Finance Minister Sri Mulyani stated that the exchange rate movement and Indonesia Crude Price (ICP) in the early period of the year have caused a change in the energy subsidy in the 2018 budget. She explained that although it has a positive effect on the budget, the exchange rate movement and the ICP must be mitigated, so that it would not risk inflation and financial balance of business entities.

"The movement, in terms of budget, has provided a good impact on the revenue side, but on the other hand, it has affected the economic prices of the subsidized diesel fuel and electricity that use a coal mixture energy source, she noted at a press conference on the realization of the 2018 budget in Jakarta on Monday ( 12/ 3 ).

She remarked that mitigation could be done through maintaining people`s buying power by not increasing the price of subsidized goods to targeted people, increasing subsidy for diesel fuel from the current price of Rp500 per liter to Rp1 thousand to reduce the burden in the financial balance of state-owned oil company PT Pertamina.

"We are taking efforts to maintain the price, so that the world oil price will not affect the subsidized domestic price. We will also increase diesel fuel subsidy, so that Pertamina will not be burdened," she added.

Sri Mulyani has projected an increase in the subsidy for diesel fuel by around Rp4.1 trillion, from Rp500 to Rp1 thousand. She revealed that the government would also conduct capping on the selling domestic market obligation (DMO) price of coal to state-owned power company PT PLN at US$70 per ton from the current market price of $100.69 per ton.

"We will also anticipate additional electricity subsidy of 450VA for one million additional household customers, currently recorded at 23.1 million in the budget, to increase it to 24.1 million customers," she explained.

Sri Mulyani confirmed that there would be no hike in the subsidized price of 3-kilogram LPG canister of up to 6.45 billion kilograms, at Rp7,008 per kilogram, and regular oil fuel.  She noted that the change in the subsidy spending would not affect budget deficit in 2018, which has been set at the safe limit of 2.19 percent against the gross domestic product.

The government has earlier confirmed that there would be potential depreciation of the rupiah exchange rate and fuel oil price in the macro assumptions set in the 2018 budget. The rupiah exchange rate, which is projected at Rp13.4 thousand against the US dollar, is predicted to be realized weaker to Rp13.5 thousand against the dollar for the whole year.

The Indonesian Crude Price, which is assumed at $48 per barrel, is predicted to increase to between $55 and $60 per barrel, in line with the increasing price of the commodity in the international market. The government set subsidy on energy, at Rp94.53 trillion in the 2018 budget. This number is divided into Rp46.9 trillion for fuel oil subsidy and Rp47.7 trillion for electricity subsidy. ( antara ) 


State plantation firm, PTPN XII will supply cocoa products produced by its subsidiary, PT Rolas Nusantara Mandiri, to New Zealand this year.

"New Zealand is a new market for the company. So far, we had exported the products through traders," President Director of PTPN XII Berlino Mahendra Santosa stated, after signing a memorandum of understanding with PT Sarinah (Persero) in Jakarta, on Monday ( 12/3) 

If the company sells the commodities directly to the factory, the supply chain will be shorter. The volume of cocoa supplied to New Zealand is 40 tons in a single delivery. The company had fulfilled the requirements of selling the commodities directly to New Zealand in November 2017.

"On Wednesday, we will go to New Zealand to meet other requirements," Santosa remarked.

Commodity-based products, such as coffee, tea, and cocoa, produced by companies are the highest quality products in the world. Through marketing the products directly to New Zealand, the company could attract world-class chocolate producers and learn from them. Indonesia must compete other countries to export the cocoa. "World famous chocolate factories in New Zealand buy raw materials from Ghana and Nicaragua," Santosa revealed. ( antara ) 


President Joko Widodo Thanks AIIB

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) thanked the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for funding several Indonesia`s infrastructure projects. Speaking at a meeting with the AIIB delegation at Bogor`s Presidential Palace  on Monday ( 12/3 ), Head of state also expressed his high appreciation for the bank`s role over these past two years. The AIIB has so far helped fund three ongoing infrastructure projects in Indonesia. Hence, President Widodo has urged the AIIB to be more efficient and effective in finalizing deals with Indonesia.

