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Climate Conference a Winner for Indonesia: Official

From the Jakarta Globe.com

While last week’s Copenhagen climate talks may have been considered as a lost opportunity to reach a binding agreement to slow down global warming, Indonesia stands to gain more than it bargained for, Rachmat Witoelar, executive chair of the National Council on Climate Change, said on Wednesday.

“[The conference] was not a failure and Indonesia was satisfied with the accord because it reflected our five major demands, as delivered officially by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono,” Rachmat said. He was referring to the president’s speech at the convention in which he demanded a strong commitment to reduce emissions, significant funding from developed countries and the continuation of the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) scheme.

Rachmat said there was still time for the accord to be transformed into a legally binding agreement at next year’s climate talks, which are expected to be held in Mexico.

“The agreement, however, is morally bindi…

Four foreign countries interested to take part in Indonesia's power development: official

From Xhinhuanet.com

Prominent power firm and lenders from Russia, Japan, Kuwait and Germany have pledged their interests to take part in Indonesia's huge power plant projects expected to commence next year, a local media report said Saturday.

Fahmi Mohtar, Director of Indonesian state-run power firm, PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), conveyed that he had received representatives of those power firms who conveyed their interests, according to the Detik.com. The Russian power firm, United Energy System of Russia (RAO UES), wanted to take part in the construction of Indonesia's hydropower plants, coal-fired power plants and geothermal power plants, Fahmi was quoted as saying.
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Indonesia To Provide Tax Refund For Foreign Visitors

From Bernama.com

The Indonesian government will provide tax refund for foreign visitors to purchase goods from April next year, an official said here Tuesday, reports China's Xinhua news agency.

The visitors can have the refund when leaving from Soekarno Hatta Airport in Jakarta and Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali, said Djoko Slamet Surjoputro, director of Public Relations with the tax office.

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RI, France agree on ‘unlimited’ strategic partnership

From the Jakarta Post

Indonesia and France have agreed to step up their bilateral relationship through a planned launch of what leaders of the two countries called an “unlimited strategic partnership”.President Susilo Bambang Yu-dhoyono met with French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday to discuss the issue, upon which they agreed on enacting the partnership starting next year when Indonesia and France were to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the two countries’ bilateral relationship.Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told reporters after the meeting between the two presidents at Elysee Palace in Paris that Yudhoyono had invited the French president to visit Indonesia to co-launch the strategic partnership.“There is willingness between the two countries to begin a strategic partnership. France has firmly stated that Indonesia has gained more influence globally, and wants a without-limit strategic partnership [with Indonesia],” said Marty.“The planned visit of President Sa…

Indonesia’s Stocks to Rise 32% by End-2010, Credit Suisse Says

From Bloomberg.com

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Indonesia’s stock index may climb 32 percent next year after outperforming measures in Asia’s biggest markets in 2009 as companies raise debt to expand amid a pickup in economic growth, according to Credit Suisse Group AG.TheJakarta Composite Indexis set to rise to 3,300 by the end of 2010, led by consumer, infrastructure and resource stocks, saidArief Wana, director of equity research at PT Credit Suisse Securities Indonesia, the local unit of the Swiss bank. The measure fell 0.5 percent yesterday to 2,494.74.The stock index has risen 84 percent this year, beating the region’s 10 biggest stock markets, as domestic spending helped boost Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. Companies are expanding on signs demand will improve as growth accelerates, with the central bank forecasting that the economy will grow 5.5 percent in 2010 from an estimated 4.3 percent this year.“We’re bullish on Indonesia,” Wana said in an interview yesterday. “As we believe …

Indonesia Clears Railway Investment From Mideast

From the Wall Street Journal

JAKARTA, Indonesia—Government officials said they had cleared a regulatory logjam holding up $1 billion in funding from Middle East investors for a railroad project, a major step forward for a nation that has failed in recent years to attract large amounts of foreign capital because of bureaucratic hurdles.Investors including the United Arab Emirates and Dubai-based Trimex Group plan to begin construction early next year on a railway in Indonesia's East Kalimantan province, the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board said Tuesday. MEC Infrastructure, a joint venture of Trimex's MEC Holdings and the U.A.E. government of Ras al Khaimah, plan to complete the railway in 2012.The 130-kilometer track, the first private railway in Indonesia, will link the Muara Wahau coal mine in East Kalimantan's East Kutai district with the coast, where MEC Holdings is spending $250 million on a new port. The coal mine is being developed by MEC Coal, another joint v…

RI can play ‘significant role’ in Copenhagen: EU

From the Jakarta Post

The European Union has expressed hope that Indonesia plays a significant role at the Copenhagen climate change summit, particularly by bridging the gap between developed and developing countries.European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said that given Indonesia’s “ambitious” target to reduce its emissions by 26 percent by 2020 and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s role in saving the Bali Climate Change Summit from failing at the last minute, Indonesia could play a significant role at Copenhagen.“Indonesia’s role can be extremely important. It bridges between developing and developed countries; that we have a common problem that needs a united solution,” Barroso said.“The role of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono can be significant. If the European Union and Indonesia are united, we can significantly contribute to success in Copenhagen.”Complete coverage, visit here


RI score improves in corruption-perceptions index

From the Jakarta Post

Indonesia’s corruption-perceptions index score increased to 2.8 this year from 2.6 last year, according to data from Transparency International Indonesia.

