Indonesia promoted Asian Games 2018 tour packages during the Natas Travel Fair held in Singapore from March 23-25, 2018.

The tour packages were offered to Singaporeans to visit Indonesia during the Asian Games 2018 to be held in Jakarta and Palembang, capital of South Sumatra province, from Aug 18 to Sept 2, the deputy I for marketing at the Tourism Ministry, I Gde Pitana said here on Sunday.

In total, 151 tour packages were offered during the fair. Nearly 70 percent of them are related to tourist objects found near the venues of the pan Asian multi-sport event in Palembang, Jakarta, West Java and Banten, he said.

He expressed hope the tour packages which include the best spots for social media photos or instagram stories, culinary adventure, tea plantation, cave and Sembilang National Park will serve as special attractions for tourists to visit Indonesia.

During the fair, Indonesia specifically raised tourist destinations in Bali and Riau Islands as the main theme and Phinisi boat as a focus of interest.

The National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (Natas) travel fair is an international scale tourist mart held annually in March and August. Nearly 65,000 to 70,000 people are expected to visit the travel fair this year.

As many as 87 local and foreign exhibitors took part in the three-day fair. The foreign exhibitors came from China, Japan, Europe, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Hawaii, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Fiji, New Zealand, and Uzbekistan, among others.

Singapore is one of the main markets for Indonesian tourism.

A total of 1,512,813 Singapore tourists visited Indonesia last year, up 2.72 percent compared to a year earlier.

Indonesia has set itself the target of attracting 1.7 million Singapore tourists this year. (ANTARA)


The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry has won an OpenGov Recognition Award during Indonesia Leadership Forum 2018 organized by the OpenGov Asia.

The award will hopefully encourage the ministry to become smarter in taking advantage of information and communication technology to improve its performance in pursuit of transparency, accountability, efficiency and better public services, the ministry`s secretary general, Rifky Effendi Hardijanto said in a press statement released on Sunday.

OpenGov is digital platform media which pays attention to good governance in Asia and the Pacific particularly the use of information and communication technology to make government system more efficient, transparent and secure.

OpenGov Asia`s group managing director and editor-in-chief, Mohit Sagar said the ministry has successfully taken advantage of information and communication technology and made innovations particularly to eradicate illegal fishing.

In addition, the ministry is also considered capable of developing cooperation in the use of information and communication technology with other ministries and institutions.

Earlier, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti introduced the so-called susinisasi concept which has been applied to the ministry and hoped the concept could be applied to other ministries and government agencies.

"Susinisasi is a simple point," he said on Wednesday (March 23).

The minister said she invented the concept after she got confused to understand a number of words such as strengthening, empowerment and harmonization in various programs to formulate budget for the ministry.

Hence, susinisasi is the simplification of budget nomenclatures so that it is easily understood, she said. (ANTARA)


Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand Tantowi Yahya issued a clarification on NZ Herald`s Political Editor Audrey Young`s opinion that Indonesian President Joko Widodo had "implicitly disrespected" New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the country.

"We have lodged a strong protest with the writer and urged her to tender a clarification for what she has written is not rooted in the reality," Yahya noted in a statement received in Jakarta on Monday.

Young’s opinion titled "Visiting leaders show disrespect by failing to share platforms with Jacinda Ardern" was published on the NZ Herald website on Sunday (Mar 25).

Young wrote that it was shameful that on a state visit, President Widodo had failed to conduct himself in a manner expected of him while interacting with the public of New Zealand.

Young remarked that after conducting a bilateral meeting with the New Zealand prime minister on Mar 19, the Indonesian delegate declined to hold a joint press conference alongside Prime Minister Ardern; hence, declining to do so was implicitly disrespectful to Ardern and New Zealand.

"The write-up stating President Joko Widodo declined to communicate with the media is Audrey Young`s personal opinion, which is not supported by evidence and fact," Yahya wrote.

"The decision to not hold a press conference was the suggestion of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade that was then adopted as a joint decision," Ambassador Yahya clarified.

For the public, the result of the meeting will be incorporated in a joint statement to be published on the official websites of both countries, Yahya revealed.

"As a guest, we respect the position taken by the host. We fully supported (the decision) for there was nothing wrong with such an approach," he noted.

President Widodo paid a state visit to New Zealand on Mar 18-19 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Indonesia and New Zealand. (ANTARA)


Govt Assures Debts Used Prudently

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Finance Minister Sri Mulyani has said that the government`s debts are used prudently in line with the principles of good budget management so far.

"To those who have called on the government to be careful in using debts, I can assure that their demand has been what the government has always done so far," she said in a press statement received here on Friday evening.

She said debts were used as part of budget management in stages and very carefully with regard to preventing possible shock on the economic engine that may slow it down. Debts and tax revenues are fiscal policy instruments used by the government to improve infrastructure, education, health or social security, she said. Sri Mulyani said there is nothing to worry about with regard to current debt because it is well managed to remain below the level allowed by the law.

"Mere focusing on its amount while neglecting the big context and the government`s policy would be incomplete and even misleading," she said.

Sri Mulyani said it was important to put the issue in the right context so that people or political elites would not become hysteric and worry too much to make them unproductive.

"It would be different if it is what they have intended to always raise the issue to make people uneasy, threatened and panic for certain political gains," she said.

Sri Mulyani said the destructive political efforts really ran counter to the spirit of building a good democracy. ( antara )