Some members of Jokowi`s cabinet comprising Coordinating Minister of Economy Darmin Nasution, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani, Public Works and People`s Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung also attended the meeting with AIIB.

Following the meeting, Chairman of the AIIB delegation Christopher Legg remarked that the Government of Indonesia is keen to work with AIIB in resolving challenges in building infrastructure. Speaking in connection with the request, Legg, who is the representative of AIIB Australia, noted that the bank had only disbursed loans for three projects in Indonesia as the AIIB had just operated for two years and had still maintained stable management, with the human resources and representative offices.

"We have offered 20 loans in two years, of which three are for Indonesia. I hope this would grow step-by-step to at least four to five billion in the next two years, and Indonesia will receive a significant part of the funds. However, it should be applied in accordance with the needs of each region," he emphasized.

During the meeting, President Jokowi lauded the AIIB for supporting Indonesia`s infrastructure development and conveyed his best wishes for the bank`s future. "I want to thank you for taking a part in financing some infrastructure in Indonesia in the first two years," he remarked.

The president also welcomed the AIIB delegation to visit some construction sites in Indonesia, such as the Mass Rapid Transit in Jakarta and toll roads in the Yogyakarta Special Region, as well as in Solo, Central Java. Indonesia is one of the founders and shareholders of AIIB that was established in 2016. During the first two years of AIIB`s operations, Indonesia had received US$216.5 million in loans to finance three projects: elevating slum areas program, regional infrastructure development fund, and damage rehabilitation and safety operational safety fund II.

Legg`s delegates comprised representatives from some AIIB member countries: Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, France, Italy, Bangladesh, India, the United Kingdom, Laos, Israel, and Poland. ( antara ) 


The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on Sunday that the Indonesian Government is committed to bringing innovations and better protections for Indonesian citizens overseas. The message was conveyed by Minister Marsudi during her visit to Singapore to launch three innovations of products and application for Indonesian workers` protections in Singapore, press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said here on Sunday.

"The President`s message to me is clear and firm. Provide the best service for all Indonesian citizens wherever they are!" Marsudi said.

To provide service to Indonesians overseas, starting on April 1, 2018, all Indonesian representatives overseas gradually will apply an Information System of Indonesian Citizens Service and Protection accessible in the Peduli WNI website. In April, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will launch the Peduli WNI website and SafeTravel, Marsudi said.

Peduli WNI website is a service system for Indonesians overseas which is integrated online with national civil data of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Ministry of Law and Human Rights, and employment data of the The Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI) and the Ministry of Manpower. Through the system, service to all Indonesian representatives overseas will be integrated and can be accessed online.

During her visit in Singapore, Minister Marsudi also met with around 4,500 Indonesian workers in the country and launched three innovations on Indonesian workers protection. The three launched innovations are the Indonesian worker card for seamen (KIPS-Pelaut); Job Order Online, an application for private recruitment agencies or PPTKIS and working partners; BPJS On I-PIS, a data integration of the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan) for Indonesian workers in Singapore.

Each worker card or KIPS-Pelaut has an built-in chip that contains information of a particular Indonesian seaman to enable online access to the status of the holder. Meanwhile, the second innovation launched, Job Order Online, is an application to facilitate any agency or migrant worker placement firm to submit documents on the placement of migrant workers online and agency accreditation. The last application launched is BPJS on I-PIS, which is integrated data of the BPJS Ketenagakerjaan for Indonesian workers and an application of Indonesian Workers in Singapore (I-PIS).

Since all Indonesian workers are obligated to join the social security system, the application will enable the government to identify those who have yet to register at the BPJS Ketenagakerjaan.

Foreign Minister Marsudi conveyed to the Indonesian workers, majority are women, that they can focus on their work for the government to continue providing protections for the workers in the sovereign city-state.

Moreover, Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore Ngurah Swajaya said that the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore will be always working to provide the best service for the migrant workers.

From Singapore, Minister Marsudi will depart for Moscow, Russia, to attend a bilateral meeting with her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. Minister Marsudi is scheduled to visit Russia on March 12-13 to discuss the strengthening of bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and Russia and the planned visit of Russian President Putin to Indonesia. ( antara )