Indonesia to Boost Trade with Africa through IAF

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Indonesia will strive to increase trade cooperation with African countries through the Indonesia-Africa Forum scheduled in Bali on April 10-11, a foreign ministry official said in Jakart on Thursday ( 22 March )

"Through the Indonesia-Africa Forum we will strive to continue increasing trade cooperation with African countries by reducing both tariff or non-tariff barriers," Africa Director Daniel Simanjuntak said.

He said many African countries still imposed high tariffs on Indonesian products. "It is hoped the African countries would be ready to use IAF as a forum to discuss tariff barriers and we could reduce them," he said. Daniel said one of the efforts yo be taken by Indonesia in the effort to reduce the tariffs was building cooperation with ECOWAS.

Economic Community of West African States is a regional economic entity consisting of 15 member countries in West Africa. ECOWAS aims to achieve collective self-sufficiency for all members by establishing a big trade block through development of economic and trade associations,

So, by building trade cooperation through ECOWAS Indonesia would be able to seek tariff reduction through especially West African countries, Daniel said.

Indonesia`s biggest trade partners in the Sub-Saharan Africa include Nigeria, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Madagaskar, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Benin, Djibouti whike the biggest partners in North Africa are Egypt, Algeria and Morocco. The country`s main exports to the African region are palm oil, processed food and beverages, soap, paper, garments and motir vehicles while its main imports from the region are crude oil, cotton, cacao kernel, pulp, chemical materials for fertilizers and industry, tobacco. (antara)


Indonesian Conducts Trading Mission in Taiwan

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The Trade Ministry will continue to intensify its trade mission in various regions, including in Taiwan, Director General of National Export Development Arlinda said.

"The Trade Ministry continues to intensify the trade mission in various regions to boost exports and achieve export growth target of 11 percent," Arlinda stated during the opening of a series of exhibition of the 2018 Indonesian Week in Taipei, Taiwan, on Thursday.

The ministry, in cooperation with the Indonesian Economic and Trade Office in Taipei, organized the 2018 Indonesian Week at the Taiwan World Trade Center, and brought 79 Indonesian business actors to participate in the exhibition. Arlinda explained that the participating business actors came from various promising sectors of fashion and accessories, footwear, food and beverages, paper, property industry, textiles, coffee, tea, palm oil products, bio diesel, travel agency, and skillful workers.

"This activity aims to provide a lot of information and to facilitate business actors from both parties to meet and get business partners," Arlinda noted.

Arlinda further stated that the event served as the government`s commitment to increase trade and cooperation and create a mutually beneficial business climate for both sides.

"On the occasion, the Ministry of Trade will promote various premium export commodities, such as coffee, crude palm oil, and services," Arlinda added.

The 2018 Indonesian Week consists of several series of activities, namely product exhibition, business forums, business matching, consultation forum, cultural performances, culinary competition, and batik fashion show competition. During business forums, business actors will be provided with information on matters concerning policies, business opportunities, investments, and cooperation opportunities. (antara ) 


Bank Indonesia decided to maintain its 7-Day Reverse Repo Rate" at 4.25 percent on Thursday ( 22 March ) in anticipation of the impact of The US Federal Reserve`s interest hike and potential domestic inflation. The central bank also maintained the Deposit Facility rate at 3.5 percent and Lending Facility rate at 5.0 percent, the bank`s spokesman Agusman said at a press conference after BI`s board of governors meeting. BI will still maintain its neutral monetary police this month, he said.

"There are several external economic risks such as global financial market uncertainty, tendency of inward oriented trade policy implementation and domestic inflation hike," Agusman said.

Specifically BI closely monitored the possibility of the Fed`s interest hike to be higher than it was predicted before from the baseline which has been three times this year. The Fed on Wednesday increased its interest rate for the first time this year by 25 basis points from 1.5 to 1.75 percent.

"It is possible the Fed`s interest will increase four times this year. But we predict the baseline will still be three times this year," the bank`s director of the department of monetary and economic policy, Yoga Affandi, said.

Other external risk, which is inward oriented policy, may cause trade war that will eventually reduce the trade volume and global economic growth. As for the domestic situation he said BI has seen potential inflation hike in administered prices due to adjustment of non-subsidize oil prices and non-PLN (state power company) tariff. Agusman said the country`s economic growth in the first quarter this year will be better than in the same period last year boosted by increasing government investment and consumption, stable private consumption and positive export performance.

Investment especially will increase in the construction sector in line with completion efforts in infrastructure projects and in primary sectors marked by increasing external demand, he said. Private consumption will grow stable supported by people`s maintained buying power and increasing spending in connection with the implementation of regional elections.

The government`s consumption will increase due to acceleration in the distribution of social aid and village funds. In external terms exports are predicted to grow positively due to increasing world economic growth.

"Imports are also projected to increase to especially meet investment needs and exports of high imported content products. Due to the development Indonesia`s economy in 2018 is expected to grow 5.1 to 5.5 percent," Agusman said. ( antara ) 


The rampant illegal logging spread in various regions in Indonesia has made the Ministry of Environment and Forestry work hard to combat the crime. According to Indonesian Minister of Enviroment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya Bakar in a special interview with Voice of Indonesia in Jakarta on Tuesday (20/3), her ministry has repeatedly dealt with illegal loggers and dragged them to court to account for their violation.

We work also very hard on this illegal logging, within three years we have been having more than 144 times operation to combat this illegal loggers. And there has been cases are prepared for bringing them up to the court, more about 174 documented and prepared to the court and about more than 60 cases are being in the preparation,” Siti Nurbaya said.

Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar added that in addition to illegal logging cases, the narrowing of forest areas in Indonesia is also caused by several other factors, such as the massive population increase in various regions. Therefore, it will continue to make various efforts, including developing special institutions related to forest ecosystems such as Forest Management Unit. Based on record of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, at least 1.1 million hectares or 2% of Indonesia's forests shrinking every year. The Data also mentioned that from 130 million hectares of Indonesia's remaining forests, 42 million hectares of which has been cleared or damaged. Forest destruction which increasingly severe cause disruption of forest ecosystems and surrounding environments. (VOI/Trs.Rezha/NT)