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04
January

The trade value of Indonesia and Cuba increased by more than 870 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year. The Indonesian Embassy in Havana, through a press release in Jakarta, Thursday (31/12), stated that the total trade between Indonesia and Cuba in 2020 reached US $ 54.9 million. This is a sharp increase compared to 2019 which only reached US $ 6.3 million. This increase was supported by the export of several Indonesian products to Cuba, including margarine, textiles, shoes, paper, soap and tires.

Indonesian Ambassador to Cuba, Nana Yuliana said that the opportunity for Indonesia to send more goods to Cuba was still wide open, given the high demand and need from local people. Therefore, Indonesia and Cuba are expected to enhance bilateral relations in a more strategic direction in 2021. For that matter, bilateral relations of both countries in the fields of medicine, education, economy, trade and sports will continue to be strengthened.

Indonesia also hopes that the relationship between Cuba and the United States can improve so that the Cuban economy can develop and there are many opportunities for open economic and trade cooperation. According to Ambassador Nana, the election of Joe Biden as president of the United States gave hope to US-Cuba relations so that the Cuban economy would become better and more open, which could provide an opportunity for Indonesia to enter the Cuban market. The Indonesian Embassy emphasized that Indonesia is always consistent in encouraging countries to lift sanctions and economic blockades against Cuba in international forums. She also conveyed some of her hopes regarding strengthening relations between Indonesia and Cuba in 2021.

On one hand, both countries are expected to  immediately finish discussing the diplomatic and service visa-free agreement, and encouraging cooperation in the field of biotechnology, especially in dealing with the threat of a health crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

On the other hand, there is a need to promote Indonesia more intensely through a people-to-people contact approach by creating an Indonesia digital corner on Cuban campuses for millennial groups in addition to sports cooperation between Indonesia and Cuba.

23
December

Indonesian President Joko Widodo inaugurated the first operation of Patimban Seaport in Subang, West Java. He joined the inauguration virtually from the Bogor Palace, West Java on Sunday (20/12). In his remarks, he hopes that the Patimban Seaport will strengthen Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta that has been crowded and causing traffic jams across Bekasi-Jakarta road.

President further remarked that the Patimban Seaport has strategic location between Kertajati Airport and the industrial complexes in Bekasi, Karawang, and Purwakarta. He believes that Patimban Seaport will be the key inter-regional link and support export acceleration.

Meanwhile, the West Java Provincial Government hopes that the first stage operational of Patimban Seaport will be the pioneer of Patimban city of seaport and industry. That was stated by Governor of West Java,  Ridwan Kamil in his remark at the Patimban Seaport inauguration. He further said that Patimban will be developed into a maritime city. Patimban will also be the pioneer of the Rebana metropolitan area which consists of 13 new industrial cities. The Rebana Triangle consists of Subang, Cirebon, and Majalengka. The maritime industrial city development is predicted to take 30 years until the city is perfectly built. This prediction was based on the success of the Bekasi industrial area.

Governor Ridwan also predicted if the Rebana metropolitan area is successful, there would be 4.3 million jobs in the next 15 years. This area is then expected to contribute economic growth upto 4 percent for West Java.

In the inauguration of Patimban Seaport, President Joko Widodo also witnessed virtually the inaugural export which marked the first operation of Patimban International Seaport in Subang, West Java. It was an export of 140 vehicle units of various brands such as Toyota, Daihatsu, and Suzuki which were carried by MV Suzuka Express bound to Brunei Darussalam. 

On the occasion, the president said that for automotive products, the Patimban Seaport has a great export capacity. However, he also reminded that the Patimban Seaport must also support the export of other products that move the economy. It includes the products of micro small medium enterprises, agriculture, creative industries, and others. This aims to make these products compete in the global market.

16
December

Indonesian state-owned train manufacturer -PT INKA exported the first three locomotives and 15 train cars to the Phillipine National Railways (PNR) in the Philippines. President Director of PT INKA, Budi Noviantoro when releasing PNR's order at Jamrud Utara Seaport, Surabaya. East Java on Saturday (12/12) said that PT INKA has sent train products to the Philippines, but this is the first export of locomotive products.

This shipment is the follow-up of a procurement contract worth US$26 million signed on May 28 2018 by PNR General Manager, Junn B Magno and President Director Budi Noviantoro in Manila, the Philippines.

Budi Noviantoro further said that the shipment also followed the previous export of two diesel multiple unit train sets worth US$9.7 million in December 2019. In February 2020, PT INKA also exported four DMU train sets worth US$21.4 million.

