Road

    Today, Indonesian President Joko Widodo will lay the first stone for the groundbreaking ceremony of the 2,700 km Trans-Sumatra toll road project, linking Lampung to Aceh on the resource-rich island of Sumatra (Indonesia’s second-largest island in terms of geographic size). The toll road, which is one of the key priority infrastructure projects for the Indonesian government, is estimated to require a total of IDR 300 trillion (USD $23.1 billion) of investment. Ten years after parts of the toll road were first tendered, construction can finally commence.

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  • International Relations Indonesia: Death Penalty for Drug Crimes

    International Relations Indonesia: Death Penalty for Drug Crimes

    This week Indonesia’s police arrested a foreign national in Jakarta in connection to the discovery of 2.2 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine (meth) in a boarding house in Srengseng (West Jakarta). Jakarta Police spokesman Budi Widjanarko said that police action was taken based on intelligence about a syndicate that smuggles crystal meth into Indonesia from Nigeria. Reportedly, this syndicate is led by a Jakarta prison inmate. Recent history shows that Indonesian authorities are very strict on drug-related crimes.

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  • 24th World Economic Forum: Indonesia Wants More Foreign Investment

    24th World Economic Forum: Indonesia Wants More Foreign Investment

    On the sidelines of the 24th World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia, Indonesia’s Chief Economic Minister Sofyan Djalil said that - despite global challenges - the government maintains its economic growth target of 5.7 percent (y/y) in 2015. However, he added that it will require great effort to achieve this target. One key strategy to achieve the target is to attract foreign investment through several policies including tax incentives and by easing the country’s bureaucratic hurdles for investment permits.

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  • S&P Awaiting Results from Indonesia’s Economic Policy Reforms

    S&P Awaiting Results from Indonesia’s Economic Policy Reforms

    Global credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s remains the only credit rating agency among the big three to maintain its BB+/stable rating on Indonesia’s sovereign credit (which is one notch below investment grade). Both Fitch Ratings (BBB-/stable) and Moody’s Investor Service (Baa3/stable) had already brought Indonesia back to investment grade in 2011 and 2012. Standard & Poor’s has been reluctant to raise Indonesia’s status as it wants to see more results from the country’s economic policy reforms.

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  • Economic Growth of Indonesia Hits Five-Year Low at 5.02% in 2014

    Economic Growth of Indonesia Hits Five-Year Low at 5.02% in 2014

    The economy of Indonesia expanded 5.02 percent year-on-year (y/y) to IDR 8,354 trillion (USD $664 billion) in 2014, the nation’s slowest annual growth pace since 2009, according to the latest data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS). As such, GDP growth failed to achieve the central government’s 5.5 percentage point growth target that was set in the 2014 State Budget. Indonesia’s economic growth has been slowing since 2011 when it still posted a 6.5 percentage point growth rate (y/y). However, growth is expected to rebound from here.

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Latest Columns Joko Widodo

  • Indonesian Presidential Election: Army Ready if Public Disorder Occurs

    Indonesian Presidential Election: Army Ready if Public Disorder Occurs

    Indonesian Army Chief of Staff Budiman, without choosing a side, hopes to see a clear victory for one of the presidential candidates - Joko Widodo or Prabowo Subianto - in the election that is scheduled for Wednesday (09/07) as a large win will reduce chances of public disorder caused by disappointed supporters. Budiman said that a gap of at least five percent between the two contenders (based on the quick count results which will be released on the day of election) is considered a safer level.

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  • Why Are Foreign Investors Concerned about a Prabowo Subianto Win?

    Why Are Foreign Investors Concerned about a Prabowo Subianto Win?

    The result of Indonesia’s presidential election (scheduled for 9 July 2014), which has become a tight race between Prabowo Subianto and Joko Widodo (Jokowi), will for sure have a large impact on foreign investors’ confidence in Indonesian politics and the economy. A few weeks ago, a survey of Deutsche Bank showed that a majority of respondents (consisting of foreign investors) intend to sell their Indonesian assets if controversial candidate Prabowo Subianto will be elected. What are foreigners’ perceptions of a Subianto win?

