Selasa, 27 Februari 2018

EAST NUSA TENGGARA GEARS UP TO WELCOME IMF-WB MEETINGS' PARTICIPANTS by Fardah

Jakarta, Feb 27, 2018 (Antara) - The 2018 International Monetary Fund-World Bank (IMF-WB) Annual Meetings, which is one of the largest and influential events in the fields of finance and economy, will be held in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Oct 8-14.
        East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), which is a neighboring province of Bali, is eager to gain economic benefits from the international gathering in which up to 15 thousand people from 189 countries are expected to participate.
        NTT plans to showcase its innate beauty and offer several tourism attractions, such as the Komodo National Park, the sparkling sandy beach of Pede-Labuan Bajo in the district of Manggarai Barat, and Tanjung, which is part of the 17 islands of Riung, in Nagekeo District.
        The province is also known for whale watching at Lembata Beach, the tri-colored crater lakes at Mount Kalimutu called Lake Kalimutu in Ende District, Lake Ranamese in Manggarai District, and Maumere Bay in Sikka District.
        The NTT chapter of the Association of Indonesian Travel Bureaus and Tours (Asita) has prepared 60 tour packages for participants of the IMF-WB Annual Meetings.
        The tours will take foreign guests to Labuan Bajo and Kelimutu, among others, Abed Frans, chairman of the NTT chapter of Asita, had remarked on February 20, 2018.
        The Tourism Ministry has assigned several travel bureaus to offer special tour packages for the participants.

Minggu, 25 Februari 2018

BANYUWANGI TO HOLD 77 FESTIVALS AND CARNIVALS TO ATTRACT TOURISTS by Fardah

 Jakarta, Feb 25, 2018 (Antara) - Banyuwangi, which is located in the eastern most district of East Java Province, has been dubbed as the city of carnivals and festivals for routinely organizing various cultural events to attract domestic and foreign tourists.
        This year, the Banyuwangi District Administration plans to organize 77 events, including three major events, which are included in the 2018 Calendar of 100 Events of Wonderful Indonesia.
        The three main events are  Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival (BEC), International Tour de Banyuwangi Ijen (ITdBI) cycling race, and Gandrung Sewu.
        Banyuwangi District Head Abdullah Azwar Anas officially launched the 2018 Calendar of 77 Top Events in the office of the Tourism Ministry in Jakarta, on Feb 1, 2018.
        The events will offer opportunities to guests to explore  natural beauty and enjoy unique culture and traditions of Banyuwangi, which is located relatively near Bali.
        Banyuwangi has intensified tourism promotion activities to attract more foreign tourists, as an effort to help Indonesia achieve its target of receiving at least 17 million foreign tourists this year, and 20 million in 2019.
        Last year, Banyuwangi received some 91 thousand foreign tourists contributing Rp546 billion in foreign exchange, an increase from 77 thousand foreign tourists and four million domestic tourists in the previous year.  In 2017, Banyuwangi organized 72 festivals and carnivals.
            Other tourism events to be held by Banyuwangi this year include Beach Jazz Festival, Jazz Ijen, Lunar Festival on March 17, Dance Festival on March 31, Fishing Festival on April 7, Chocolate Festival on May 12, and Kuntulajn Festival on October 3-6.
             Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya has lauded the tourism programs of Banyuwangi and is optimistic that the attractive events would be able to attract visitors.