According to Budi Noviantoro, the locomotive export to the Philippines this time was an implementation of the BUMN (State-owned Enterprises) Go Global program. It also proves the existence of PT INKA through train product export and the continuity of Indonesain-owned companies amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Director General for Metal, Machinery, Transportation, and Electronics Industry at the Industry Ministry, Taufiek Bawazier encouraged PT INKA to further strengthen its innovation, from digitalization to artificial intelligence. Therefore, PT INKA can compete with other railway industries abroad, especially in ASEAN. Indonesia will be a new power, especially in ASEAN.

Taufiek Bawazier also reminded there are some market segments still open and penetrable by PT INKA's products, such as in Africa and Central Asia, or other difficult markets. According to him, to answer this challenge, it requires manpower. This means that the prepared human resources must be trained in producing PT INKA's products in the future.

03
December

Ahead of the U-20 World Cup Championship, a green belt was built around the Surabaya Landfields                                                                                                   Radar Surabaya

 

 

 

 

The Surabaya City Government builds a green belt around the Benowo landfills, Surabaya City, East Java, which is adjacent to the Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium, ahead of the organizing of U-20 World Cup Championship in 2021. Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini in Surabaya, Friday (Nov 27) said the construction of a green belt, which is a form of the buffer zone at Benowo landfills, has started with tree planting since a few months ago. He asked the ranks of the Surabaya Cleanliness and Green Open Space Agency to plant protective plants such as tamarind tree, flamboyant, Japanese palm, and silver palm which average height of 2.5 meters. The goal is to cover the sight of pile of garbage at Benowo landfills.

Meanwhile, the Acting Head of Surabaya Cleanliness and Green Open Space Agency, Anna Fajriatin, said that along the road that was recently built by the Public Works Office of Bina Marga and Pematusan, Ketapang Kencana trees and several other trees have been planted. The tree planting has been started since several months ago with the total around 300 trees.

It is hoped that at the U-20 World Cup Champonships, Benowo landfills will turn into a garden with various colorful flowers. Anna said a jogging track will also be built around the Benowo landfills, so that residents can also do exercise with bicycle in the area. Therefore, to complete planting in the area, she ensures that every day there is a special team who carries out planting as well as taking care of the trees and plants, because the area is very large and the planting program continues.

30
November

The Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment develops the maritime sector in collaboration with Denmark through the Second Bilateral Maritime Forum between the Republic of Indonesia and the Kingdom of Denmark. Expert Staff for Maritime Law at the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Okto Irianto in a press release on Saturday (28/11) said that this forum was a follow-up and evaluation of the first Bilateral Forum and the signing of a cooperation agreement in the maritime sector between the two countries on September 7 2018.

He explained that amid the Covid-19 Pandemic situation, there are so many challenges in the oceans that are threats to Indonesia and Denmark. Environmental problems such as pollution and marine debris, illegal activities such as smuggling of illegal drugs, weapons, and also rare animals are challenges that must be faced.

On the one hand, these challenges can provide opportunities for both countries to balance the socio-economic life of the community with the preservation of ecosystems in the maritime sector through various innovations. According to Okto Irianto, the forum is two-way nature, where Indonesia and Denmark have the opportunity to discuss various topics in turn. Indonesia discussed Sustainable Marine Development and the handling of the Covid-19, while Denmark discussed the delivery of environmentally friendly goods and environmental issues, as well as the digitization of the maritime sector. Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority, Andreas Nordseth said that this meeting was a good opportunity for the two countries to exchange experiences that they have had, especially from the maritime sector.

Meanwhile, Danish Ambassador to Indonesia, Lars Bo Larsen emphasized that there are three important issues that can be jointly guarded by Indonesia and Denmark. Both countries can oversee and encourage the real implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning which includes capacity building and certification related to these issues, Green Shipping which can help improve joint maritime sector management, and Marine Debris Management to develop related regulations regarding waste management.

27
November

Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged that job creation and increasing household consumption through the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have to receive special attention in the National Economic Recovery program. This was conveyed by President Joko Widodo when opening the Limited Meeting of the Committee for Handling Covid-19 and National Economic Recovery, at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta Monday (Nov23).

President Joko Widodo also said, budget realization of several programs has been implemented well, such as for salary subsidies has reached 82 percent, productive social assistance of president for providing capital to micro businesses has reached 79 percent. Nevertheless, the government encouraged that the realization of the budget continues to be increased so that it can help improving people's purchasing power. Previously, President Joko Widodo also stated that in the third quarter of 2020, the Indonesian economy had begun to recover and rise.

