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02
November

 

The latest regulation in China which tightens the use of internet for underage children, will be applied on January 1, 2024. This is expected to bring many benefits in the short term, and the habits of users can change over time. The regulation is Beijing's effort to tackle internet addiction among underage children, including tight regulation on video games.


According to the Chinese Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the number of internet users under 18 years old in 2021 was more than 191 million. The analysts predicted the new regulation's impact on local big tech companies will be limited to the short term, but can reduce the number of users along with time.

Internet limitation for children under 18 aims to open a conducive cyber space for physical and mental health while protecting their rights and interests. According to the government, this is the responsibility of smart device makers and cellular service providers in China, as well as the regional government, education institution, and parents.

Meanwhile, in Indonesia, the study conducted by the Child Growth Deputy at Women Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry in 2016 revealed that 70 percent of children were found to bring smartphones to school. From the number, some 61 percent among them were using gadgets for chatting and online games, 29% for browsing class-related info, and 10 percent for communication with parents or friends. Gadget addiction on children can cause some issues starting from physical to social. Alternative activities are needed so children can be distracted from gadget addiction for it is affecting childrens' mentality and emotion. To protect the children from gadget addiction, it needs parents' role, like limiting the time of use.

Hopefully, parents and stakeholders can protect the next generation from the bad influence of the internet.

02
November
Indonesian President Joko Widodo officially opened the 2023 World Hydropower Congress (WHC) at Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC), Badung Regency, Bali, on Tuesday, October 31, 2023. In his speech, President Joko Widodo hoped that the forum could produce policy recommendations for a more sustainable Earth.
 
Previously, at the opening of the WHC plenary session on Tuesday (31/10), the Indonesian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Arifin Tasrif said that hydropower plants have contributed to Indonesia's electricity system for more than 100 years. As quoted from the official website of the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, he said that the role of hydropower is currently becoming increasingly important, in efforts to accelerate Indonesia's energy transition to achieve Net Zero Emissions (NZE) by 2060.
 
Minister Arifin said that the congress, which was attended by more than 43 countries and over 300 companies, was expected to be able to overcome various challenges in the development of hydroelectric power plants and to increase constructive collaboration globally.
 
Minister Arifin further explained that Indonesia has a hydropower potential of 95 Gigawatt (GW), and the installed plants' capacity has currently reached 6.7 GW. In 2030, the hydropower plant development is targeted to reach more than 10 Gigawatts, and in the future, this will be increased to reach 72 Gigawatts by 2060. Meanwhile, the pumped storage will reach 4.2 Gigawatts.
 
According to Minister Arifin, hydropower is a type of renewable energy that can be used as a base electricity load and also as a solution for the intermittency of renewable energy variables, such as solar and wind power in the electricity network.
 
The Indonesian government is currently prioritizing the development of super grid transmission to improve inter-island connectivity. It is even more important to encourage the use of hydroenergy sources and other renewable energy in the country. Arifin added that construction on several hydroelectric power plant projects in Indonesia is also currently underway, such as Jatigede power plant in West Java with a capacity of 110 Megawatts (MW) and Asahan power plant in North Sumatra (174 MW), which are targeted for starting operation in 2024. Meanwhile, Peusangan 1 and 2 power plants in Aceh (88 MW) and Merangin power plant (350 MW) will be operated in 2025, and the Batang Toru power plant in North Sumatra (520 MW) will be operated in 2026.
 
Through the 2023 World Hydropower Congress, Minister Arifin hopes that all parties can strengthen cooperation to increase the use of technological innovation and access to competitive financing.
 
The 2023 WHC will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2023 with the theme 'Powering Sustainable Growth'.
02
November

 

President Joko Widodo held a political meeting with 3 presidential candidates who will run in the 2024 elections Monday afternoon (30/10). This meeting seems to be seen as an answer to the issue of the president's partiality towards one of the candidate pairs. Previously, one of the party officials supporting one of the candidates said that the President should hold a meeting with the presidential candidates to reduce the issues circulating in society ahead of the election.

