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Today's Headlines Joko Widodo

  • Joko Widodo: Indonesia Intends to Join Trans-Pacific Partnership

    During his state visit to the USA, Indonesian President Joko Widodo told US President Barack Obama that Indonesia intends to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. Currently, 12 countries have joined the TPP, including the USA and Japan, thus creating the world's largest free trade area (an area that covers about 40 percent of world trade). By many analysts the TPP is regarded a counterbalance to the big economic influence of China.

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  • Economic Policy Package Indonesia: Bonded Zones & Import Tax Cut

    The second installment of Indonesia's September economic policy package, unveiled on Tuesday (29/09), received a warmer response from market participants compared to the first one (released on 9 September), evidenced by rebounding stocks and a stronger rupiah rate yesterday. Indonesia's latest policy package involves interest rate tax cuts for exporters, the speeding up of investment licensing for investment in industrial estates, and a relaxation of taxes on imports of capital goods in industrial estates and in the aviation industry.

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  • President Joko Widodo to Announce Second Economic Policy Package Tomorrow

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo, often called Jokowi, is set to announce the second economic policy package on Tuesday (29/09) at the State Palace in Jakarta according to Indonesian Chief Economics Minister Darmin Nasution. Reportedly, the second package will focus primarily on boosting the competitiveness of Indonesian exports and the attractiveness of Indonesia as an investment destination.

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  • Indonesian Currency Update: Rupiah Weaker ahead of Federal Reserve Meeting

    Ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, the two-day policy meeting which starts today (16/09), the US dollar continues to appreciate against most currencies, including the Indonesian rupiah, as investors remain cautious ahead of a possible US interest rate hike. By 09:36 am local Jakarta time, the rupiah had depreciated 0.29 percent to IDR 14,450 per US dollar according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index, a fresh 17-year low.

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  • President Joko Widodo Unveils Indonesia’s 1st Economic Policy Package

    On Wednesday afternoon, Indonesian President Joko Widodo unveiled some details of the new economic policy package, involving major deregulation measures, that had been announced last week by Chief Economics Minister Darmin Nasution. This package aims - on the medium to long term - to boost Indonesia’s sluggish economy.

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  • Indonesia Cancels Jakarta-Bandung’s High-Speed Train Project

    Indonesia has cancelled further development of the multi-billion high-speed railway between the capital city of Jakarta and Bandung (West Java) as President Joko Widodo decided that Indonesia does not need a train that can reach speeds of over 300 km per hour on the relatively short route (150 km) between both cities. Besides the short distance, there will also be around 14 stations constructed between both terminal stations, implying that the train needs to hit the brakes before it can reach its maximum speed.

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  • Boosting Economic Activity in Indonesia: Stimulus Package to See Daylight this Month

    The government of Indonesia is still busy preparing the policy package that was announced last week by Chief Economics Minister Darmin Nasution. Earlier it was reported that this stimulus package, expected to be finalized this month, involves deregulation and tax holidays designed to boost economic activity in Indonesia as well as to attract foreign currency inflows. The government will also look at how it can provide incentives to accelerate smelter development in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

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  • Indonesian Language Proficiency Requirement for Foreign Workers Scrapped

    Several weeks ago it had already been reported that Indonesian President Joko Widodo requested Manpower and Transmigration Minister Hanif Dhakiri to revise a draft regulation (made in 2013) that forces expats to pass a mandatory Indonesian language proficiency test in order to be eligible to obtain a work permit. According to Widodo this regulation jeopardizes the attractiveness of Indonesia’s investment climate.

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  • No Indonesian Language Proficiency Test for Foreign Workers in Indonesia

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo wants to drop the regulation that states a foreign worker needs to learn Indonesian. Today (21/08), Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said President Widodo (often called Jokowi) requested Hanif Dhakiri, Indonesian Minister of Manpower and Transmigration, to revise this regulation (that was issued in 2013). According to Jokowi the language proficiency requirement would make Indonesia’s investment climate less competitive and could therefore hamper much-needed investment.

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  • Joko Widodo Presents Indonesia’s 2016 State Budget Draft in Parliament

    On Friday (14/08) the Indonesian government unveiled its 2016 State Budget draft at a session in the House of Representatives (DPR). The draft is important as it shows government targets regarding the macroeconomy of Indonesia and it shows on what fields the government will focus in terms of public spending. The government - led by Indonesian President Joko Widodo - is optimistic that economic growth will finally rebound after four years of slowing economic growth as its 2016 GDP growth target was set at 5.5 percent (y/y).

