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 Indonesia's Research, Technology, and Higher Education Ministry is collaborating with the UK Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy through the Newton Fund-funded three studies in the field of hydrometeorology for the 2019-2021 period.

"There are three elected proposals jointly funded, with a total fund of Rp31 billion over a period of three years," Minister of Research, Technology, and Higher Education Mohamad Nasir stated at the launching of the research cooperation here on Thursday.

The three studies were selected from 23 research proposals assessed by the Indonesian and British parties. The selection process for research is conducted in an open, transparent, and competitive manner.

Nasir remarked that under the research collaboration, Indonesian and British scientists will collaborate in high-standard research that aims to produce a breakthrough in the field of disaster intervention, especially in understanding the impacts of land- and water-related disasters.

Results of the collaboration will increase Indonesia`s resilience and readiness to deal with climate change, including through effective disaster policy and communication interventions.

Of the three selected research projects, the first is a research titled "Mitigating hydro meteorological hazard impacts through trans-boundary river management in the Ciliwung River basin."

The research is aimed at improving the management of the Ciliwung river body and public awareness of the threat of flooding. The main researcher from Indonesia is Harkunti Rahayu from the Bandung Institute of Technology, while Richard Haigh from the University of Huddersfield is the main researcher from England.

The second research, titled "Java Flood One," aims to improve medium-term flood forecasts in several cities in Java, including Jakarta, Bandung, and Surakarta. The main researcher from Indonesia is Agus Mochamad Ramdhan from the Bandung Institute of Technology and Simon Mathias from Durham University is the main researcher from England.

The third research, titled "Extreme rainfall and its effects on flood risk in Indonesia," aims to identify the main causes of flooding in Indonesia and the main strategies that can mitigate disaster risk. Suroso from Jenderal Sudirman University is Indonesia`s main researcher, while Chris Kilsby from Newcastle University is the main researcher from England.

Meanwhile, British Ambassador to Indonesia, ASEAN, and Timor Leste Moazzam Malik stated that international collaboration and funding commitments will have a significant social and economic impact.

Newton Fund, in partnership with the Ministry of Research and Technology, is committed to funding international-scale collaborative research that can contribute positively, both socially and economically.

He remarked that the United Kingdom had contributed 87 percent of the total funding of Rp31 billion to fund the three researches. (ant) 


Indonesia and European Union (EU) held the 9th meeting of the Working Group on Trade and Investment (WGTI) in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss the latest issues in the fields of trade and investment.

"At the WGTI meeting, we discussed a wide range of technical issues related to the implementation of policies that need special attention from both sides to encourage smooth business and investment," Director General of Trade Negotiations at the Trade Ministry Imam Pambagyo noted in a written statement released on Thursday.

Although not all the issues could be resolved, the two sides were at least able to exchange information to find a common solution, he affirmed.

Pambagyo, who led the Indonesian delegation to the meeting, expressed hope that the forum would support the ongoing negotiations on the Indonesia-European Union Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (I-EU CEPA). One of the issues that Indonesia raised at the meeting was its palm oil`s access to the EU market, he remarked.

The EU parliament`s decision to stop the contribution of palm oil-based biofuel in the update of the renewable energy directive (RED Recast) has raised serious concern among and sparked strong reaction from stakeholders in Indonesia. On the occasion, the Indonesian delegation also raised the issue of sanitation and phytosanitary standards that the EU had imposed on various import commodities, such as tea and cocoa. Indonesia and the EU also discussed a proposed policy on the mechanism of selecting investment in EU member states.

Meanwhile, the EU raised several issues related to trade and investment policies in Indonesia, such as domestic regulation related to permits to import horticulture and husbandry products, the negative list of investment, and the Indonesian National Standard (SNI).

Trade between Indonesia and the EU reached US$28.9 billion. Over the past five years, Indonesia enjoyed a surplus in its trade with EU. Meanwhile, EU's investment reached $3.2 billion. (ant) 


President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has clarified his statement on Russian propaganda, saying that he did not refer to Russia as a country.

"Yes, we did not talk about a country, yes," President Jokowi said here, Tuesday evening.

The terminology of Russian propaganda was mentioned in an article issued by Rand Corporation, a US political consultant institute, in 2016, he said. The Russian propaganda means a technique of firehose of falsehood, according to Rand Corporation. A firehose of falsehood, lies and hoaxes could affect and create uncertainty, Jokowi said.

The President said the bilateral relations between Indonesia and Russia are very sound.

"I and President Putin have very very good relations," Jokowi said.

Meanwhile, the Russian Embassy in Jakarta has stressed that Russia does not intervene in the Indonesian presidential election. The embassy was responding to a statement by Jokowi in Solo, Central Java, on Sunday that the one using a foreign consultant in politics tended to not think of the impact on the people, one of them being through the theory of Russian propaganda.