The meeting which was held at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta took place smoothly and friendlily with a lunch together enjoying traditional cuisine. The presidential candidates, Ganjar Pranowo, Prabowo Subianto and Anies Baswedan came without their respective vice-presidential candidates and had lunch with President Joko Widodo. The invitation to this lunch meeting had previously been expressed by one of the party leaders supporting one of the presidential candidates.

It is hoped that this meeting will be a breath of fresh air with the widespread issues of president's partiality towards one of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates. This is related to the existence of a family from the president who is a vice presidential candidate. The public are divided between the pros and cons regarding this matter. Not to mention it was preceded by a Constitutional Court verdict which the public considered very controversial.

Previously, President Joko Widodo had also expressed his support for the three presidential candidates for the good of the nation. He asked the community to remain harmonious and peaceful even though they have different choices and did not want divisions because of differences in the elections.

Before meeting with the 3 presidential candidates, President Joko Widodo also met with temporary regional heads throughout Indonesia. In his direction, he asked them not to take side with any candidate, be neutral, be supportive to the General Election Commission and the General Election Supervisory Agency in the implementation of the Election and maintain harmony during the political year.

It seems that the meeting and the lunch of President Joko Widodo and the future presidential candidates contain the same things as the meeting with temporary regional officials; one of them is maintaining mutual harmony and peace. Thereby, the word neutrality is the main point. Because the neutrality of stakeholder officials in government will support the creation of a conducive and peaceful atmosphere. Likewise, the wish expressed by the 3 presidential candidates to the president at the luncheon was the neutrality of the current leaders, including the president in facing the 2024 elections.

11
October

 

Hamas, a faction of Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), launched a strike on Israel on Saturday morning (7/10). This was one of the biggest in several years.  More than 2,500 rockets were launched to Israel from Gaza. The Hamas combatants then entered the Israeli settlement from Gaza. This triggered battles in at least 22 locations across the southwest of Israel. The battle continued in the area until Sunday morning.

The violent battle claimed hundreds of lives from two sides. As far as known, at least 600 Israelis died and 1,800 others wounded. Israel's counter strike killed 313 Palestinians and wounded almost two thousand others. The Israeli soldiers also stated that they arrested dozens of Hamas fighters. While Hamas also took some Israelis after the Saturday attack. The number of hostages was unknown.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday that Israel is at war.

Violent acts of the two sides continued until after nightfall. Israel launched an air strike to 426 targets across Gaza. Hamas replied with rockets towards Israel, such as the Sderot settlement, the previous battleground of Israel and Hamas.

Another enemy of Israel attacked the nation, the Hezbollah militant group, also shot mortar to Israel on Saturday evening. Israel countered with launching shots.

Palestinian Authority had requested an emergency meeting with the Arab League. Palestinian news agency WAFA reported this on Sunday. On the same day, the leader of Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit was on the way to Moscow to discuss the situation in Gaza with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Palestine wanted to discuss the latest development of last weekend with foreign ministers of Arab countries. Through the emergency meeting, the Palestinian Authority intended to talk about Israeli aggression to the people of Palestine.

Mohannad Aklouk, permanent representative mission of Palestine in the Arab League stated this to WAFA. He hoped to politically mobilize the Arab countries and the world to protect Palestinians based on international law.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry expressed their concern on conflict escalation between Israel and Palestine. Indonesia demanded the violent attacks to be stopped, to avoid more casualties and material loss.

Indonesia also urged the root of the conflict, namely Israel occupation on Palestinian land, must be solved according to the agreement by the United Nations.

Hopefully, the solution can be achieved soon so the violence between the two will not be prolonged and take more lives.

11
October

 

The tourism sector is one of the pillars of the Indonesian economy and is a major foreign exchange contributor. The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) in its 2022 Tourism Trends and Policies report stated that in 2019, the tourism sector contributed 5.0% of Indonesia's gross domestic income (GDP). However, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 resulted in a decline in tourism's contribution to GDP by 56%, namely to only 2.2% of the total economy.