The President quoted data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) that the national economic growth in the third quarter grew minus 3.49 percent (year on year). This means that economic growth has increased by 1.83 percent in the third quarter compared to the second quarter. Nevertheless, President Joko Widoodo asked the ministers not to be satisfied with these positive symptoms.

The government still has to work hard to create jobs and increase the development of MSMEs on a large scale in order to be able to compete in the global market. On the other hand, the President wants a strategy to regulate balance between handling health and economic recovery. President Joko Widodo also assessed that the results of the efforts so far have begun to appear, especially in controlling COVID-19 and economic recovery. As of November 22, 2020, the average active case of COVID-19 throughout Indonesia was 12.78 percent. This figure is lower than the world average of active cases, which is 28.41 percent.

24
November

Indonesia Urges the UN Security Council to Stop Violence in Afghanistan - FOCUS                                                                                                                               KEMLU

Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi attended the UN Security Council (DK) Arria Formula meeting regarding the Peace Process in Afghanistan, which was held virtually on Friday (20/11). The meeting was co-hosted by members of the Estonian Security Council, Germany and Indonesia along with the Afghan co-sponsors: Finland, Norway and Qatar.


The Aria Formula summit with the topic "What can the Security Council do to support the peace process in Afghanistan?" led by the Estonian Foreign Minister, Urmas Reinsalu and attended by President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani and Afghan Foreign Minister, Mohammad Haneef Atmar and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani and Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto. The meeting was also attended by a number of briefers, including the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons; member of the Afghan negotiation team, Fatima Gailani; and Asia Director of the International Crisis Group, Laurel Miller.


As quoted on the page Kemlu.go.id (20/11), Minister Retno emphasized the importance of the peace process in Afghanistan and put the people of Afghanistan at the center. According to Minister Retno, UN member countries must act immediately and cannot wait anymore. She also explained that violence in Afghanistan must be stopped because it will only erode efforts for peace and trust among the Afghan people. She also remarked that the violence in Afghanistan continues and the casualties have reached more than 6,000 people this year.


To realize this goal, Minister Retno Marsudi emphasized three important points: First, violence must be stopped immediately, because it threatens the peace process and erodes the trust of the Afghan people. Second, the international community must increase its contribution in helping the peace process in Afghanistan. Increased international assistance is needed to create a more conducive situation on the ground, increase the capacity of the Government, and at the same time sustain the economy of the Afghan people. Third, the synergy among various UN agencies needs to be strengthened to be able to further assist the peace process in Afghanistan.


Minister Retno Marsudi also pointed out that this synergy is important not only to create a conducive situation on the ground, but also to better protect vulnerable groups, including women's empowerment. All levels of society must be involved in the process of reconciliation and country development. In addition, she reiterated Indonesia's commitment to keep supporting Afghanistan, until the peace that the people of Afghanistan have longed for.


Meanwhile, President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani expressed his appreciation to the UN Security Council for its continued support for Afghanistan. Thereby, the UN Security Council is considered to have a major role in encouraging a ceasefire, implementing sanctions, supporting efforts to fight terrorists, including funding, and supporting regional connectivity efforts.


The countries participating in the meeting expressed support for an inclusive peace process in Afghanistan and condemned the ongoing violence. A number of countries also expressed their appreciation for the roles of Indonesia and Germany so far as countries on the agenda of discussing Afghanistan at the UN Security Council. The UN Security Council Formula Arria meeting aims to identify efforts that can be made by the UN Security Council and the international community to support the Afghan peace negotiations and ensure stability and peace in Afghanistan. In this Arria Formula meeting, Indonesia is one of the co-sponsors of the joint meeting with Afghanistan, Estonia, Germany, Finland, Norway and Qatar.

23
November

Indonesia will continue to fight discrimination against its palm oil by the European Union. Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi emphasized this in her speech at the virtual Jakarta Food Security Summit-5, Thursday (19/11). According to her, this discriminatory act is against the principles of partnership and collaboration promoted by Indonesia. She ensured that this problem would be faced firmly by Indonesia.

Palm oil is a leading commodity that forms the backbone of Indonesia's economy. The export value reached 23 billion US dollars last year. Retno Marsudi said, a few days ago she  had communicated with the European Commission's High Representative-Vice President Josep Borrell to discuss the importance of increasing partnerships with each other and resolving the issue of discrimination in Indonesian oil palm. During the talk, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi conveyed the importance of a stronger partnership and resolving the issue of discrimination against Indonesian palm oil. She  ensured that Indonesia will always communicate openly with the European Union to resolve the oil palm issue. What Indonesia wants is only one, namely fair treatment of Indonesian palm oil. According to Retno Marsudi Indonesia wants to have a stronger partnership with the European Union, which has been a natural partner for a long time, because the two parties shared the same views on many issues.

