11
April

PTDI to sell aircraft to Senegal & Ivory Coast

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State aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) has signed a contract worth US$75 million with the air forces of Senegal and Ivory Coast for the sale of CN-235 and NC-212 aircraft.

"The African market is promising, as it comprises several countries. Geographically, African countries and Indonesia have similarities, so they need several light and medium turboprop aircraft," PTDI President Director Elfien Goentoro stated at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center on Tuesday.

Goentoro signed the contract with Belgian air defense commercial company Gaby Peretz in the capacity as business partner of the two African countries on the sidelines of the Indonesia-Africa Forum 2018 at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center. Under the contract, PTDI will sell NC-212-200 aircraft used for maritime surveillance and a CN-235-220 aircraft for maritime patrolling to the Senegalese Air Force and a CN-235-220 for military transportation to the Ivory Coast Air Force. Goentoro noted that both sides will further sign a contract for the sale of the aircraft in July or August 2018. PTDI is expected to deliver the aircraft to the two air forces in a year and a half.

On Dec 27 last year, PTDI had also delivered a CN-235-220 aircraft ordered by the Senegalese Air Force. The multi-purpose aircraft left the Husein Sastranegara Airport in Bandung for Dakar, Senegal. Senegal signed another contract with PTDI on August 8, 2017, for the purchase of a CN235-220 aircraft for its Air Force to conduct maritime patrols. Apart from Senegal, Burkina Faso and Guinea have also used CN-235s. (antara)

10
April

The Foreign Ministries of Indonesia and Ethiopia held the first Bilateral Consultative Forum (FKB) in Bali on Monday (April 9). The forum was chaired by the Director General for Asia Pacific and Africa of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Desra Percaya, and the Director General of Asia and Oceania of the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tsegab Kebebew. The Indonesia-Ethiopian Forum is held ahead of the implementation of Indonesia Africa Forum (IAF) on April 10 and 11, 2018, in Nusa Dua, Bali. The following forum is scheduled to be held in Ethiopia.

"The first Indonesia-Ethiopian Bilateral Consultative Forum is an implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreed by both ministers in January 2015. It aims to address issues of mutual interest in order to enhance bilateral cooperation," Percaya noted.

According to him, in the political field, the two sides have noted an increase in mutual visits since the opening of the Ethiopian Embassy in Jakarta in 2016. Furthermore, the governments of both countries have agreed to encourage high-level visits and expedite the completion of the Visa Free Agreement for both Office and Diplomatic Passport Holders.

Recognizing the declining trend in RI-Ethiopia trade, both governments have also agreed to encourage trade cooperation and explore strategic industry cooperation. The two sides also appreciated the progress of opening the Ethiopian Airlines flight to Jakarta in 2018, which will be the first direct flight between Indonesia and Africa. The flight is expected to increase connectivity between Indonesia and Ethiopia, as well as Africa, in general.

In the socio-cultural field, the two sides have agreed to improve cooperation in education and human resources, including by accelerating the finalization of the MoU on cooperation between education and training centers of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of RI and Ethiopia.

At the forum, the Indonesian government stated that the peace and security in Africa is one of Indonesia`s top priorities, which is realized through Indonesia`s contribution to UN peacekeeping missions in the African region. The Ethiopian Government appreciates Indonesia`s role and support in ensuring sustainable peace in Africa and expressed support for Indonesia`s nomination as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the period 2019-2020. (antara)

10
April

The Indonesian and Australian governments are finalizing negotiations on crude palm oil trade, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said in Jakarta on Monday ( April 9 )

"We are currently carrying out the process with Australia and we agreed that we will come out with the final agreement this August," said the Minister after a meeting with Vice President Jusuf Kalla at the Vice President`s Office on Monday.

The Minister of Trade also continued to communicate intensively with the Australian parliament regarding the drafting of policies on the use of oil palm and its derivative products in Australia.

"There are still some things that are in the negotiations, and along with member of the Australian parliament Steven Ciobo, we have agreed that the next round of negotiation processes between the set teams will take place soon. They will leave out some items and later, the two ministers will take the final steps," he explained.

In addition to Australia, the EU and the United States are also reviewing the use of palm oil and its derivative products in their countries. They argued that palm oil products are not friendly to environmental sustainability, as it was also considered as the largest contributor to illegal logging.

However, the Minister of Trade saw the motive of industrial competition behind the ban on the use of crude palm oil in the European Union, the United States and Australia. Therefore, the Government of Indonesia will seek to stop importing commodities from the areas, should the parliaments of these countries insist on halting the entry of crude palm oil from Indonesia.

"If they take such step (to ban the CPO), I would also let Norway know that we will also ban their fish (to come into Indonesia). Also with the purchase of aircraft, including Airbus and Boeing. If this (ban) continues to grow, then it is not impossible that we will halt it too," he affirmed.

He further said that Indonesia has a high bargaining position with European countries in terms of CPO, as in some European courts, Indonesia crude palm oil is entitled to circulate in the country.

"On the one hand we (Indonesia) have won in some cases, but they still insisted until 2021 bio-diesel was removed from there, from Europe," he stressed. (antara)

10
April

Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita affirmed here on Monday that Indonesia will stop importing commodities from European nations if the parliaments of these countries insist on halting Indonesia`s crude palm oil (CPO) exports.

"If they ban CPO, I will also tell Norway to not export their fish to Indonesia as well as the purchase of aircraft, such as Airbus and Boeing," he noted after meeting Vice President Jusuf Kalla at the Vice President`s Office on Monday.

Lukita further pointed out that Indonesia was in a high bargaining position with European countries with regard to CPO, since in some European courts, Indonesian CPO was reserved for sale in the country. European countries and the United States have banned the use of palm oil by abolishing the draft of the renewable energy legislation.

Some 46 percent of the total imports of palm oil are used by the European Union for producing bio-diesel. However, concerns have been raised over the dire impacts on the environment, including causing deforestation in Asian and Latin American countries. (antara)