Post-pandemic, Indonesian tourism continues to improve the quality of tourism destination comfort and transportation access so that domestic and foreign tourist visits increase.


The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy targets the number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia to reach 14 million in 2024, from the previous 8.5 million visits in 2023. This was conveyed by Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Salahudin Uno in The Weekly Brief with Sandi Uno in Jakarta on Monday (9/10).

Minister Sandiaga hopes that this target can be supported by additional direct flights and the recovery of tourism in Indonesia as a whole. He also said that his side would focus on Australia and India as potential countries that bring in large numbers of tourists. In addition, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is also targeting other countries, such as China, Malaysia and Singapore.

These countries are indeed the main targets for foreign tourists visiting Indonesia, considering the number of visits to Indonesia. According to data from the Central Statistics Agency, which was released on August 1st 2023, the visits to Indonesia in June 2023 were dominated by foreign tourists coming from Singapore at 16.41 percent, Malaysia 15.88 percent, and Australia 12.47 percent.

Meanwhile, according to Minister Sandiaga Uno's statement in August 2023, the number of tourists from India has overtaken China. It is recorded that India is in fourth position with the highest number of tourists to Indonesia, namely 6.48 percent. China is in fifth position, with a contribution of 5.88 percent.

It is known that the realization of foreign tourist visits for the January-August 2023 period reached 7.44 million visits or has exceeded the target set at the beginning of the year, namely 7.4 million. In the middle of the year, the government revised the target for foreign tourist arrivals to 8.5 million visits, 1.1 million visits higher compared to the target of 7.4 million set at the beginning of the year.


The target for foreign tourist visits continues to be revised and increased, considering the number of foreign tourist visits continues to increase. Of course, this is good news for the tourism sector and the Indonesian economy. However, this is also a tough task, because it needs improved quality of services in various tourism sectors, increase of the number of annual events, and improvement of the quality of tourism for human resources in related sectors.


There are still several months left for the Indonesian tourism sector to reach the target of foreign tourist arrivals in 2023.

11
October

 

Indonesia is hosting an international forum again. This time it is the Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum 2023. The forum takes place in Bali on 10-11 October. The AIS Forum 2023 is a forum for Indonesia to contribute ideas regarding solutions to the challenges faced by archipelagic and island countries.

 

At the ministerial-level meeting held on 10 October 2023, the delegations agreed that solidarity and collaboration are critical to tackling various climate change challenges, especially those affecting the marine sector.

 

After chairing the 5th Ministerial Meeting of AIS Forum in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Tuesday, the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi said, that as the largest archipelagic country, Indonesia is trying to be at the forefront of facing common challenges in overcoming climate change; such as sea level rise, marine pollution, and loss of biodiversity. Retno Marsudi said, that the AIS Forum demonstrated the Indonesian leadership commitment and its contribution to archipelagic and island states.

 

The formation of the AIS Forum cannot be separated by Indonesia's involvement, which initiated the forum along with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Since its inception through the Manado Joint Declaration in 2018, the AIS Forum has regularly held senior official meetings and ministerial meetings annually. The forum involves the participation of 51 archipelagic and island states, regardless of area, size, or level of development.

 

Another commitment shown by Indonesia is a US$ 5 million funding for sustainable development. Deputy for Maritime Sovereignty and Energy of the Indonesian Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment, Jodi Mahardi said that, so far, the funding commitment has only come from Indonesia. It is hoped that other countries or international organizations will soon follow suit.

 

Indonesia's contribution to archipelagic and island states certainly will provide meaningful and significant results with the support of its people, considering that more than 160 million Indonesians live on its coast. Indonesian people should take real action to cope with climate change so that sea levels do not rise further, marine pollution can be reduced, and biodiversity is maintained.

