President Joko Widodo emphasized that infrastructure development across Indonesia, which is currently being promoted by the government, is an effort intended not only to build the economy but also to maintain unity. In his meeting with a number of cultural activists at the State Palace in Jakarta, the President gave an example when he traveled to Papua. At that time, he found a price disparity of fuels when compared with prices in Java. President Joko Widodo views that the inequality may bring about an impact on possible disintegration of the nation, if not addressed by infrastructure development.

"Infrastructure is not only about economic aspect. In my understanding, it is not like that. This infrastructure will unite us. If the inequality as I said before, we cannot be united. Unifying means that I used to carry out and experienced; I flew from Aceh in Banda Aceh, and directly flew to Wamena. It took 9 hours 15 minutes. What does it mean? Yes, this makes us be aware that this nation is a great nation. If we fly from London 9 hours it reaches Istanbul in Turkey. It has already passed how many countries; maybe 6, 7 or 8 countries. Yes, this is our country. But if we do not prepare it whether the airport, the seaport or the road, the occurrence of inequality among regions will be getting bigger," the President said.

Furthermore, President Joko Widodo also disclosed that after completing the stage of infrastructure development as the first stage of nation building, the government will continue the second major development stage by investing in human resource development. He perceived that this is done because of the high value of Indonesian culture in supporting the development of the Indonesian nation. The President added that the development of working ethos, productivity and integrity will be the backbone and foundation of Indonesia's future development. (Ndy-VOI/Trans by Rhm)


New Zealand Climber Found Dead

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A New Zealander named Andrey Voytech was found dead after going missing while climbing Mount Merbabu, Central Java, at 8:40 am local time on Saturday.

"The body of the climber was found in the river allegedly after falling off the cliff," Zulhawary Agustianto, a spokesman of the National Search and Rescue Agency of Central Java, noted in Semarang, Central Java Province, on Saturday.

According to Agustianto, the victim allegedly fell off an eight-meter-high cliff. He revealed that the body of the deceased was taken through the Chuntel ascent to the Salatiga District General Hospital for an autopsy. The cause of death is yet to be ascertained, pending the police's autopsy. Earlier, Andrey Voytech, a New Zealand climber, was reported missing by his friend, who was staying at a hotel in Magelang. The victim`s friend confirmed that Voytech was on his way to Merbabu via Cunthel of Semarang District on Friday (Mar 30). (antara) 


The Indonesian Agency for Creative Economy (Bekraf) will establish sister cafe cooperation between several Indonesian coffeehouses and coffee shops in the United States to open international markets for Indonesian coffee brands and cafe brands abroad.

"Sister cafe cooperation in the United States is being built by organizing a roadshow for promoting KOPI in order to develop foreign markets," Bekraf`s Deputy Marketing Joshua P.M. Simandjuntak had noted at a press conference in Jakarta, on Friday (Apr 6).

"This cooperation is expected to facilitate the owners of coffee brands and cafe brands in the country to develop markets abroad and open a branch in the United States," he explained, adding that every state in the United States and Canada have their respective rules, such as how to establish a coffee shop, coffee quality standards, and business development.

Several owners of coffee brands, cafe brands, and a financial institution owned by the Indonesian government, Indonesia Eximbank will participate in the road show to be held on April 13-24, 2018. They will visit cafes in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle in the United States and Vancouver in Canada to gain insight into the local coffee businesses on the challenges and opportunities to open and market Indonesian coffee brands and caf? brands in these cities.

Meanwhile, Managing Director II of Indonesia Eximbank Indra Wijaya Supriadi remarked that the cooperation between Indonesian and US coffee shops held significance to face the challenges of developing business overseas.

"One of the benefits of this cooperation is that the business risks can be borne by both parties," he pointed out.

He expressed hope that at least one Indonesian coffee shop brand would be established in the United States, Canada, or other countries this year. At the commemoration of International Coffee Day at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java, on October 1, 2017, President Joko Widodo expressed support for the nation's coffee industry. The International Coffee Organization had ranked Indonesia as the world`s fourth-largest coffee exporter for the 2016-2017 period, with 6,891,000 packs of the commodity, each weighing 60 kilograms, or a total of about 413,460,000 kilograms.


Indonesian state owned bus operator, Perum Damri plans to expand its business to Timor Leste to operate the bus-based passenger service in the country. President Director of Perum Damri, Setia Milatia on Thursday, April 5, 2018 in Jakarta said, Perum Damri has been serving the needs of transportation on the East Timor border with Indonesia. However, it wants the service to be expanded to the country. Therefore in the near future it will hold a special meeting in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara to discuss it with Timor Leste.

“It is still being discussed, later if I’m not mistaken,  we will discuss it next week in Labuan Bajo. Actually, we have existed, but only served around the border. So, the operators from Timor Leste will transfer the passanger to the country. We will disscus it more deeply. So, we can get to the other side or the country, not just on the border,” President Director of Perum Damri, Setia Milatia said.

Furthermore, Setia Milatia still can not specify the number of buses that will be operated in the country. This will depend on the number of requests from East Timorese and Indonesian people who need the services. In addition to operational expansion, Perum Damri also plans to revitalize a number of buses serving the public in Indonesia. Revitalization aims to encourage the improvement of services to the community. Recently Perum Damri has stated that by 2018 it will add 55 new buses with a budget of 90 billion rupiah to strengthen the existing fleet which consist of 2,200 buses throughout Indonesia. (VOI/REZHA/AHM)