The new score moved Indonesia to 111th position among 180 countries polled worldwide, up from 126th place last year.

“The score does not indicate [a significant] improvement in the anticorruption drive in Indonesia,” Transparency International Indonesia research and policy manager Frenky Simanjuntak said Tuesday.

Indonesia remained among a group of countries facing major challenges in fighting corruption, he said.

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‘Virtuous’ Indonesia Has Growth Leverage, Morgan Stanley Says

From bloomberg.com

Indonesia’s “virtuous” efforts to trim its budget deficit have given the government scope to significantly increase spending to stoke economic growth, according to Morgan Stanley.“Indonesia should leverage its public finances to ramp up development spending as the economy suffers from infrastructure bottlenecks,”Deyi Tan, an economist at Morgan Stanley in Singapore, said in a report today. “We calculate that the government has room to raise expenditure by around 3 percent of gross domestic product.”
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How to let Islam and the West live in harmony

From the economist.com

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, president of Indonesia, sees tolerance-building as a central task of the 21st centuryA clash of civilisations is not inevitable. A confluence of civilisations is entirely possible. For millennia, our archipelago has been home to many currents of civilisation. This is why, in today’s Indonesia, democracy, Islam and modernity can go hand-in-hand—despite the occasional threats of extremism. We are convinced that tolerance-building, an urgent task for 2010, must be at the centre of the world’s 21st-century agenda, just as much as nation-building preoccupied the 20th century.

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Islam: A shifting locus

From the economist.com

WHEN Barack Obama made his appeal, back in June, for a new understanding between America and Islam, the venue he chose was Egypt—for some obvious reasons. It is the most populous of the Arab nations adjoining the Middle Eastern conflict zone, with an ancient tradition of Islamic scholarship, and a citizenry that is tempted by fundamentalism but also admires some things about the West. Still, not everybody liked his choice. Some said he would have made a better point—to his compatriots, especially—if he had addressed the Muslim world from Indonesia, the country where (to quote a line from his speech) he first heard the call to prayer “at the break of dawn and the fall of dusk”. By speaking in Jakarta, Mr Obama might have challenged the mental association that (judging by polls) some Westerners still tend to make: Muslim equals Arab equals hostile to the West.For detail story, visit here

Govt to make country world`s biggest palmoil producer

From Antara.co.id

Agriculture Minister Suswono said here on Saturday the government would continue to strive to make Indonesia the world`s biggest palmoil producer.

"Palmoil is one of the commodities the state is relying on for foreign exchange income. So far the commodity has contributed a lot in increasing the state`s foreign exchange reserves," he said.

He said the country`s palmoil exports in 2007 reached US$8.87 billion and they rose up 39.5 percent or US$12.38 billion in 2008.

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Indonesia Economy May Have Grown Faster as Asia Leads Recovery

From Bloomberg.com

Indonesia’s economic growth may have accelerated for the first time in more than a year as lower interest rates and a strife-free election stoked spending.

“Market confidence in the current government is high,” said David Sumual, an economist at PT Bank Central Asia in Jakarta. “Political stability is one of the reasons for Indonesia’s steady growth.”

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Indonesia's miraculous 'free' democracy

From the Japan Times

Modern miracles do happen. Ten years ago, as the Asian financial crisis savaged Indonesia's economy, many experts predicted that the country would become unstable, if not splinter. Instead, Indonesia, the world's most populous Islamic country, has emerged as a beacon of freedom and democracy for the Muslim world. What happened? And why hasn't the world taken note?

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100 Most Powerful Women in the World

From the forbes.com
Since Indrawati's 2005 appointment as Indonesia's finance minister, the country's foreign exchange reserves reached an all-time high of $50 billion, and foreign investment skyrocketed. She has fought against government corruption, created tax incentives and simplified investment laws. Her performance earned her a promotion. In June Indrawati was named to run the country's economic affairs. — Kate Macmillan
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World Bank Says Indonesian Economy a ‘Winner’ Amid Global Slump

From bloomberg.com
Indonesia’s economy is set to emerge a “winner” after avoiding the worst of the global financial crisis, the World Bank’s country director said.
Asia’s fastest-growing major economy after China and India can expand “significantly” more than 7 percent once President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyonofixes the nation’s congested roads, neglected ports and ageing power plants, according to Joachim von Amsberg, the World Bank’s representative in Jakarta.
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Indonesia is managing the global recession better than most

Indonesia is managing the global recession better than most, thanks to its tough finance minister.

Solenn Honorine and George Wehrfritz

NEWSWEEK
From the magazine issue dated Jan 19, 2009

Last month a financial tidal wave washed over Indonesia, but not the one kicked up by the global credit crisis. Money flooded into government coffers from individuals and corporations eager to avail themselves of Jakarta's "sunset policy" on tax delinquency, which forgave past evasions in exchange for good behavior going forward. The exact size of the surge isn't yet known, but economists estimate that tax receipts were up more than 50 percent for the year. "We saw quite a big jump" in revenue in December from "taxpayers who never existed [on the tax rolls] or want to correct mistakes made in the past," says the plan's creator, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati. Indonesians, she adds, are honoring their tax obligations "in a much more accurate way."…