11
February

Local climber Reyhan Fadila slipped into a ravine while descending the peak of Mount Marapi near the Abel Monument area in West Sumatra Province though survived following rescue and evacuation by a team of rescuers and mountaineers, Sunday evening.

This 17-year-old climber suffered wounds on his head and body, Coordinator of Limapuluh Kota District's Search and Rescue Agency Post Robi Saputra told ANTARA on being contacted from Bukittinggi, West Sumatra Province, on Monday.

"The evacuation process was conducted until midnight. He has been evacuated to a local Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) office located not that far from the Koto Baru climbing checkpoint," Saputra stated.

Some 25 rescuers, representing the Limapuluh Kota SAR office, Bukittinggi Rescue Team, Indonesian Red Cross, and local community of climbers joined this search and rescue mission, he revealed.

Fadila, who scaled the peak of the 2,891-meter-high mountain along with his friend, will be rushed to the Achmad Muchtar Hospital in Bukittinggi for receiving medical treatment, he added. (ANTARA)

11
February

The Netherlands and Indonesia's wide-ranging relationship is getting stronger as King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will pay a state visit between March 10 and 13, when both nations will cement their cooperation in various fields. The royal couple's state visit was at the invitation of President Joko Widodo, the Dutch Embassy in Jakarta revealed in a press statement that was made available to ANTARA Monday.

The visit that affirms the close and wide-ranging relationship of the two countries will be geared towards cooperation and focused on the economy, nature conservation, culture, science, and many areas of shared history between the two nations.

During their four-day state visit, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima would be joined by Foreign Minister Stef Blok and four other ministers who would head a broad parallel trade mission.

The other ministers are Foreign Trade and Development Minister Sigrid Kaag, Infrastructure and Water Management Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Medical Care and Sports Minister Bruno Bruins, and Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Minister Carola Schouten.

The four ministers would head a broad parallel trade mission to Indonesia to capitalise on the potential for economic partnership in the areas of agriculture, healthcare, coastal protection and the maritime industry, and circular economy.

Day 1 of the state visit, begins with a visit to the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in Jakarta to honor the dead, especially those who fell during the Indonesian War of Independence (1945-1949).

Later, the King and Queen would head to Bogor, West Java, to attend an official welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace where President Joko Widodo and First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo would receive them.

This will be followed by a meeting of the Indonesian and Dutch delegations. Thereafter, President Widodo will host a lunch, preceded by a joint press statement.

In the afternoon, the King and Queen would continue their program by laying a wreath at Menteng Pulo Cemetery, the resting place of almost 4,300 Dutch soldiers who died during the Second World War and the Indonesian War of Independence.

They will then continue on to the Pipiltin Cocoa chocolate factory, which works with farmers from various regions in Indonesia. The farmers are trained in sustainable cocoa production methods and ways of improving the quality of their products.

In the evening, the royal couple will meet the members of the trade mission and will be present at the signing of various partnership agreements between Indonesian and Dutch businesses.

Later, they will visit a photo exhibition at the Erasmus Huis entitled "Innovation", part of a competition for young Indonesian photographers. The day will end with a reception for the Dutch community.

On Day 2, March 11, the royal couple would kick off the day by taking part in a discussion about the opportunities and challenges for Dutch businesses in Indonesia.

The delegation will then travel to Yogyakarta where they will be received by the Sultan of Yogyakarta in his palace Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat. After lunch at the palace, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will visit the 'connected Kampong'.

The so-called 'connected Kampong' is a neighborhood of the city where internet connections have enabled residents to collectively improve their living conditions and quality of life.

During their brief stay in Yogyakarta, the King and Queen are also scheduled to visit the University of Gadjah Mada (UGM) to strengthen collaboration between the Netherlands and Indonesia in scientific and academic fields.

The King and Queen will talk to students about the innovative academy, which promotes creative partnership in setting up digital startups.

In the evening, they will visit the temple complex of Prambanan, the largest Hindu Javanese temple complex in Indonesia, during which they would meet with religious leaders and listen to their efforts in promoting religious tolerance.

Thereafter, they will be given a tour of the temple complex, and attend part of a traditional Ramayana performance and a concert by the modern music group Rubah Di Selatan.

On Day 3, Thursday, March 12, the royal couple will depart for Central Kalimantan where they would focus their attention on nature conservation. During the visit, they would visit a research center in Sebangau National Park.

During their visit to the research centre, situated in the middle of a peat swamp forest, they would be given a tour of projects relating to water management and reforestation.

"These projects contribute to the preservation of the habitat of orangutans. After the tour the couple will speak to former loggers who are now involved in the sustainable management of the park," the Dutch Embassy in Jakarta revealed.

On Thursday afternoon, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will visit the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rescue Centre where over 316 orphaned and displaced baby orangutans are looked after.

At the 'Forest School', the young orangutans are taught how to survive in the wild. Afterwards, the King and Queen will visit a Dayak model farm and talk to farmers about making the palm oil supply chain more sustainable.

"They will also speak with representatives of businesses. The day will close with a visit to a training session arranged by Pledge United, an experiential football programme designed to help Indonesian boys speak out against gender-based violence."

On Day 4, the final day of their state visit, on March 13, the royal couple will travel to Lake Toba in North Sumatra Province where the focus will be on ecotourism and water quality.

