22
March

The government has targeted to complete the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train construction project by 2020, slower than its previous target in 2019, State Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno said. The high-speed train is expected to be commissioned in 2020, Soemarno stated during an inspection of the Walini Tunnel in West Bandung on Wednesday. According to the minister, the main hindrance for the project was the slow progress in land acquisition since 2016.

"If the first stage could run as scheduled, it would be impossible (to miss the target). We hope that the train could be commissioned in 2020," she remarked.

So far, the authority has finished the acquisition process of 56.5 percent of the 140-kilometer-long-project. The process would be continued and targeted to be completed in April.

The high-speed train project was carried out by PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia Cina (KCIC), a consortium of state-owned enterprises and China Railways, through a business-to-business plan. Construction of the tunnel has been started in Walini area of West Bandung and Halim Perdanakusuma area in Jakarta, while construction of the elevated railway has been started in another location. The two locations are strategic parts of the project, the minister added.

The high-speed train could reach a speed of 350 kilometers per hour, and it would only take 45 minutes to reach Bandung from Jakarta. The train will stop in four stations, namely Halim, Karawang, Walini, and Tegalluar stations. It would not use the existing railway but construct new ones to adjust with the train specification.

"The high-speed train could boost the economy along the Jakarta-Bandung corridor through the establishment of a new economic center for small and medium enterprises, as well as local economy," Rini noted, adding that in the future, similar trains would be operated in other regions too.

After the completion of the tunnel and elevated railway construction project, the company would start the development of installation track, including the signaling and telecommunication system. The installation stage is targeted to start by mid-2020 and finalized by the end of 2020. ( antara )

22
March

Indonesia`s business delegation showcasing household products has recorded potential transactions worth US$1.3 million at the International Home + Housewares 2018 Exhibition (IHHS 2018) held at the McCormick Place, Chicago, the United States. Head of the Indonesian Trade Promotion Center (ITPC) in Chicago Billy Anugrah remarked that the US market had responded positively to the exhibition, with potential deals amounting to $1.3 million recorded from 47 transactions.

"This result is quite satisfactory, considering it is the first time we are attempting to introduce some new household products from Indonesia," Anugrah informed Antara in Jakarta, on Wednesday.

In addition, some big buyers -- Wal Mart and Baum Dinnerware -- are scheduled to visit Indonesia in April 2018 to observe the production process of one of Indonesia`s exhibitors from Sragen, Central Java Province.

"The visit is aimed at observing the synthetic rattan production process as well as signing a purchase contract," Anugrah noted.

In a bid to open up opportunities to export products, especially household items, to the United States, ITPC Chicago is facilitating Indonesian businessmen to participate in the IHHS 2018 exhibition, the second-largest of its kind for household products. The Indonesian pavilion occupied four booths spread over 400 square meters, featuring brooms, modern mops, melamine cutlery, synthetic rattan crafts, and glassware.

During the exhibition, more than 150 potential buyers from various companies from the United States and other countries, such as Japan, Mexico, China, Brazil, Argentina, and Haiti, visited the Indonesian Pavilion.

Data obtained from the Indonesian Ministry of Trade indicated that the total value of US imports in 2017 for household products made from glass was $977 million. Indonesia is ranked 25th, with an export value of $2.9 million. Meanwhile, the US imports of plastic-based hygiene tools reached $4.9 billion, and Indonesia had only contributed $8.9 million, or 0.17 percent, of the total import value of the US.

However, Indonesia is the second-largest exporter of household products made from ceramics and porcelain. In 2017, the US imports of such products stood at $418 million, while Indonesia`s exports had reached $38 million. (antara)

22
March

Indonesia`s 12 initiatives in the fields of information and communication technology received awards from the UN during the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2018 in Geneva, an official informed Antara in Jakarta, Wednesday ( 21 MArch ).

"The awards are given by the UN`s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) during the WSIS 2018 Forum," the Indonesian permanent representative noted in a written statement received by Antara in Jakarta.

The awards ceremony is being held at the ITU Headquarter in Geneva on Mar 19-23. On Mar 20, ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhaoi had presented the awards to Indonesian Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Hasan Kleib. The ceremony was attended by some high-ranking officials and representatives of world bodies, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO). During the ceremony, some delegations of the Information and Communication Ministry, Foreign Affairs Ministry, South Halmahera district government, Pemalang district government, and other stakeholders were seen among the invitees.

The ambassador, who is also serving as the permanent representative to the WTO and other international bodies in Geneva, expressed hope that the awards would boost the development of information technology in Indonesia.

"In 2017, Indonesia had received four awards, and this year, we won 12 of them. This is incredible that our innovation in information and communication technology has been highly lauded by the UN," Kleib remarked.

As a forum for sharing updates and innovation on information and communication technology, the WSIS has regularly awarded initiatives in 18 categories. Before receiving the awards, these initiatives will be carefully reviewed by experts from around the world.

For the "Government Portal for Viralable Public Policy Communication" category, the award was presented to the "Indonesiabaik.id" website.

The other awards are from the categories of E-Health, E-Employment, E-Agriculture, Capacity Building, Access to Information & Knowledge, Information & Communication Infrastructure, as well as the Role of Government and All Stakeholders in the Promotion of ICTs for Development.

In the past years, the UN had awarded the WSIS prize to all its members from around the world in a bid to support the acceleration programs to realize the Sustainable Development Goals.( antara )

21
March

The Indonesian government and Switzerland have cooperated on vocational education development through Skill for Competitiveness program (S4C), which is aimed at linking teaching process in the level of polytechnic school with the business sector.

"The cooperation is held in several polytechnic schools, such as in metal, furniture, and food sectors," Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education Mohamad Nasir stated here on Tuesday.

The program will implement the Dual Vocational Education and Training (D-VET) system that is implemented by Swiss. The minister noted that the program was a breakthrough to support polytechnic revitalization program. The revitalization can improve the competence of vocational students.

"We hope the cooperation can fulfill the need for skilled workers in the industrial sector and minimize the ability gap," Nasir remarked.

The improvement will be carried out by changing the education curriculum to adapt with industrial necessity, retooling, and retraining polytechnic lecturers. The cooperation is needed to support polytechnic graduates to be experts in the industrial sector. Nasir hoped that the industry can assist with the learning process and the availability of lecturers in polytechnic institutions.

Meanwhile, the Swiss Ambassador to Indonesia, Yvonne Bauman, revealed that the program was an effort by the Swiss to support Indonesia in improving the quality of the students, in order to ease unemployment and boost Indonesia`s economy. ( antara )