Jumat, 23 Februari 2018

INDONESIA THWARTS SEVERAL ATTEMPTS TO SMUGGLE TONS OF METH by Fardah

Jakarta, Feb 23, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia has foiled several attempts to smuggle tons of illicit drugs, particularly crystal methamphetamine, into the country early this year, mostly from China.  
   An attempt to smuggle some 150 tons of illicit drugs into Indonesia from China was thwarted by the Government of Timor Leste when the boat arrived in Dili after making a transit in Singapore, Muhammad Nur, head of the East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Narcotic Office, stated in Kupang, NTT, in January 2018.  
     On February 7, 2018, the Indonesian Navy had seized MV Sunrise Glory and four Taiwanese crew members for smuggling one ton of crystal methamphetamine into Indonesia.
         The vessel, disguised as a fishing boat, was seized by Indonesia's warship Sigurot 864 in the Philip Channel, near the islands off Batam, in the maritime border between Indonesia and Singapore.
          The methamphetamine was concealed in 41 rice sacks in the lower deck of the boat.
           The Indonesian Navy had first spotted a Singaporean-flagged boat during a routine patrol of the maritime border between Indonesia and Singapore. Out of suspicion, the Navy later decided to stop the vessel.
     Deputy Navy Chief Vice Admiral Achmad Taufiqoerrochman said that the navy was acting on a tip-off from Indonesia's National Narcotics Agency (BNN), which has been tracking the suspects since December last year.
        The Sunrise Glory serving Malaysia-Taiwan route, is believed to have approached Indonesian waters to smuggle illegal drugs in Indonesia, including through transshipment in Indonesian water borders, for several times.

Rabu, 21 Februari 2018

MT SINABUNG'S HUGE ASH PLUME TRIGGERS PANIC AMONG KARO LOCALS by Fardah

Jakarta, Feb 21, 2018 (Antara) - Several elementary schools were closed, with students and others fleeing in fear of a huge ash plume engulfing the summit of Mount Sinabung that had erupted quite powerfully on February 19, 2018.
         The towering plume of ash turned the morning light into dark in five sub-districts, with a visibility level of some five meters only. No one was injured in the eruption, which was accompanied by multiple earthquakes.
         Several nearby villages experienced a shower of small rocks, while hot clouds, with temperatures ranging between 600 and 800 degrees Celsius, went down the slope at a distance of 4.9 kilometers.
         According to the Geological Disaster Mitigation and Volcanology Center, the latest eruption was the strongest to have occurred this year. 
   The volcanic ash affected regions around Mount Sinabung, including Simpang Empat Sub-district, Naman Teran, Payung, Tiga Nderket, and Munthe.
        The eruption sent an ash cloud more than five thousand meters (16 thousand feet) into the air, triggering panic among local inhabitants and tourists in the affected villages.
         No one was killed following the eruption of Mount Sinabung located in Karo District, North Sumatra Province, at 8:53 a.m. local time on Monday (Feb 19), Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), noted in a statement.
         "People in the danger or red zones have all been evacuated to avoid the worst-case scenario," he remarked.

Sabtu, 17 Februari 2018

IMF-WB ANNUAL MEETINGS TO HELP PROMOTE BALI TOURISM by Fardah

Jakarta, Feb 17, 2018 (Antara)- Bali, which has been named as 2017 Trip Advisor's best global destination, has a high expectation of the 2018 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings to be held in Nusa Dua, on October 8-14.     
  More than  5.7  million foreign tourists visited the resort island of Bali in 2017, outstripping the target of 5.5 million for last year, and an increase of 16 percent from 4.92 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2016.
          Bali, one of the world's most famous tourist resorts, hopes to receive at least 6.5 million foreign tourists this year, or one million more foreign tourists than the target of 2017, which was 5.5 million.
       The target at 6.5 million is quite ambitious as normally Bali set an increase of 500 thousand foreign tourists every year.
        One of the factors supporting the higher target is the 2018 International Monetary Fund (IMF) -World Bank (WB) Annual Meetings.  
   "The meeting will have a positive impact on the number of visits by foreign tourists," Head of the Bali Tourism Office Anak Agung Yuniartha Putra said recently.
         Around 12,000 up to 15,000 people are expected to attend the Annual Meetings, including about 3,500 delegates from 189 member countries, roughly 1,000 media representatives, and more than 5,000 participants representing the private sector, the banking community, academic institutions, civil society organizations, and also observers and parliamentarians.      
     The Annual Meetings will also feature side events, such as seminars, investment forum, workshop, and cultural events.

