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Nouvarah Ahdiba

Nouvarah Ahdiba



President Joko Widodo and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga agreed to form an essential business travel corridor between Indonesia and Japan during their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java, on Tuesday.

“We have also agreed to assign our respective foreign ministers to negotiate detailed points of the travel corridor arrangement, and reach the approved draft in one month,” President Jokowi said.

Prior to the agreement on the travel corridor arrangement with Japan, Indonesia has entered into similar deals with China, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, and Singapore.

At the bilateral meeting, the two leaders discussed their collective endeavors to keep strengthening their strategic economic partnership.

President Jokowi said PM Suga's visit reflects Indonesia and Japan's commitment to strengthening their strategic partnership, and the importance of the Southeast Asian region amid the current global situation, which is marked by uncertainty.

Despite the global situation, both Indonesia and Japan have opted to collaborate and support each other, he remarked.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Suga said he was extremely happy to have been able to visit Indonesia in his first official overseas trip since his election as Japan's prime minister on September 16, 2020.

He said Japan is committed to working closely with Indonesia for the sake of peace and prosperity in the Southeast Asian region based on the two countries' strategic partnership, which has been strengthened by his visit.

Prime Minister Suga's visit to Indonesia in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic is the first visit by a world leader to the country.

After his election following Shinzo Abe's surprise resignation, Suga's first overseas visit has been to Vietnam and Indonesia.

Before arriving in Indonesia, Prime Minister Suga visited Hanoi, the capital city of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, on October 18, 2020.

According to the Japanese prime minister's official website, he attended a welcoming ceremony on October 19, 2020 (local time), and followed it up with a meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Afterwards, the leaders held an exchange of documents ceremony and a joint press announcement in relation to grant assistance. During his visit, Prime Minister Suga also met with Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Viet Nam.

He also enjoyed a stroll with Prime Minister Phuc at the late President Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House. In the afternoon, he gave a policy speech at the Vietnam-Japan University and engaged in a frank and candid discussion with students.

Suga offered flowers at the Martyrs' Monument and the President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum before meeting with several top figures, including Mdm. Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, chairwoman of the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.

Later, the Japanese premier held a press conference on the Japan-Vietnam summit and other events. 



Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, invited German entrepreneurs to increase their investment in Indonesia, saying the Job Creation Law would strengthen ease of doing business.

“I invite the German business and industrial community to become our investment partners in supporting and developing Indonesia's economic transformation,” Hartarto said at the online Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business (APK) in Jakarta on Monday.

According to the minister, the new law will encourage job creation and economic growth and its enactment is aimed at simplifying, synchronizing, and streamlining regulations that often hinder foreign business activities in Indonesia.

He said he believes that now is the right time for the two countries to take advantage of the momentum created by the passing of the law.

“By investing in Indonesia, you are not only exploiting our potential, but also benefiting from our strategic location in the heart of the growing markets in East and Southeast Asia,” he remarked.

He said he hopes that in the future, a stronger bilateral economic relationship can be established between Germany and Indonesia, starting with exploring the available opportunities.

“Once again, I invite German businessmen to take part in building a mutually beneficial long-term partnership for the mutual prosperity of our two countries,” the minister said.

In spite of the pandemic, he continued, Indonesia and Germany chalked up US$3.6 billion in trade in January-August, 2020, or negative 8.3 percent compared to the same period last year.

German investors pumped more than US$1 billion into Indonesia in the 2015-2020 period, he added. Around 250 German companies operated in the country during the period.

APK is an annual meeting for German companies and industry players operating in the Asia Pacific Region.

The meeting organized by the Asia Pacific Committee of German Business (APA) is the first meeting to use a digital platform.

The forum was also attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, high-ranking government officials from Germany, Australia, Japan, and the European Union Commission, as well as German business leaders operating in the Asia Pacific Region. (ANTARANEWS)



Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has said the government is preparing tax deductions for companies, including those in the pharmaceutical industry, who have undertaken research or innovation programs for finding a COVID-19 vaccine.

"We hope for Indonesian pharmaceutical companies to use this momentum amidst COVID-19 and the various incentives given by the government, including the super deduction," she said at a press conference on the October State Budget in Jakarta on Monday.

Pharmaceutical companies that are conducting research to discover a vaccine against COVID-19 are eligible for the tax incentive, she informed.

With the tax stimulus, she continued, domestic pharmaceutical companies can increase the pharmaceutical industry's capacity and industry capabilities.

“Countries with a strong pharmaceutical industry are able to or can continue to be able to discover solutions for the pandemic, (and) at the same time, develop leadership on the international stage," the minister remarked.

The former World Bank managing director is optimistic about the potential of the domestic pharmaceutical industry to become a global player, as Indonesia is one of the countries with a large population and economy.

Indrawati had earlier issued Finance Minister Regulation number 153 of 2020 on Granting A Reduction in Gross Income on October 9, 2020 for certain research and development in Indonesia.

According to the regulation, tax-payers who carry out certain research and development activities in Indonesia may be granted a gross income reduction of up to 300 percent. (ANTARANEWS)


Indonesia keen to join COVAX Initiative

Indonesia delivered an expression of interest to join the COVAX Initiative, co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI), and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

The COVAX Initiative aims to work with vaccine manufacturers to ensure that all supporting nations worldwide have fast and equitable access to safe, effective, and affordable COVID-19 vaccines, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi was quoted as saying by ANTARA here, Saturday.

Through the COVAX scheme, participating rich countries will be financing the COVID-19 vaccine from their national budgets and collaborating with 92 middle- and low-income nations through voluntary donations to ensure fair distribution of the vaccine, she remarked.

Indonesia alone belongs to a list of countries viewed as being eligible to obtain funding assistance for the COVAX Initiative for the procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccines, Marsudi stated.

The COVAX Initiative, currently including nine candidate vaccines developed by applying varied technologies and scientific approaches, is aimed at obtaining and supplying two billion doses of approved vaccine by the end of 2021.

Currently, scientists globally are making all-out efforts to develop and produce safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in a timely manner. To this end, Indonesia has expressed concerns over the risks and uncertainties related to their developments, she stated.

To this end, Indonesia has unswervingly drawn focus to the significance of having safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the minister stated during a virtual press conference from Geneva, Switzerland, on Friday.

Over the course of the past few months, the Indonesian government has endeavored to ensure adequate supply of vaccines for the entire nation.

To explore potential cooperation in the procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccines, Marsudi, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir, and a team from the Health Ministry undertook an official visit to the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Marsudi had earlier noted that during the visit, the Indonesian delegates had held discussions on matters pertaining to the COVAX Initiative with related parties, including CEPI and GAVI.

Under the COVAX Initiative, once COVID-19 vaccines are available, they will be procured through the UNICEF Supply Division.

Under the cooperation scheme, the UNICEF has been mandated to coordinate the procurement and supply of the COVID-19 vaccine for over 140 nations, including Indonesia, to enable each country to have equal access and outreach to the vaccine.

The Indonesian delegation's visit to the UK and Switzerland is also expected to boost mid- and long-term cooperation between state pharmaceutical holding company PT Bio Farma and its overseas partners, Marsudi noted.