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Latest Columns Joko Widodo

  • Widodo Wants Moratorium on New Palm Oil Concessions in Indonesia

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo has ordered the nation's Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya to issue a moratorium on new palm oil concessions in a number of provinces. Although Widodo wants Indonesia - the world's top producer and exporter of crude palm oil (CPO) - to raise CPO output, he believes this increase can be achieved by increasing productivity of existing palm oil plantations, not by adding new plantations. Indonesia is often criticized by environmentalist groups for its forestry policies and poor law enforcement (which led to the severe haze that spread through Southeast Asia last year).

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  • Joko Widodo Orders Investigation into Indonesian Links in Panama Papers

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) called for an investigation into the Indonesian people and companies mentioned in the Panama Papers, the massive leak involving 11.5 million confidential documents from the database of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. These documents list names numerous people - including of political figures, businessmen, celebrities and sport stars - who have created secret shell companies and offshore accounts in tax havens (possibly in an effort to avoid tax obligations).

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  • Masela Gas Project Indonesia: Widodo Opts for Onshore LNG Plant

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo decided that the Masela liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant will be constructed onshore. Masela, located in the Arafura Sea (Moluccas), is Indonesia's largest deep-water gas project. Previously, Japan-based oil company Inpex Corp and Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell proposed to construct the LNG plant offshore (which would have made it the world's largest floating LNG plant). On Wednesday (23/03) President Widodo rejected the proposal after months of polemic. Contractors Inpex and Shell are not expected to withdraw from the project but will need time to adjust plans.

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  • Joko Widodo to Visit the Netherlands to Improve Trade Relations?

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo may visit the Netherlands in 2016. In an interview with Dutch newspaper "De Telegraaf" newly appointed Indonesian ambassador to the Netherlands Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja hinted at Widodo's visit to the Netherlands. Ambassador Puja informed further that more information about this possible state visit is to follow in the next couple of weeks. "You will be surprised," he was quoted saying. Reportedly, Bert Koenders, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, will visit Indonesia in the next two weeks to prepare Widodo's visit.

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  • World Bank: SPAN Improves Indonesia's Efficiency, Transparency & Accountability

    A new financial management system was launched in April 2015 by the Indonesian government. This new system, called Sistem Perbendaharaan dan Anggaran Negara (abbreviated SPAN), aims to enhance public efficiency, transparency and accountability in Indonesia by managing the financial transactions of more than 24,000 government spending units in all 33 provinces. According to a new World Bank story, Indonesia's new financial system has managed to improve efficiency, transparency and accountability. Moreover, it improves budget planning and spending.

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  • Jokowi Visits Silicon Valley; Inspiration for Indonesia's Digital Economy

    During Indonesian President Joko Widodo's visit to Googleplex, Silicon Valley (California) - headquarters of Google, Facebook, Twitter and Plug and Play - he emphasized that the government of Indonesia is committed to push for the development of the digital economy, aiming to make it the largest in Southeast Asia, worth USD $130 billion by 2020 (including the emergence of 1,000 Indonesian technopreneurs). In this context, Widodo also requested the assistance of Google, Facebook and Plug and Play in the form of IT development education.

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  • Infrastructure Development Indonesia: Gaining Momentum in 2016

    After having grown rapidly in the years 2010-2013, infrastructure development in Indonesia lost its momentum in 2014. This was due to limited available government funds, uncertainty caused by the legislative and presidential elections, and the nation's slowing economic growth. After Joko Widodo became Indonesia's seventh president in October 2014, it was expected that infrastructure development would revive. However, it didn't. But Widodo made one important move by seriously reducing energy subsidies, hence making more funds available for infrastructure development.

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  • Economic Policy Package Indonesia: What are the Stimulus Measures?

    In response to the ailing global economy, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has unveiled a new economic policy package that aims to boost economic growth of Indonesia amid a highly uncertain global context. On Wednesday (09/09), Joko Widodo (often called Jokowi) provided some details about the first phase of this new stimulus package during a speech at the State Palace in Jakarta.

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  • Geothermal Development Indonesia: Reducing Reliance on Fossil Fuels

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo (often called Jokowi) emphasized that the government of Indonesia needs to boost development of renewable energy. Although Indonesia contains huge potential for renewable energy (particularly geothermal energy), the share of renewable energy in Indonesia’s total energy use currently stands at around 5 percent only, the remainder being fossil energy. By providing incentives, attractive tariffs and an easier licensing and registration process, the government can generate more investment in this sector.

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  • Remarkable News Indonesia: to Insult or Criticize the President?

    In the past couple of days Indonesian media touched upon the government’s proposal to revive a law that had been removed by Indonesia’s Constitutional Court in 2006. This law makes the act of insulting the Indonesian president an illegal act and can lead to prison sentences and fines. Criticism on the government’s proposal immediately emerged as several legislators and human rights activists fear that freedom of speech will be curtailed in the young democracy. Moreover, it can further erode public support for President Joko Widodo.

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