Jumat, 16 Februari 2018

IMF-WB ANNUAL MEETINGS IN BALI EXPECTED TO BOOST LOCAL ECONOMY by Fardah

  Jakarta, Feb 16, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia is optimistic that the International Monetary Fund-World Bank (IMF-WB) Annual Meetings 2018 scheduled in Bali on Oct 8-14 will offer several economic benefits to the resort island, in particular, and the country, in general.    
    The IMF-WB Meetings, one of the largest and influential events in the areas of finance and economy, bring together Central Bank governors and finance ministers from 189 countries along with prominent individuals from the private sector, academics, non-governmental organizations, and media.
         In total, some 15 thousand participants are expected to attend 600 meetings, including seminars, investment forum, focus group discussions, workshops, and cultural events.
         The meetings will benefit Indonesia, both in the short and long term, particularly in terms of boosting foreign exchange reserves, trade and investment, tourism, and Indonesia's leadership in the region, Bank Indonesia, the country's central bank, noted on its official website www.bi.go.id.
         The main objectives behind hosting the meetings are to showcase Indonesia and Asia as reformed, resilient, and progressive economies along with encouraging greater engagement with the IMF and WB with less stigma.
         In January 2018, the WB assessed that Bali had adequate facilities to host the IMF-WB Annual Meetings to be held in Nusa Dua.
         "Indonesia is fortunate to have good conference-hosting and infrastructure facilities," Press Secretary, External and Corporate Relations of WB David M. Theis noted during a presentation in Jakarta, last month.

Senin, 12 Februari 2018

ENSURING ASIAN GAMES SECURITY AMONG INDONESIA'S TOP PRIORITIES by Fardah

Jakarta, Feb 12, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia, as the host of the 18th Asian Games, has set four top priorities for the smooth and successful implementation of the largest regional sporting event of Asian nations.
          The four top priorities for the 18th Asian Games are operations, administration, support, and security, according to Erick Thohir, president of the Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC).
            The Asian Games will be co-hosted by Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra, simultaneously from August 18 to September 2, 2018.
         Some 9.5 thousand athletes, 2.5 thousand personnel of the Asian Olympic Council, and 5.5 thousand technical delegates from 45 countries will participate or be involved in the event. At least 3.5 thousand media representatives are expected to cover the event.
         Sandiaga Uno, deputy governor of Jakarta, had earlier emphasized that the aspect of security will be one of the top priorities of Indonesia during the 2018 Asian Games.
         Security efforts will be undertaken in cooperation with various parties, particularly the police, as the main security authorities, with the support of the Indonesian Defense Forces.
         "The image of Indonesia and the honor of the nation will be in our hands. We must ensure security and good preparations during the implementation of the Asian Games," Uno had noted in Oct 2017 following a meeting with the commander of the Jakarta military regional command.
        As the games will be held within less than six months, the Jakarta Metro Jaya Police on February 7, 2018, held a roll-call ceremony on security preparations for the Asian Games.
         The ceremony was led by Deputy Chief of the Jakarta Police Brigadier General, Purwadi Arianto, and attended by Chairman of the Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC), Erik Tohir, and his deputy Lieutenant General (retired), Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin.

Sabtu, 10 Februari 2018

INDONESIA TO ENSURE HAZE-FREE ASIAN GAMES by Fardah

 Jakarta, Feb 10, 2018 (Antara) - South Sumatra, scheduled to co-host the 18th Asian Games with Jakarta from August 18 to September 2, 2018, has in the past borne witness to forest fires that produced smoke or haze shrouding several cities.
       However, over the past couple of years, the Indonesian authorities have managed to significantly reduce the number of wildfires, particularly on Sumatra Island, thereby preventing the occurrence of haze.
        Despite the success, the Indonesian government remains vigilant and is currently implementing preventive measures to ensure that forest fires will not occur during the implementation of the 18th Asian Games.
          "This year, we host the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang. I remind you to not let the smoke from forest and land fires arise during the implementation of the event," President Joko Widodo noted during a briefing to participants of the National Coordination Meeting on Forest and Land Fire Control in 2018 at the State Palace in Jakarta on February 6, 2018.
          He pointed out that haze from forest and land fires will tarnish the image of Indonesia and disrupt flights during the Asian Games.
          "We have to work hard to ensure that the Asian Games run smoothly without any disturbance from forest and land fires," he stated.
          Participants at the meeting comprised governors, heads of districts, mayors, commanders of the regional military command, regional police heads, military resort commanders, military district commanders, and resort police heads from areas prone to forest and land fires.