On its official twitter account @RusEmbJakarta on Monday, the embassy said the term "Russian propaganda" was engineered in the United States in 2016 within the framework of the presidential election campaign. According to the Russian government, the term was by no means based on reality.

"We underline that the principal position of Russia is to not intervene in the internal affairs and electoral processes of other countries, including Indonesia, which is our close friend and important partner. -- Russian Embassy, IDN (@RusEmbJakarta) February 4, 2019," the Russian embassy tweeted.

Airlangga Hartarto, chairman of the Golkar Party, later clarified that incumbent presidential candidate Jokowi did not accuse Russia of meddling in the Indonesian presidential election.

"The statement`s context is not inter-countries," Hartarto stated here, Monday evening (Feb 4).

He added that one country indeed should not meddle in the political process of another nation. (ant)


Indonesia is optimistic that it will be able to attract more investment this year despite the implementation of simultaneous legislative and presidential elections to be held on April 17, 2019. Based on observation over the past 15 years, the government has found out that investment usually slows down before elections.

Thomas Trikasih Lembong, head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), has expressed optimism that investment would rebound after the April elections, owing to high market expectation on stability and continuity.

"It will rebound. (The 2019) election will be held on April 17, and we still have 7.5 months after the voting day for the investment sector to recover from the pre-election slowdown," Lembong said during a discussion with foreign investors.

The agency has set a target of investment at Rp792.3 trillion (US$56 billion) in 2019, higher than Rp721.3 trillion ($51 billion) in 2018. The target has covered 55 percent of foreign investment and 45 percent of domestic investment. In 2018, the realization of investment in Indonesia reached Rp712.3 trillion, accounting for 94.3 percent of the target of Rp765 trillion in the medium-term national development plan.

"In the fiscal year 2018, we failed to achieve the target, because the investment only reached 94.3 percent of the target," Lembong stated on Jan 30, 2019.

Compared to the previous year, the investment in 2018 rose 4.1 percent, with domestic investment amounting to Rp328.6 trillion and foreign investment amounting to Rp392.7 trillion. The investment mostly went to West Java, Jakarta, Central Java, Banten, and East Java. The domestic investment represented a 25.3 percent increase compared to the previous year. However, the foreign investment in 2018 fell 8.8 percent compared to a year earlier.

The five largest foreign investors in Indonesia are Singapore ($9.2 billion, 31.4 percent); Japan ($4.9 billion, 16.7 percent); China ($2.4 billion, 8.2 percent); Hong Kong ($2.0 billion, 6.8 percent); and Malaysia ($1.8 billion, 6.2 percent).

In the fourth quarter of 2018, the realization of investment contributed Rp185.9 trillion, or 25.8 percent of the overall investment throughout 2018.

In the October-December 2018 quarter, the realization of domestic investment reached Rp86.9 trillion, up 28.6 percent of Rp67.6 trillion in the same period of 2017, and the realization of foreign investment totaled Rp99.0 trillion, down 11.6 percent from Rp112 trillion in the same period the year before.

BKPM acting deputy for investment control Farah Ratnadewi Indriani stated that the realization of investment in the fourth quarter of 2018 created 255,239 jobs. Cumulatively, the number of jobs created last year reached 960,052.

The agency issued 1,239 business registration numbers (NIB) per day during the period of January 2-11, 2019.

The numbers were issued by the agency`s new unit called Online Single Submission (OSS) service, which has been in operation since early January.

An average of 1,239 business registration numbers were issued daily during the period, with a total of 8,895 NIB of domestic investment, 541 NIB of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), and 486 NIB of foreign investment.

The numbers was issued by the agency`s new unit called Online Single Submission (OSS) service, which has been in operation since early January this year.

Initially, the OSS service came under the coordinating minister for economic affairs since July 2018, but the BKPM took over the task on January 2, 2019.

Meanwhile, investments in the manufacture industry in 2018 reached Rp222.3 trillion. The largest domestic investment was recorded by the food industry at Rp39.1 trillion, followed by the chemical and pharmaceutical industry at Rp13.3 trillion.

The largest foreign investment went to the basic metal, metal and non-machinery industry at $2.2 billion, followed by the chemical and pharmaceutical industry ($1.9 billion), and the food industry ($1.3 billion).

Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto shared his optimism over increasing investments in the manufacturing industry in 2019, as some international industries have expressed their commitment to invest in the country.

"Some investors who already operate in Indonesia have expressed their wish to expand (their business). This was one outcome of our recent meeting during the World Economic Forum in Davos," Hartarto said in a statement recently.

Meanwhile, Indonesia`s International Investment Position (IIP) was relatively stable in the third quarter of 2018.

Indonesia`s IIP at the end of the third quarter of 2018 recorded a net liability of $297.0 billion, or 28.5 percent of the gross domestic product, relatively unchanged from that at the end of the previous quarter, according to a statement from BI here recently.

Investors` confidence has shown that Indonesia is still considered a potential country for manufacturing and production for both the domestic and export markets. (ant)