The Rotiklot dam in Fatuketi Village, Belu district of East Nusa Tenggara province has the capacity of irrigating 139 hectares of paddy fields and 500 hectares of other fields of crops around the dam, a local official said.

"The dam has the capability to irrigate second crops field during the planting season," head of the province's  River Region Working Unit Fery Moun Hepy said here on Sunday.

The dam, scheduled to be inaugurated by President Joko Widodo on Monday (May 20), could provide clean water for hundreds of villagers of Ainiba, Fatuketi, and Motadik in Kakuluk Mesak subdistrict.

The dam is situated some eight kilometers from Atambua City in Belu District. With its capacity to retain 3.3 million cubic meters of water, the dam could release 40 liter per second of clean water to Atambua City, Fery said.

"The construction of the dam was faster than its target, only 3.5 years while the construction contract was for 4 years," he said.

Rotiklot is one of seven dams included in the priority program of President  Joko Widodo's  administration to be built in East Nusa Tenggara.

In January 2018, the president has inaugurated Raknamo dam in Kupang District, East Nusa Tenggara. (ant)


APEC to Strengthen Regional Economic Integration

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Trade ministers from member economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) are convening in Chile, host of the APEC 2019, to strengthen regional economic integration, against a backdrop of slowing trade growth.

APEC's trade ministers reiterated the intention to continue economic cooperation for continued growth, as noted in a written statement issued by the APEC Secretariat and received in Jakarta on Sunday.

In a meeting held in the seaside town of Vina del Mar, Chile, APEC's trade ministers focused on ways to fortify collaboration between the 21 Pacific Rim economies, particularly on boosting trade, which for decades motored economic expansion across the region.

Working on the principles of consensus-based, non-binding voluntary dialogue, APEC has successfully encouraged and mobilized more trade, which contributed 45 percent of regional gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017. Despite recent trade frictions, the forum continues to engage on economic cooperation in the interest of mutual economic growth.

"Together we have constructed an integration orientated forum, through open and constructive dialog, that has helped underpin economic growth and prosperity in the region," said Chile’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Roberto Ampuero, who is chairing the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade meetings.

At the same time, Ampuero reinforced the need for APEC member economies to address emerging disparities resulting from trade policies.

"Our inclusive and sustainable growth priorities are directed as much by the conviction that there are important principles at stake, as they are by our determination to identify new sources of economic growth that puts people, and their future, at the center of our work," he stated.

Chile typifies how the APEC membership can facilitate growth. Since joining 25 years ago, Chile’s exports to the Asia Pacific region have grown almost 800 percent and generated a million jobs. Today, the APEC economies account for 66 percent of Chile’s total trade and 59 percent of its foreign investment. (ant)


Sustaining growth a delicate balancing act

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The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region aims to stay the course amid a challenging global environment and sustaining economic growth is a delicate balancing act, said a new report issued by the APEC Policy Support Unit was received in Jakarta on Sunday.

As trade tensions undermine global trade, investment and output, growth in the APEC region is expected to moderate to 3.8 percent in 2019, down from 4.1 percent in 2018, according to the report.

In 2020, gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the region is projected to decelerate further, within the range of 3.5 to 3.7 percent, the report forecasts. However, downside risks may be mitigated if trade frictions ease.

"The upside potential for growth could come from the quick and positive resolution of trade tensions that would significantly reduce policy uncertainty," said Denis Hew, Director of the APEC Policy Support Unit.

The global economy grappled with heightened policy uncertainty in 2018, as economies issued tariffs and counter-measures. Deceleration of GDP growth ensued in parallel to the announcement of trade-restricting measures in the second half of 2017, culminating in the imposition of tariffs and counter-measures in 2018.

Today, trade restrictive measures comprise nearly 60 percent of total trade and trade-related measures, according to the report.

In contrast, for decades trade drove the expansion of the regional economy, from US$23.5 trillion in 1990 to US$63.6 trillion in 2017. The declining influence of trade on the region’s growth is pivotal for APEC.

"Sustaining economic growth amid trade tensions and policy uncertainty is a delicate balancing act. However, it also presents opportunities to pursue more structural reform that encourages growth that is sustainable and inclusive," Hew explained.

The APEC region faces other challenges, such as growing income inequality, greenhouse gas emissions and encroaching climate change, industry-disrupting technology. APEC’s approach to economic policy cooperation, however, can help members navigate cross-border complexities and find solutions.

The APEC 2019 is hosted by Chile, an economy that has thrived largely due to its trade with the Asia Pacific region. In an effort to broaden opportunities, Chile has included the economic empowerment of women and internationalization of small and medium enterprises as regional priorities.


Indonesian warship visits outermost island

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An Indonesian warship KRI Yos Sudarso 353 visited Fani Island which is one of Indonesia's outermost islands located in the Pacific Ocean bordering Palau, a country situated north of Indonesia's province of West Papua. The visit was a sea control operation carried out by the Navy's 3rd Fleet Command in its territory of Papua's waters.

Commander of the 3rd Fleet Command Admiral I N.G. Ariawan said here on Sunday that the visit was aimed at giving enthusiasm and motivation to the Indonesian Navy soldiers on duty in Fani Island guarding the country's borders.

He emphasized that Fani Island is Indonesia's outermost island in Raja Ampat district, West Papua Province which borders Palau.

Fani Island is the jurisdiction and becomes the responsibility of the Navy's 3rd Fleet Command, so that it places Navy soldiers on the island to protect sovereignty.

At the same time, this visit which was led by Col. Luddy Mulyadi was providing logistics to the soldiers of the Task Force for Safeguarding the Outer Islands on Fani Island, Ariawan said.

The Indonesian man-of-war was also reviewing some of the supporting facilities around, such as machinery and communication facilities as well as conducting dialogues with the soldiers to provide motivation," he said. (ant)