Kamis, 08 Februari 2018

JAKARTA TO UTILIZE MOMENTUM OF ASIAN GAMES TO BOOST MSMEs by Fardah

 Jakarta, Feb 8, 2018 (Antara) - The 18th Asian Games, a regional sporting event for Asian nations, will be co-hosted by Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra, simultaneously from August 18 to September 2, 2018.
        This will be the second time that Indonesia will host the Asian Games after the first one was held in Jakarta in 1962.
        After more than five decades, the Asian Games will finally return to Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta, a metropolitan hosting more than 12 million people during the work week.
        Some 9.5 thousand athletes, 2.5 thousand personnel of the Asian Olympic Council, and 5.5 thousand technical delegates from 45 countries will participate or be involved in the event. At least 3.5 thousand media representatives are expected to cover the event.
        The presence of such a large number of people from various countries offers a good opportunity for Jakarta and Palembang to promote their tourist destinations and products of micro, small, and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs).
        The 2018 Asian Games offers the necessary momentum to boost the capital city's economy, Jakarta Deputy Governor Sandiaga Salahudin Uno remarked.
        Uno has encouraged some 20 thousand small and medium entrepreneurs to produce and sell souvenirs during the largest regional sporting event in the Asian continent.
        "The 2018 Asian Games offers the best momentum to boost the capital city's economy by involving MSMEs. It is time for us to create job opportunities," Uno, a successful businessman, noted recently.
        Uno remarked that souvenirs produced by MSMEs will cater to the needs and interests of athletes, officials, spectators, and tourists.

Rabu, 07 Februari 2018

FLOODING FORCES THOUSANDS OF JAKARTANS TO EVACUATE by Fardah

Jakarta, Feb 7 , 2018(Antara) - Parts of Jakarta have been inundated since Feb 5 following heavy rains in the capital and the neighboring city of Bogor, which always sends flash floods to the downstream areas of the metropolitan city.
          Floods have led to the forced evacuation of a total of 6,532 people in East and South Jakarta on Feb 6. 
     The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has in fact warned of flooding in several regions across Indonesia during rainy season.
        The agency forecast that hydrometeorological disasters are forecast to be dominant in Indonesia in 2018.
         "It is forecast that natural disasters in 2018 will be dominated by floods, landslides, and whirlwinds. It is estimated that 90 percent of the natural disasters would be hydrometeorological in nature," Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the BNPB, warned in Jakarta, in December 2017.
         The rainy and dry seasons are expected to be normal this year. There will be no El Nino, which could cause drought, nor La Nina, which could trigger excessive rains.
        "However, floods, landslides, and whirlwinds will remain dominant, but their locations will depend on the intensity of precipitation," he noted.
        Flooding in Jakarta was particularly triggered by the overflowing of Ciliwung River from Bogor and six other rivers passing through the capital city following incessant, heavy rains on Feb 4-5.
         The Bogor and Jakarta authorities announced the highest disaster alert level on Feb 5 when the water level at the Katulampa Dam in Bogor touched 240 centimeters (cm) at 9:05 a.m. local time, as the Ciliwung River swelled significantly following incessant rains in the river's upstream areas since the previous day.

