Review of the Border Trade Agreement (BTA) 1970 featured heavily during the sixth round of negotiation between Indonesia and Malaysia on August 15-16, 2019, in Penang, Malaysia, thereby demonstrating both nations’ commitment.

"The Indonesian Trade Ministry has wholly committed it self to completing the process of reviewing the Border Trade Agreement," Director of Bilateral Negotiations of the Trade Ministry Ni Made Ayu Marthini noted in a statement released on Tuesday.

Marthini, who led the Indonesian delegation at the negotiation, noted that the agreement inked in 1970 is not sufficient to accommodate the increasingly complex and growing trade activities in the Indonesia-Malaysia borders.

The negotiation is a follow-up to the earlier round of such negotiation held in Yogyakarta on November 2-3, 2017.

She further elaborated on the Trade Ministry's step to contribute to the progressive development of border areas through Government Regulation No. 34 of 2019 on border trade.

"It (the regulation) is one of the legal umbrellas that runs parallel to the physical development of facilities and infrastructure in the border areas," she noted.

To expedite the process of reviewing the BTA, the two nations exchanged appendixes to the agreement before the negotiation was held, she stated.

The appendixes contain a list of the border community's needs that necessitate special treatment from the BTA and a list of sub-districts in the border areas that will be designated as border checkpoints for the border community to conduct border trade, she stated.

During the sixth round of negotiation, the two countries made significant progress by agreeing on most of the draft agreements and committing themselves to accomplishing a list of products needed by the border community.

The signing of the agreement to review the BTA 1970 is expected to renew the existing agreement, thereby giving the border community greater access to basic necessities at affordable prices.

Marthini noted that the delegations of both nations are expected to conclude the border trade negotiation at the seventh round of such negotiation to be held in Indonesia at the end of this year.(ANTARA)


The UCI category 2.1 international cycling race of Tour d'Indonesia (TdI) kicked off from Borobudur Temple, Magelang, Central Java Province, on Monday, with 18 domestic and foreign participating teams.

The first stage began from Borobudur Temple and will conclude in Ngawi, East Java Province, Parama Nugroho, chairman of the Bank BRI Tour d’Indonesia, remarked in Magelang, Central Java, on Monday.

The 18 teams comprise 90 cyclists from 22 countries including France, Greek, Spain, and England.

Of the 18 teams, the four Indonesian teams are Indonesia's National Team, PGN Road Cycling Team, Custom Cycling Indonesia (CCI), and KFC Cycling Team.

"We have made comprehensive preparations and are content that all regional heads, whose cities fall on the race's route, fully support the event," he stated.

The five stages of TdI 2019 are Candi Borobudur-Ngawi, stretching 178 kilometers (km); Madiun-Batu, 157.7 km; Batu-Jember, 195.9 km; Jember-Banyuwangi, 150km; and Gilimanuk-Batur UNESCO Global Geopark, 143.6km.

The competing teams are Felipe and Galedro from 7 Eleven Cliqq-Air21 by Roadbike Philippines, Setra and Fadli from the Customs Cycling Team, Nateghi and Ganjkhanlou from the Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan, Fung and Ho from the HKSI Pro Cycling Team, Gani and Ali Sahbana from the KFC Cycling Team, Garcia and Lebas from the Kinan Cycling Team, Park and Kim from the KSPO Bianchi Asia Procycling, Davids and Lyons from Oliver's Real Food, Cahyadi and Novardianto from the PGN Road Cycling Team, Butler and Van Heerden from ProTouch, Berwick and Cavanagh from St George Continental Cycling Team, Kolahdozhagh and Looij from the Taijuan Miogee Cycling Team, Dyball and Vogt from the Sapura Cycling Team, Eyob and Batmunkh from the Terengganu Cycling Team, Roth and Elliott from X-Speed Untied, Fitrianto and Waseso from Indonesia's National Team, Mirza and Al Mansoori from the United Arab Emirates Team, and Phounsavath and Chawchiangkwang from the Thailand Continental Cycling Team. (ANTARA)


The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) commemorated the 74th anniversary of Indonesia's Independence Day on Saturday by carrying out a restoration program to assist victims of last year's Sunda Strait Tsunami in Sangiang Island, Serang District, Banten Province.

