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Indonesia paid special attention to increasing trade and investment cooperation with Indonesian non-traditional market countries, and one of them was Argentin and MERCOSUR. This was stated by the Minister of Trade in a meeting with Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trust, Jorge Marcelo Fauire, which took place at the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trust in Buenos Aires on Monday (13/5) local time. "The Indonesian and Argentinian economies are complementary but so far less excavated as with countries in Asia and Europe.

For this reason, talks were held at the ministerial level, as well as following up on the recent visit of the Vice President of Argentina to Jakarta, "explained the Minister of Trade. In the open meeting, the two Ministers agreed to form a small team to assess in time what could be exchanged between Indonesia and Argentina . This small team will identify the challenges in the two-way trade between Indonesia and Argentina, and in parallel examine the feasibility of rolling out the preference shift between Indonesia and MERCOSUR, where Argentina is one of its founders.

The Minister of Trade conveyed that Indonesia is committed to increasing trade cooperation with South American countries. This remembers the increasingly urgent need to diversify the export market amid predictions that both the world economy and international trade will continue to experience weakness this year. "Economic cooperation between Indonesia and Argentina will have important geostrategic values. Indonesia can use Argentina as a regional hub to enter other nearby markets in the Latin American region. Similarly, Argentina can use Indonesia to enter the ASEAN market, the ASEAN FTA partner market, and the RCEP market which is currently still being negotiated, "added Enggar. After meeting with Argentina's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trust, the Minister of Religion held a limited meeting with the President and Vice President of the MERCOSUR-ASEAN Chamber of Commerce which was formed in 2015.

"Indonesia is a mass critical mass’ASEAN which is our focus to increase business activities between MERCOSUR and ASEAN. For this reason, we appreciate the opportunity to have an audience with the Indonesian Minister of Trade today, "said President of the MERCOSUR and ASEAN Chamber of Commerce, Piet Verdult. In this meeting the Minister of Trade emphasized that many efforts were taken sporadically, both by business people and ASEAN Embassies and MERCOSUR in its accreditation area to increase trade and two-way investment. However, in the midst of current world trade challenges, extra work is needed to 'connect all the dots'. Overview of Indonesia-Argentina Trade Relations Argentina is Indonesia's second largest trading partner after Brazil in the South American region.

The total value of trade between Indonesia and Argentina in 2018 was USD 2 billion, an increase of 18 percent compared to 2017. In 2018, Indonesia's main exports to Argentina included natural rubber, combustion piston engines, motorized vehicle parts and accessories, and foot and foot pedals. Meanwhile, Indonesia's main imports from Argentina in 2018 include wheat, soybeans, cotton and steel pipes. As for other products that have the potential to be exported from Indonesia to Argentina, among others are telephone, motorized vehicles, automatic data processing machines, transmission equipment parts, wire, and vacuum or air pump. (press rel)


Indonesian women's badminton player Ghaida Nurul Ghaniyu finish as women's singles runner-up position in the 2019 Badminton Future Series championship in Lima after competing against Cuban player Taymara Oropesa Pupo with a score of 21-19, 14-21 and 27-29 in the final. The match went exciting and thrilling especially in the decisive third set. The two players follow each other in the acquisition of numbers to occur three times deuce.

Ghaida who threw down the resistance of the Peruvian women's singles who became the number 1 seeded player, Daniela Marcias with a score of 21-15 and 21-11 in the semifinal party the day before, conceded to her opponent in the final on Sunday, 12 May 2019. is the number 2 seeded player in the championship held by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

Whereas in the previous three matches Ghaida appeared stunning with a pretty convincing number of points against Maria Delia Zambrano (21-15, 21-17), Fernanda Munar Solimano (21-10, 21-8) and Daniela Macias (21-15, 21 -11). Fernanda and Daniela are both Peruvian badminton while Maria is from Ecuador.

Ghaida, an Indonesian badminton player from Djarum Kudus club who was undergoing training in Montreal, Canada for a period of 2 years was the only Indonesian athlete who competed in this championship and was not ranked as the leading player. But Ghaida managed to look stunning despite failing to win the first place.