 

It is hoped that the AIS Forum 2023 will strengthen the solidarity of archipelagic and island countries to jointly encourage the future global governance agenda.

27
September

 

Today, September 27th is celebrated as World Tourism Day. Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization-UNWTO has celebrated World Tourism Day as an international commemoration every September 27, referring to the date of adoption of the UNWTO Statute in 1970. The adoption of this Statute is considered a historical milestone in global tourism.

The theme of this year's World Tourism Day celebration is Tourism and Green Investments. Quoting the official UNWTO website, this year the World Tourism Organization, UNWTO is focusing on investment for People, Planet, Prosperity. Investment for society in the form of education and skills. Meanwhile, for the planet or earth, this is realized by investing in sustainable infrastructure and accelerating green transformation. For prosperity, invest in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship.

Tourism is an important sector for Indonesia. Natural beauty, unique culture and artistic heritage, and the friendliness of the people are tourism attractions in Indonesia. The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy targets foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector to reach 2.07 – 5.95 billion US dollars in 2023, with a target of 8.5 million foreign tourist visits. The Indonesian government is targeting investment in the tourism sector at 8 billion US dollars, which will create new jobs for 4.4 million people.

The focus of investment in society, the earth and prosperity is also the focus of tourism development and investment in Indonesia. The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy encourages villages to develop their resources to become tourist destinations.

This program will not only provide direct benefits to village communities to develop village potential, but also at the same time maintain environmental sustainability and the welfare of local and surrounding communities.

Another focus of the Indonesian Government is the development of five super priority tourist destinations, namely Borobudur, Likupang, Mandalika, Lake Toba and Labuan Bajo. This effort involves various relevant ministries to carry out the development of transportation facilities and infrastructure in five super priority tourist destinations.

The involvement of all parties is the key to the successful development of the tourism industry in Indonesia. With natural wealth, human resources and regulations that make it easier to invest in Indonesia, especially investment in a sustainable tourism industry, of course the targets set by the Indonesian government in the tourism sector can be achieved.

Everyone must move for the progress of tourism. As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, investing in sustainable tourism means investing in a better future for all.

27
September

 

During this year's long dry season, forest and land fires have occurred in some regions across Indonesia. One of the areas affected by the drought and caused fires is the Mount Bromo tourist area in East Java. The Mount Bromo tourist area experienced several fires and the most recent was at the beginning of September. The drought that hit caused the savanna around Mount Bromo to wither, because the land could easily catch fire. It is believed that the cause of the fire, apart from the drought itself, was also caused by cigarette butt. Meanwhile, in the last case, the trigger was the use of flares or fireworks used by wedding organizers.

Regarding the fire in Bromo which hit more than 900 hectares, Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, when looking closely at Mount Bromo, Saturday (23/9), said that the government would rehabilitate the Mount Bromo ecosystem. This step is very important because it will restore many aspects, such as physical, economic, social ones, and management, including public education. Therefore, the government is collaborating with a team of experts from the Bogor Agricultural Institute, Gajah Mada University and Brawijaya University.

Head of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park (TNBTS), Hendro Widjanarko previously revealed that since the fire from 6 to 18 September, Mount Bromo suffered losses of around Rp 5.4 billion. According to Hendro, the calculation of the loss value includes the costs of extinguishing fires from land, losses due to loss of animal habitat, and losses due to the cessation of tourist activities in the national park.

As is known, Mount Bromo Tourism is a tourism destination that is visited by many tourists both from within the country and abroad. Currently, the government is promoting tourism potential for state income from the non-energy sector. Besides, the burned area in the Teletubbies hill area is one of the prime objects visited by tourists in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. The consequences of this severe fire have hit all aspects of tourism and the socio-economic aspects of the community.

Thereby, there is a need for stricter and clearer regulations for every tourist at every entrance to the area, especially during the dry season. In addition, there is a need to educate stakeholders, including local communities, tourist agents and tour guides to explain the dangers of forest and land fires, their causes, and how to prevent and overcome them. Therefore, collaboration with related parties across sectors is strengthened based on experience.