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  • Prabowo Subianto and Jokowi Should Focus on Equality, Not GDP Growth

    Prabowo Subianto and Jokowi Should Focus on Equality, Not GDP Growth

    Senior economist at the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF), Didier Damanhuri, believes that Indonesia’s two presidential candidates - Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) and Prabowo Subianto - are both similar in economic approach as both men are primarily focused on high gross domestic product (GDP) growth as the measurement for economic development, while, in fact, many countries that only focus on GDP growth show a high degree of economic inequality.

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  • Indonesia Stock Exchange Update: Jakarta Composite Index Falls 0.11%

    Indonesia Stock Exchange Update: Jakarta Composite Index Falls 0.11%

    The performance of Indonesia’s benchmark stock index (known as Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) was similar to the performance at the start of last week, possibly influenced by the presidential debates that took place a day prior to the past two Mondays. These debates, between the two presidential candidates (Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto), are broadcast live on national television and are important to outline each candidate’s vision and mission to the people. On 9 July 2014, Indonesians will vote for a new leader.

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  • Presidential Election Indonesia 2014: 2nd Television Debate Jokowi-Prabowo

    Presidential Election Indonesia 2014: 2nd Television Debate Jokowi-Prabowo

    Sunday evening (15/06), the second debate between Indonesia’s two presidential candidates - Prabowo Subianto and Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo - was held. This debate was broadcast live on various Indonesian television stations and - once again - managed to become a trending topic on social media. The debate, the theme of which was ‘development of the economy and social welfare‘, was characterized by a nationalistic and protectionist tone. This tone had already been set by Subianto in the past weeks but now Jokowi also stressed protectionism.

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Appreciates 0.25% but Sentiment still Negative

    Indonesian Rupiah Appreciates 0.25% but Sentiment still Negative

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate appreciated 0.25 percent to IDR 11,860 per US dollar according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index on Thursday (05/06). However, this is not expected to be the start of an appreciating trend for the currency as there are still various domestic and international factors that place pressure on the rupiah. Contrary to the Bloomberg Index, Bank Indonesia's benchmark rupiah rate (Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate, abbreviated JISDOR) depreciated 0.54 percent to IDR 11,874 against the US dollar today.

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  • Indonesia Presidential Election: Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo vs Prabowo Subianto

    Indonesia Presidential Election: Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo Versus Prabowo Subianto

    It had been speculated for a while, but yesterday the official declaration of Indonesia's presidential candidates and their running mates (the vice-presidential candidates) were presented. In the upcoming election, scheduled for 9 July 2014, Jakarta Governor Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo will face Prabowo Subianto, former army general and former son-in-law to president Suharto (Indonesia's second president), in a battle for the country's presidential seat. What is there to tell about this battle?

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  • Indonesia Stock Market Update: Down on Profit Taking after Positive Start

    Similar to when the market expects the release of positive companies' corporate earnings reports, the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (known as the Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) gained significantly at the start of today's trading day (19/05) as the market waited for the official declarations of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates that will participate in the presidential election that is scheduled for 9 July 2014. The two pairs that will compete are the Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla pair and the Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa pair.

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  • Jokowi-Kalla Effect: Indonesian Rupiah and Stocks Plunge after Earlier Gains

    Jokowi-Kalla Effect: Indonesian Rupiah and Stocks Plunge after Earlier Gains

    After a promising start of the day, the rupiah exchange rate and Indonesian stocks lost all of their earlier gains ahead of closing on Monday day (19/05). Around 10:00 local Jakarta time, the rupiah rate appreciated more than 0.60 percent to IDR 11,346 per US dollar on speculation that Jusuf Kalla would be nominated as Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's running mate in the presidential election (9 July 2014), backed by a coalition consisting of the PDI-P, NasDem, PKB and Hanura. After the official declaration, however, the currency lost all of its earlier gains.

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate and Stocks Gain Ground on Friday

    The week ended well for both the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate and the benchmark Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG). Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the rupiah appreciated 0.30 percent to IDR 11,413 per US dollar at the end of Friday's trading day (16/05). Meanwhile, the IHSG surged 0.80 percent to finish just above the psychological level of 5,000 points. The good performance was supported by investors' positive response towards the latest political developments in Indonesia.

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