Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said he always pushes for crude palm oil agreement in his trade negotiations with other countries including in the Indonesia-European Free Trade Association (IEFTA) and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IE-CEPA).

"In every trade talk we give priority to CPO agreement," Lukita told participants at the 14th Indonesia Palm Oil Conference (IPOC) & 2019 Price Outlook, in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Thursday.

At the international conference attended by business players, academicians, observers, and representatives of farmers, the Minister said palm oil industry plays an important role in the country`s economic development including in the creation of jobs and elimination of poverty.

"From upstream to downstream, palm oil industry contributed 13.7 percent to Indonesia’s export earning of US$168.8 billion in 2017," he said.

In the IEFTA with Switzerland , one of the priorities is palm oil, he said.

The Minister, however, did not answer when asked about the export target for CPO and derivatives if the agreement is signed expected this month.

IEFTA-CEPA is a trade agreement yet to be reached between Indonesia and four European countries - Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Indonesia has pushed hard for immediate signing of the agreement.

The Minister, however, reminded the Indonesian palm oil producers to observe the demand of world`s consumers for healthy, safe and environmentally friendly products.

"We have to prove that our palm oil could contribute to the United Nations` goal of sustainable development," he said.

Palm oil - CPO and derivatives - is the country`s largest export earner outside oil and gas sector. Indonesia is the world`s largest producer and exporter of CPO. (ANTARA)


The British Embassy in Jakarta hosted a reception to welcome back twenty four Indonesian innovators who have returned after a 2-week intensive training in the United Kingdom.

The 24 young innovators were beneficiaries of the 2017 and 2018 Leaders in Innovation Fellowships (LIF) from the Royal Academy of Engineering, a program that is supported by Indonesian Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education and the UK`s Newton Fund.

British Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor Leste Moazzam Malik said after opening the reception in Jakarta, Thursday evening, that the program is looking to foster science and education in Indonesia.

"We are also looking to encourage basic research, which is very important, and support the commercialization of innovation, as well as science and technology," he said.

The program, he continued, will provide selected young technopreneurs with skills on product commercialization in the 2 weeks intensive training in the UK.

One of the beneficiaries of the 2018 batch Utari Octavianty stated that the program did not only offer new knowledge for her to run her digital business with, but it also opened up new networking and business potentials.

"After participating in the program, my network became larger and more global, and it is beneficial not only for me personally but for my business as well," she said.

She runs a business in the maritime sector, where her online software, named Aruna.id, connects fishermen from corners of the country directly with buyers.

Before the program, she continued, the company focused mainly on domestic consumers.

"But now, I have a more vast network and can even distribute the catch of these fishermen to a wider market as well. For example, we can now connect American buyers with these fishermen," she said.

The Fellowship program is carried out annually for 12 selected candidates. At the moment, the Ministry and the Royal Academy of Engineering are shortlisting candidates and will select another 12 Indonesian innovators to join the LIF 2019 programme on January 15 to 23 in London, UK.

The intensive training is fully funded by the Royal Academy and the Indonesian Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education provide innovation grants for the selected innovators. (ANTARA)


President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has said that his government would continue to push for the development of startup companies and digital economy in the country.

"We have already had an Indonesia e-Commerce road map that is ready to be implemented," he said assuring the government`s seriousness in his speech at the inauguration of "The Telkom Hub" in Jakarta on Thursday evening.

He said he hoped the young people of Indonesia could be builders of digital applications useful for people’s economy.

He said the potential of digital world in Indonesia was still large with internetbusers in the country reaching around 132 millions.

In addition there are 130 million users of social media as well as demographic bonus of millenials that wpuld give an opportunity for digital business development in the future, he said.

"We must be aware that our supply of digital talents is still limited. Most of us are still mere digital technology consumers, not producers," he said.

Jokowi hoped the number of people who could develop startups now totalling 2,739 would increase.

The emergence ov digital technology is very fast and has the potential of changing economic, cultural and even political landscape.

President Jokowi called on state-owned companies in the country to take the opportunity correctky so that they would not be left behind. (ANTARA)


United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Indonesia Country Director Christophe Bahuet said that the Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum contributed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).

The AIS Forum is also committed to helping the archipelagic and island states to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.

"The AIS Forum will focus on practical development solutions and open up new opportunities for island nations to find innovative ways to protect marine resources while increasing their income," Christophe Bahuet said during the Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum Manado, North Sulawesi, on Thursday.

Bahuet said that an innovative financing would help members to access new financing mechanisms such as mixed finance, Islamic finance, and green bonds for projects under the AIS Forum.

With rising sea levels due to global warming, the archipelagic and island states are vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

The Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum`s Ministerial Meeting was attended by delegates from 20 countries such as Cuba, Comoro Island, Cyprus, Fiji, Guinea Bissau, Indonesia, Jamaica, Madagascar, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Timor Leste and The United Kingdom.

The 3rd Senior Official Meeting (SOM) delegation earlier agreed to establish the Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum.

The declaration on the establishment of the AIS Forum, called the Manado Declaration, was agreed by the delegation during the 3rd Senior Official Meeting of the AIS Forum on Wednesday (Oct 31) in Manado, North Sulawesi.

The Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs cooperated with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the North Sulawesi Provincial Government to hold the forum.

The declaration, which was agreed by 17 delegations, contains details on the formation of the AIS forum. These countries include Philippines, Japan, Cabo Verde, Cuba, Fiji, Guinea Bissau, Cyprus, Indonesia, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Navis, Seychelles, Singapore, Malta, Timor Leste, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom.

Deputy coordinating minister of maritime sovereignty at the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Purbaya Yudhi Sadewa, who chaired the meeting, welcomed the agreement.

"We want to build concrete cooperation to deal with the main problems such as marine plastic debris and marine management," he noted.

Furthermore, the agreement of the participants regarding climate change mitigation, biodiversity protection, marine conservation, and blue economy was the concern of the delegates. (ANTARA)