Ghaida who at night before the match attended the break fasting and tarawih together at Wisma Indonesia, has shown her determination and effort to win the badminton championship despite having to lose in the final. Besides Ghaida, there was also an Indonesian badminton coach named Yandi Muharam who became the coach of Ecuador's national badminton athletes in the city of Guayaquil who also competed in the badminton championship in Lima. (Source: Indonesian Embassy in Lima)


Tourism Minister Arief Yahya has projected that the tourism sector will contribute US$17.6-18 billion to the national economy, well above foreign exchange earnings from crude palm oil (CPO), which is now the country's largest foreign exchange earner. The number of tourist arrivals in the country is projected to reach 18 million by the end of 2019, he said after swearing in administrative officials, supervisory officials, functional officials and officials of the authority boards at the ministry in Jakarta on Tuesday.

"I informed President Joko Widodo of this figure when he asked me about the tourism projections for this year," he said.

The projection of 18 million tourist arrivals represents a two-fold increase over the past five years, although it falls short of the target of 20 million for this year, he said.

"When I assumed the post of tourism minister in 2015, the number of tourist arrivals was 9 million. The figure increased two-fold to 18 million in the past five years," he said.

The government has projected that foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector will reach US$17.6 billion-US$18 billion this year. The figure surpassed foreign exchange earnings from crude palm oil (CPO), which were listed as the country's largest exchange earner last year. Foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector were equal to those of CPO, when the number of tourist arrivals reached 16.4 million last year, with foreign exchange earnings recorded at US$16.1 billion.

The minister said the ministry will cooperate with tourism stakeholders to carry out four programs to achieve the target of 18 million tourist arrivals. The four programs include border tourism, hot deals, tourism hubs, and LCC Terminal.

"Through the border tourism program, we target (the number of tourist arrivals) to reach 3.4 million. Last year it stood at 18 percent, and is projected to increase to 20 percent of the target ot tourist arrivals this year," he said.

The hot deal program offers huge discounts during low season and is expected to contribute 2 million-2.5 million tourist arrivals.

"Through the hot deal program last year, we managed to sell 700,000 pax, with the largest share of 20 percent coming from Riau Islands," he said.

To implement the tourism hub program, the ministry is cooperating with Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. "This program is a solution for direct flights, which are difficult to find and take a relatively long time," he said. (ant)


The Government has unveiled the Indonesian Islamic Economics Masterplan (MEKSI) 2019-2024, which recommended four strategic steps with the goal of Indonesia becoming a major producer in the global halal industry by 2024.

National Development Planning Minister / Head of National Development Planning Agency Bambang Brodjonegoro, said at a press conference here on Tuesday that Indonesia is currently among the top ten global consumers in the sharia industry.

This is ironic, because Indonesia, which, in fact, is a country with the largest Muslim population in the world, is still a consumer country. However, on the other hand, Indonesia is still struggling to become a producer of halal products.

With the existence of the MEKSI, Indonesia is expected to become a major producer within the global halal industry.

"With this master plan, we hope that Indonesia can become a major player and producer in the global halal industry by 2024," Bambang said.

For this reason, Bambang recommends four strategies, including strengthening the value chain of halal products, with a focus on sectors that are considered potential and highly competitive.

"Especially in potential sectors, such as food and beverages, tourism, fashion, media and recreation, as well as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics," he said.

Furthermore, it is necessary to strengthen the Islamic financial sector with a master plan that was outlined in the previous Indonesian Sharia Financial Architecture (MAKSI) Masterplan and refined into this master plan. Sharia economic development will be prioritized in the retail sector.

In addition, the strengthening of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector is the main driver of the halal product value chain.

The fourth step includes strengthening the field of digital economics, especially trade (e-commerce, market place) and finance (financial technology), to encourage and accelerate the reaching of other strategies.

"Halal products and services will be added to 'e-commerce' (e-commerce). We will work with several 'e-commerce' platforms," he said.

Through this master plan, the government also encourages public awareness, increasing the quantity and quality of human resources, along with strengthening research and development capacity, fatwas, regulations and governance of the halal industry in Indonesia.

"We can change our position from being only consumers to becoming producers. Indonesia is very fortunate," he said.

Bambang continued, noting that the benefit will be reached when Indonesia becomes a producer in the halal industry and improves the current account deficit. So far, imports of halal products have also been the cause of the current account deficit.

"This can also improve the current account deficit. Most consumption is still consumed from abroad, so we need reinforcement on all sides, both from the supply chain and so on," he said. (ANTARA)