Indonesia`s imports in December 2018 fell 9.60 percent to US$15.28 billion from a month earlier, according to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS). But compared to the same month of 2017, the December 2018 imports rose 1.16 percent, BPS Chief Suharyanto said in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The imports comprised non-oil/non-gas imports worth US$13.31 billion and oil and gas imports worth US$1.97 billion. The non-oil/non-gas imports in December 2018 tumbled 5.14 percent compared to November 2018 but increased 6.16 percent compared to December 2017. The oil and gas imports in December 2018 dropped 31.45 percent compared to November 2018 and 23.33 per4cent compared to December 2017. Among non-oil/non-gas commodities, the import of organic chemicals recorded the largest decline of US$174.4 million, or 27.07 percent, while the import of fruits saw the largest increase of US$69.8 million, or 68.90 percent.

"(The increase) was the result of demand for fruits during Christmas and New Year holidays," he said.

Three countries were listed as the largest suppliers of imported non-oil/non-gas commodities to Indonesia last year. They were China with a value of US$45.24 billion, or 28.49 percent, Japan with a value of US$17.94 billion, or 11.30 percent and Thailand with a value of US$10.85 billion, or 6.83 percent. Non-oil/non-gas imports from ASEAN member states made up 19.85 percent and European Union represented 8.86 percent. (ant)


The Armenian Embassy in Jakarta, in collaboration with the Antara News Agency, launched a photo book entitled "Armenia: Land of Legend" at the Adhiyana Auditorium, Wisma Antara, on Tuesday (Jan 15) to introduce Armenia to the Indonesian people.

"Geographically, Armenia`s population is indeed small when compared to Indonesia. It also has almost no historical connections. But the real challenge is to explain the wealth of natural beauty and Armenian culture to the Indonesian community extensively," Director of Antara News Agency Meidyatama Suryodiningrat said in Jakarta, on Tuesday.

Suryodiningrat hoped that the photo book could be a source of enlightenment describing the wonders of Armenia, which would trigger the interest of the Indonesian people to better understand the potential of the two countries.

However, the real challenge for introducing the country, which is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran to the south, lies on how the information on the richness of Armenia`s natural beauty and culture can be introduced to the people at large in Indonesia.

With a total population of around three million and a size of Indonesia`s Central Java Province, Armenia, which is a landlocked country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia, is still absent on the radar of average Indonesians who possess information on the world`s economic super powers.

The Ambassador of Armenia to Indonesia, Dziunik Aghajanian, also hoped that the photo book could become an entry for Indonesian people who did not know Armenia comprehensively.

"Despite the historic presence of Armenian community in Indonesia throughout several centuries, nowadays, for many Indonesians, Armenia is an unknown terrain. I hope this book will be an introduction for those whose inquisitive mind will draw them to this hidden jewel called Armenia, one of the ancient countries, and its people rich in history, culture, and traditions," the ambassador stated.

The book, the ambassador noted, would attract them to visit this small nation with a warm heart and open mind, renowned for its hospitality, very tasty gastronomic culture, and exceptional creative mind that is depicted in the innumerous monuments dotting the scenic beauty of the land.

"Armenia: Land of Legend" is called a photo book because around 70 percent of its content showcases selected photos, while the remaining presents articles about the richness of the Armenian history, culture, and scenic beauty.

In writing this photo book, Antara`s senior photojournalist Hermanus Priatna remarked that he and his colleague, Atman Ahdiat, have attempted to make a breakthrough. A photo book generally looks more like a catalog, whose content is fully filled with photos with less explanations about the images, making it lack in variety, or monotonous.

"Instead, this 105-page photo book is drafted journalistically and completed with articles describing the visual pictures of a variety of Armenian objects, including the country`s historical remains and interesting tourist sites and attractions," Priatna explained. (ant)


President Jokowi checks OSS for investors

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 President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), in Jakarta on Monday ( 14 January ), visited the office of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) to check the Online Single Submission (OSS) service for investors. Jokowi, accompanied by Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution and Minister/State Secretary Pratikno, was greeted by BKPM Chairman Thomas Lembong upon his arrival at the office located on Jalan Gatot Soebroto, South Jakarta.

Initially, the OSS service came under the coordinating minister for economic affairs, but the BKPM took over the task on January 2, 2019. The OSS service has an OSS Lounge, a call center at phone number: 1500765, and a technical help desk via e-mail, according to Susiwijono, secretary of the coordinating minister for economic affairs.

Meanwhile, Indonesia`s International Investment Position (IIP) was relatively stable in the third quarter of 2018. Indonesia`s IIP at the end of the third quarter of 2018 recorded a net liability of US$297.0 billion, or 28.5 percent of the gross domestic product, relatively unchanged from that at the end of the previous quarter, according to a statement from BI here recently.

The development was in line with the slightly higher Foreign Financial Liability position as compared to the increase in the Foreign Financial Asset position. (ant)


Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI) Bambang Soesatyo has called for vigilance against possible natural disasters.

Every district and city administration must consolidate and coordinate its disaster mitigation office (BPBD) to anticipate natural disasters, he said in a statement in Jakarta, Sunday.

"Every regional head whose region is prone to natural disaster must remain vigilant and cautious. Every element in BPBD must begin consolidation and anticipation," he said.

He urged anticipatory measures following a series of earthquakes in Banda, Bengkulu, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) and the Sunda Strait on Jan 10 and 11, 2019.

Moreover, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has warned that there is a potential tsunami in the Sunda Strait.

"Besides earthquakes, several volcanoes have been erupting, such as Mount Anak Krakatau in the Sunda Strait, Mount Agung in Bali, and Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta. In addition to, whirlwinds have also been reported in several regions," he stated.

The earthquakes and volcano eruptions so far did not pose serious threats, but the House Speaker asked the local governments to remain vigilant and prepared.

The local disaster mitigation officers must actively communicate with BMKG officers to minimize the number of victims of natural disasters such as floods, landslides, earthquakes, and volcano eruptions, he said.

On Dec 22, 2018, Mount Anak Krakatau erupted and a huge part of its southern flank collapsed and slid into the ocean.

The flank collapse triggered a tsunami that killed at least 437 people and rendered 23 others missing in five districts in Lampung and Banten Provinces.

Indonesia is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, as it is located on the "Pacific Ring of Fire" where a large number of volcanoes and earthquakes occur.

During the January-December 2018 period, a total of 2,427 natural disasters hit Indonesia, leaving at least 4,821 people dead or missing, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Board (BNPB). (ANTARA)

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