Selasa, 06 Februari 2018

GOVT LAUNCHES COMMUNITY HEALTH CARE PROGRAM FOR ASMAT TRIBE MEMBERS by Fardah

   Jakarta, Feb 6, 2018 (Antara)- Following all out efforts involving several ministries, police and military, among others, measles outbreak and malnutrition problem in remote Asmat District in Papua Province, have finally been overcome.
        Since the plague affected Asmat in September 2017, a total of 71 people, mostly children, had died due to malnutrition and measles outbreaks.   
   Based on data received from Asmat Humanitarian Task Force, until Jan 30, there were still 26 inpatients in Asmat in which 19 people of them were treated in Asmat Regional Hospital, and seven patients were treated in the Hall of Indonesia Protestant Church of Asmat due to malnutrition.
        Earlier, a total of 47 people had been treated in the church in which 40 people of them have returned home.
        Health Minister Nila Moeloek on Jan 31, 2018, said as many as 13,300 children in Asmat District, Papua Province have been vaccinated as an effort to control the epidemic of measles.
        Not all sub-districts in Asmat District, however, get the vaccination due to difficult terrain.  
   The ministry has alternately deployed medical personnel and delivering aid packages every 10 days to handle measles and malnutrition in Asmat.
        The medical personnel provided assistance in hospitals and church halls, Moeloek revealed.
        "Some people have returned to their homes. However, if they do not get any health supervision from medical institutions, there could be recurrence of the disease," she explained.
        The emergency situation has been considered overcome and now the Government is focusing on long-term community health care and improvement program in Asmat.

Senin, 05 Februari 2018

INDONESIA ENCOURAGES GROWTH OF DIGITAL ECONOMY by Fardah

 Jakarta, Feb 5, 2018 (Antara) - The internet has triggered the Fourth Industrial Revolution, marked by the development of digital economy globally, among others.
        Digital economy functions primarily by means of digital technology, especially internet-based electronic transactions.
        Digital economy permeates all aspects of society, including the way people interact, the economic landscape, the skills required to secure a good job, and also political decision-making.    
  Globally, digital economy contributes 22 percent to the economy, while digital technology applications are set to contribute US$2 trillion to the global gross domestic product by 2020.
        In Southeast Asia, the value of online trade is estimated to reach $88 billion during the period between 2015 and 2025 for various apparel, electronic, household, and food products.
       With the world's fourth-largest population and a large number of internet users, Indonesia has the potential to become the biggest digital economy in Southeast Asia, both in terms of the manufacturing and retail industries.
        This aspect was highlighted by Google and Temasek, foreign investors in Indonesia, through a study on digital economy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, according to an article by the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).
        Based on the study, Indonesia has witnessed a 19 percent annual increase in the number of internet users, with this figure possibly reaching 215 million before 2020.
        Apart from a high growth in the number of internet users, Indonesia has also experienced a significant growth in the online market or e-commerce. Currently, the percentage of e-commerce transactions in Indonesia is high, reaching about 36 percent and is estimated to reach $81 billion before 2025.

ENSURING PEACEFUL AND SMOOTH THIRD SIMULTANEOUS REGIONAL HEAD ELECTIONS by Fardah

Jakarta, Feb 5, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia will hold the third simultaneous regional head elections (pilkada) in 171 regions, comprising 17 provinces, 39 municipalities, and 115 districts across the country, on June 27, 2018.
         The number of eligible voters for the pilkada 2018 reaches 158 million, or some 80 percent of the total number of eligible voters for the presidential and legislative elections in 2019, which is some 197 million.
         The pilkada is believed to be one of the largest elections held within a single day, in the world.    
    National Police Chief Tito Karnavian has expressed optimism that the next pilkada would be peaceful and smooth.
         Karnavian expressed belief that the Police Force has extensive experience in securing elections in the previous years, which were held peacefully and smoothly.
    The second pilkada was held on February 15, 2017, in 101 regions comprising seven provinces, 76 districts, and 18 municipalities across Indonesia. The first Pilkada was organized in 2015.
         Furthermore, Karnavian remarked that the levels of public awareness and maturity have also increased significantly in facing this celebration of democracy.
         Synergy between the National Police Force and the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) is also becoming more harmonized, which means both institutions will be able to maintain security better.
         The Police chief admitted to have instructed his personnel to maintain neutrality for securing the elections.
         "I have instructed all police officers to remain on neutral ground," he revealed.