Apart from palm oil, Retno Marsudi also ensured that she would continue to oversee various leading Indonesian commodities that experienced injustice in the global market, such as coffee, tea and rubber. She  emphasized that Indonesian diplomacy does not want to remain silent and will continue to stand tall and defend national interests.

20
November

Indonesian Minister of Trade Agus Suparmanto officially closed the 35th Trade Expo Indonesia Virtual Exhibition (TEI-VE) in Jakarta, Monday (Nov16). Until the last day of its implementation, this year's TEI-VE has recorded a total transaction value of 678.1 million US dollars. Minister Agus expressed his gratitude and high appreciation to all parties who participated and supported this activity.

This year's Trade Expo Indonesia Virtual Exhibition managed to record a temporary transaction value of US $ 678.1 million, covering trade in goods, investment and services. This value will continue to increase, considering that there are several transactions still in the negotiation stage until the closing of the product exhibition on December 10, 2020. The Minister said, in this TEI-VE, the countries with the highest trade transactions in goods are Japan, Egypt, Australia, Malaysia, and Netherlands. While the products with the largest transaction value are paper, coffee, vehicles and vehicle components, strategic industrial products, and spices. Until the last day, the 35th TEI-VE had been visited by 7,156 people from 127 countries. The largest number of visitors came from India, followed by Pakistan and the United States.

Minister Agus Suparmanto explained that various other activities were also carried out in this 35th TEI-VE. These activities include the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Director General of National Export Development with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Trade Tourism and Investment Forum, the launch of the IDN Store platform, business forums, business outreach activities, and virtual business meetings between the Indonesian Migrant Workers Protection Agency and buyers from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

The Minister also expressed his appreciation to foreign trade representatives who were actively promoting the 35th TEI-VE by holding various activities such as socializing the TEI-VE in countries respectively, assisting buyers in finding Indonesian products, opening a help desk, and holding business gatherings. Synergy, coordination, and collaboration between the government and business actors in increasing national exports will continue to be improved in the future. Therefore, export performance will continue to increase and contribute to driving the wheels of the national economy.

17
November

Adaptation and International Cooperation are Key in Efforts to Resolve Transnational Crime - focus                                                                                         ctoc

 

 

 

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Retno Marsudi said that amid the Covid-19 pandemic, organized crime continues to occur, even in the health aspect, such as drug counterfeiting and cyber-attacks on vital health infrastructure. This was expressed by Minister Retno Marsudi in her speech at the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). The commemoration was held virtually from the UN Headquarters in New York on Friday (13/11). The website of the Ministry of Foreign, kemlu.go.id reported that this commemoration was also attended by UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, President of the UN General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir and UNODC Executive Director, Ghada Waly.


Minister Retno Marsudi also said that to face the challenge of transnational organized crime, she emphasized that the first thing to understand is that the characteristics of transnational organized crime tend to differ from one country to another country. So, the approach taken must be situational. The second point is the importance of building and maintaining cooperation among countries globally. According to Minister Retno, no country can solve this problem alone, both before and amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 
Minister Retno also specifically touched on the issue of Rohingya refugees as a form of organized human smuggling and trafficking in the region. Currently, Indonesia is hosting more than 900 people who have been victims of human trafficking and stranded on the high seas. Indonesia re-emphasizes the importance of solving the Rohingya problem from the root of the problem through voluntary, safe and dignified repatriation. She also said that for Indonesia, Myanmar is the home of the Rohingya refugees.


The third point is that the approach and solution taken must continue to adapt according to the characteristics of the crime. In this regard, Minister Retno reiterated the importance of continuous adaptation so that UNTOC remains always relevant in overcoming organized transnational crime both now and in the future.

 

The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) was adopted in Palermo, Italy in 2000. The convention is the main international legal instrument regulating the problem of combating trafficking in persons, people smuggling and the illicit trade in firearms. Indonesia has been a party to the Convention since 2009. Indonesia was chosen to be one of the joint sponsors of Italy and Morocco at the 20th anniversary of the adoption of UNTOC which was initiated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The offer as the only sponsor from Asia shows international recognition for Indonesia's major role and leadership in the effort to combat transnational organized crime.

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