27
September

 

The 19th Asian Games has started being held in Hangzhou, China since Saturday (23/9), and it will last until October 8, 2023. The biggest multi-sport event in Asia was postponed a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The organizing committee stated that the Asian Games 2023 has the slogan "Heart to Heart, @Future" expressing the ambition to unite the nations of Asia through the sports event. It is the right slogan considering the geopolitical tension and rivalry that overshadowed the Asian Games 2023.

 

There were more participants during the Asian Games 2023 opening on Saturday (23/9) than during the upcoming Olympics in Paris, France in 2024. More than 12,000 participated in the majestic opening in Hangzhou. While there are predictably going to be 10,500 people in the opening of Paris Olympics 2024.

 

The fantastic number came from many regional sports and games in the Asian Games, which might not be available in the Olympics. For instance, cricket will be available in the 2028 Olympic in Los Angeles, US and the 2033 Olympic in Brisbane, Australia.

 

There are other regional sports, such as dragon boat, sepak takraw, wushu, martial arts from China, and kabaddi - a popular sport in India. There are also the non-olympic martial arts, such as jujitsu from Japan and kurash - a popular wrestling sport in Central Asia. The long list was added with what the organizer called "brain-racking sports" starting from bridge, chess, xiangqi (Chinese chess), and esports.

 

Most of the 481 events gave opportunity for small contingents to obtain medals. This is impossible in the Olympics. China's overall achievement was 300 medals in the previous Asian Games 2018 in Indonesia.

 

Indonesia's contingent has 576 people consisting of athletes, officials, and chef de mission (CdM) team to Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou. When releasing the Indonesia contingent on Tuesday (19/9), President Joko Widodo hopes that Indonesia can be in the top 10. During the Asian Games 2018 Jakarta-Palembang, Indonesia ranked 4th.

 

Besides competing for being the best, hopefully the Asian Games 2023 will be an event to tighten solidarity and keep peace in Asia, just like its slogan.

19
September

 

Singapore joined hands with Malaysia and Indonesia in developing a strong regional supply chain basis to use the shift in global manufacturing flow.

Using the investment increase from India, China, and Southeast Asia in recent years, Singapore increased cooperation with its neighboring countries. It included building some manufacturing basis including Singapore, Johor in Malaysia, and Riau Islands in Indonesia, which geographically are neighboring to each others. Jacqueline Poh, the Managing Director at Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) said that in the gathering of London Stock Exchange Group and Reuters Newsmaker on Thursday (14/9).

Poh stated that Singapore is increasing the effort in regional supply chain, so that - along with Malaysia and Indonesia - it can be a much stronger production basis in Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, during the G20 Summit in India last week, India, the US, the Gulf countries, and some European countries announced a new trade route. India, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Italy, European Union, and the US signed a Letter of Intent for the founding of India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC).

IMEC was aimed to increase trade relations and contact between Europe and India, in hope of improving the economic development of Europe, Asia, and the Gulf. In this, the Gulf will be a joint. The plan also includes cross border railway, that complements the existing sea lane and land connections. This corridor aims to improve and smoothen goods and services transport from, to, and through India, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, and Europe.

The plan execution will require a fantastic investment. In a press release, India - the chair of G20 2023 - refers to the World Bank involvement. For European Union, the IMEC plan is in line with its global strategy for investment in infrastructure projects.

On the other hand, European Union, the US, and Indonesia have launched the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment in the G20 Summit in Bali, November 2022. This was in line with European Union's Global Gateway program. For this program, European Union provided 300 billion Euros until 2027 to fund 90 projects across the globe.

For Indonesia, international supply chain is a crucial issue in the current globalization era. This is important in ensuring the smooth export and imports, while cutting  costs. Therefore, worker and operational costs will be lower mainly in producing goods.

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