They will visit a traditional Batak village where they will hear about the history of the region and future developments. President Widodo has designated Lake Toba as a new location for sustainable tourism.

The King and Queen will then visit the Del Institute of Technology to learn about the development of sustainable tourism. The institute is committed to combating overfishing and the discharge of wastewater, in order to improve Lake Toba’s water quality.

Later, they will travel by boat to Samosir Island in the middle of the lake, where they will visit Silima Lombu ecovillage, built to show the local community the potential of sustainable tourism and small-scale organic farming.

The Dutch King and Queen's upcoming state visit is believed to strengthen the relationship between the Netherlands and Indonesia ahead of the 75th anniversary of the latter's independence on August 17, 2020.

In terms of bilateral trade and investment, the Netherlands is important for Indonesia, considering the fact that it is the fifth-largest investor and a trading partner that has made Indonesia enjoy a surplus of trade.

This was revealed by the Dutch Ambassador to Indonesia, Lambert Grijns when he received eight Indonesian journalists who will visit the Netherlands from February 15 to 21, Indonesia's surplus of trade was recorded at EUR1,806 million (2019).

At the same time, with a total investment of US$2.6 billion, the Netherlands is also noted as the fifth biggest investor in Indonesia. It is behind Singapore ($6.5 billion), China ($4.7 billion), Japan ($4.3 billion), and Hong Kong ($2.9 billion).

In the tourism sector, the contribution of Dutch tourists to Indonesia's foreign tourist arrivals cannot also be regarded as "minor" because, last year alone, the Indonesian Embassy in Den Haag noted that there were at least 202,116 Dutch travelers who visited Indonesia.

During their 17.52-day length of stay in 2019, the Dutch tourists averagely spent around US$1,866.

Considering the shared history and stable relationship between the Netherlands and Indonesia, they will have more promising relations in the future. And in that context, the Dutch King and Queen's state visit in March needs to be welcomed warmly. (ANTARA)

11
February

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has invited Australia to cooperate in developing renewable energy and work hand-in-hand in conserving the environment. "We must work hand-in-hand to conserve nature, implement sustainable development, reforestation (barren land) and the upper reaches of rivers, prevent land and forest fires, commit ourselves to reduce carbon emissions, and develop renewable energy and other green technology," he said at the Australian Parliament building in Canberra Monday.

For 16 minutes, Jokowi delivered his address in the Indonesian language before the two camps of the Australian Parliament, namely the coalition of the Liberal Party and the coalition of the Labor Party.

Earlier, chief of the Liberal Party concurrently Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and chief of the Australian Labor Party, Anthony Albanese, also delivered their addresses on Indonesia and President Jokowi's profile.

Jokowi is the 12th head of state in Australian history to speak before parliament and the first head of state to speak this year.

"On February 2, one platoon of engineers from TNI (the Indonesian military) and personnel from the National Disaster Mitigation Board (BNPB) left Indonesia for New South Wales. They worked hand-in-hand with the Australian people to handle forest fires in Australia while at the same time an Indonesia-Australia team discussed a cooperation agreement to modify the weather," he said.

Indonesia's plan to develop a new capital city is also part of this commitment, he said.

"That is a smart city, smart metropolitan, green technology harmonious with the environment and a part of innovation, knowledge and technology-based economic transformation efforts," he said.

The President also expected Indonesia and Australia to serve as anchors for development partners in the Pacific region.

"Indonesia is aware of development challenges in the Pacific region as a fellow maritime state. The challenges faced by Indonesia are not very different from those faced by Pacific countries," he said.

Climate change, natural disasters and equal distribution of social, educational, medical gains, as well as human resource development, are the real challenges facing Pacific countries, he noted

"Indonesia and Australia should become genuine friends for Pacific countries. They should collaborate as development partners, mitigate the impact of climate change, lower the poverty rate and the social gap, and create new economic growth centers in the Pacific region," Jokowi said. (ANTARA)

11
February

The Indonesian rupiah weakened against the United States (U.S.) dollar in the Jakarta interbank market Monday evening despite the country's improving current account deficit in 2019. The rupiah fell 37 points, or 0.27 percent, to close at Rp13,712 against the dollar compared to the previous close of Rp13,675.

"Despite the positive domestic economic data and Bank Indonesia's intervention, they are still unable to strengthen the rupiah," Director of PT TRFX Garuda Berjangka Ibrahim Assuaibi said in Jakarta Monday.

Indonesia's balance of payment in the fourth quarter of 2019 saw a surplus of US$4.3 billion after suffering a deficit of $45 million in the previous quarter.

Throughout 2019, the balance of payment recorded a surplus of $4.7 billion compared to a deficit of $7.1 billion a year earlier, fueled by an improving current account deficit and a significant rise in the surplus of capital and financial accounts.

The 2019 current account deficit was recorded at $30.4 billion or 2.72 percent of the national gross domestic product compared to 2.94 percent of the GDP in the previous year.

Meanwhile, the surplus of capital and financial accounts rose significantly to $36.3 billion in 2019 from $25.2 billion in 2018.

The other sentiment is the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak which reached 910. The World Health Organization (WHO) expressed concern about the spread of the coronavirus that has claimed the lives of nearly one thousand people.

"These two factors weakened the rupiah, coupled with the strengthening U.S. non-farm employment change," Binaartha Sekuritas analyst M Nafan Aji Gusta said. (ANTARA)

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