As part of the program, the PMI built a clean water facility; provided a health service; and distributed school kits, hygiene kits, baby kits, blankets and tarps to the local people, Head of PMI's Disaster Mitigation Division Arifin M Hadi said in Serang, Banten, on Sunday.

"Local residents were engaged in the launching of this program," he said, adding that their engagement was expected to help them restore their spirit of rebuilding lives, and ease their painful experience.

This restoration program was part of the PMI's commitment to serving the tsunami victims starting from the phases of emergency response to recovery and restoration, he said.

Meanwhile, Head of the PMI headquarters in Serang District Abdul Basith said those living in Sangiang Island, a small island which is located around 10 miles from Anyer Beach, severely suffered from the impact of last year's earthquake and tsunami.

The disaster claimed five lives, including two tourists, and wounded many others, he said.

The Sunda Strait Tsunami, which struck certain coastal areas of the provinces of Banten and Lampung following the eruption of Mount Anak Krakatau on Dec 22, 2018, killed 437 people and seriously affected the lives of several residents in the disaster zones.

The deadly tsunami that hit the districts of Pandeglang, Serang, South Lampung, Tenggamus, and Pesawaran also caused injuries to 7,202 others and forced 34,817 people to take refuge.

On August 2, 2019, a 6.9-magnitude earthquake again rocked Banten Province. The quake's epicenter was located at 7.54 degrees southern latitude and 104.58 degrees eastern longitude, at a depth of 10 kilometers (km) below sea level, and 147 km southwest of Sumur, or 164 km southwest of Pandeglang.

Situated on the Pacific ring of fire, Indonesia is prone to natural disasters, including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Throughout 2018, the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) recorded that Indonesia was hit by a total of 11,577 earthquakes, including several of them that caused serious casualties, with the number significantly increased as compared to that in 2017. (ANTARA)


An Indonesian migrant worker in Kuching, Malaysia, was selected to be the commander in the flag hoisting ceremony, held at the Indonesian Consulate General compound on Saturday for commemorating the 74th anniversary of Indonesia's Independence Day.

The migrant worker's name is Nurzen. He is a construction worker in the Malaysian State of Sarawak, Directorate General of Immigration at the Law and Human Rights Ministry revealed in its press statement that ANTARA received in Jakarta on Sunday.

Nurzen was quoted as saying that he felt proud and honored to get selected by the Indonesian Consulate General in Kuching to become the commander in the flag hoisting ceremony.

Regarding the Indonesian migrant workers' involvement in the consulate's activities, including the flag hoisting ceremony, Indonesian Consul General in Kuching Yonny Tri Prayitno said it was part of the consulate's commitment to implementing its community service.

Their engagement in the consulate's activities would be continued in the future hoping that it would make them proud and strengthen their spirit of nationalism during their overseas stay, he said.

After the flag-raising ceremony ended, several hundreds of Indonesians living and working in Kuching and the city's outskirts joined a people's fiesta that the consulate organized.

The event showcased such fun games usually found in Indonesia during the Independence Day celebration as sack-race, cracker-eating contest, and "Panjat Pinang" or climbing a lubricated trunk of betel nut tree to take various prizes.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, celebrated the country's Independence Day by holding a culinary event, called "KBRI street food" to serve those attending the celebration with free food and drinks.

Among the served meals were "bakso mie ayam" (meatballs and chicken noodles) and "nasi kuning" (yellow rice).

The Independence Day was also celebrated in all parts of Indonesia during which people organised various fun games. In Jakarta, President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla attended a flag hoisting ceremony at the Merdeka Palace. (ANTARA)

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