The Indonesian and Bahrain governments agreed to increase economic cooperation, during a meeting of the two foreign ministers in Manama, Bahrain, recently. Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi met with her Bahraini counterpart Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa as part of her working visit to the country, the Foreign Ministry said in a press statement released Wednesday.

She also held bilateral talks with Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and Chairman of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sameer Abdulla Ahmed Nass.

The effort to enhance economic cooperation was the focus of the Indonesian foreign minister's working visit.

The two countries agreed to negotiate investment agreements and increase the direct contact between the businessmen of both countries.

Bahrain plans to send a trade mission to Indonesia this year.

The two foreign ministers also encouraged their respective governments to take part in defense exhibitions to be held in Bahrain in October and Indonesia in November this year.

"Cooperation in the aircraft industry, military uniforms and RBS 17 missile and helicopter C-130 maintenance is a concrete example of cooperation in the strategic industries that Indonesia and Bahrain can carry out," she said.

Indonesia and Bahrain launched diplomatic ties in 1976.

The trade between the two countries reached US$116.61 million in 2018 and US$206.3 million in 2017, according to the Indonesian Trade Ministry. (ANTARA)


The Indonesian government is considering revoking a number of regulations hindering the inflow of investments and the relocation of industries from other countries.

"Many companies are relocating their plants, so we must seize the opportunity," Trade Minister, Enggartiasto Lukita, said, following a coordination meeting between the central government, regional administrations and Bank Indonesia in Jakarta on Wednesday night.

"What potential investors have always complained about is the lack of synchrony between the regulations of the central and regional governments," he said

At the meeting, both the central and regional governments committed to easing licensing procedures, he said.

He went on to say the Trade Ministry will always make efforts to open greater access to foreign markets through a number of trade agreements in order to strengthen the performance of the national manufacturing industry.

The Trade Ministry has set a target of accomplishing three trade agreements with other countries at the end of this year to push exports and attract more investments to Indonesia, he said.

"We have signed 14 trade agreements in the past three years. We expect to sign three more trade agreements at the end of this year," he said. (ANTARA)


Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan is a strong proponent of the view that the time has come for Indonesia to produce electric cars since several supporting materials exist in the country.

Some 70-80 percent of the components to produce lithium battery required for electric cars had been available in Indonesia, the minister remarked while speaking at the Indonesia Electric Motor Show (IEMS) 2019 held here on Wednesday.

Panjaitan noted that several investors were keen to develop plants for the production of components for electric cars.

There is a pressing need to switch to electric cars, which are environment-friendly, from vehicles powered by fossil fuels that are major contributors to air pollution in the country and Jakarta, in particular.

While speaking on the same occasion, Chief of the Presidential Staff retired general Moeldoko affirmed that electric cars can assist in lowering oil and gas imports and bringing about an improvement in the air quality.

Furthermore, electric cars will help strengthen state electricity company PT PLN’s position, as several electric cars will need to refill batteries with electricity from PLN.

Electric cars are yet expensive, but following their mass production, they would become affordable to the public.

In the meantime, Research, Technology, and Higher Education Minister M. Nasir opined that air pollution in Indonesia’s major cities will reduce with the use of electric cars.

Indonesia has low-grade nickel of 0.8-1.5 percent, or known as limonite, viewed as the best material for the production of lithium ion battery.

The ministry's Director General for Mineral and Coal Bambang Gatot recently noted that the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry had drafted a ministerial regulation on a ban on nickel ore exports. (ANTARA)


Coordinating Economic Affairs Minister Darmin Nasution pointed to the quality of human resources emerging as a challenge in the development of financial technology (fintech) in Indonesia.

"The government has anticipated problems that might crop up in the development of financial technology while opening the space for innovation," Nasution remarked during the Indonesia Fintech Forum 2019 held in Jakarta on Wednesday.

In 2020, the government will focus on the development of education and vocational training to enhance the quality of human resources as a future investment for the nation.

"Digital economy is set to redefine the future of work. Some remain, and some have just been born. Fintech is an area where future jobs are being created," he pointed out.

Indonesia's digital economy has shown rapid growth, with online transactions in 2018 amounting to Rp47.16 billion, or a 281.39 percent increase, as compared to Rp12.38 billion worth of online transactions in 2017. The government's support is elicited to offer facilities for fintech to drive further growth through innovation.

Nasution affirmed that qualified human resources will facilitate the government in providing supporting facilities for fintech, such as big data and other technological innovation. (ANTARA)

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