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Indonesia and Australia Sign Pact Eliminating Many Tariffs

JAKARTA, INDONESIA (AP) — Indonesia and Australia signed a free trade agreement Monday that will eliminate many tariffs, allow Australian-owned hospitals to operate in the giant Southeast Asian country and increase work visas for young Indonesians. Trade ministers from the two countries signed the agreement, negotiations for which first began in 2010, at a Jakarta hotel with Indonesian Vice President ... Read More »

Increased tax refunds causes decline in revenue

The simpler process of claiming tax refunds has caused an increase in claims over the past few months and cut into the tax revenue, the tax office has said. The Finance Ministry’s Taxation Directorate General said that revenue from value-added tax (VAT; PPN in Indonesian) and luxury tax (PPnBM) had fallen as of recently, as it had paid a greater ... Read More »

Tax office gets data of Indonesian wealth in 65 countries

After joining 120 countries in the Automatic Exchange of Information in 2018, the tax office has obtained information about the wealth of Indonesian nationals that is deposited in financial institutions in 65 countries, according to the Finance Ministry’s Taxation Directorate General. Taxation Director General Robert Pakpahan said the tax office was scrutinizing the data. “We are cross-checking the data with ... Read More »

Restrictions curb digital economy growth: Experts

Indonesia’s digital economy has soared over the past five years, but the government’s restrictions on investment and innovation could stifle growth, experts have warned. The country’s digital economy is projected to triple to US$100 billion by 2025, however Indonesia remains the fourth most restrictive country for digital trade out of 64 countries surveyed by the European Centre for International Political ... Read More »

Bank Indonesia Expects Low Inflation in February 2019

Based on the survey (that only covers the first week of February), the full-month inflation rate of February 2019 is estimated at 0.07 percent month-to-month (m/m). If accurate, then it would push Indonesia’s annual inflation rate to 2.72 percent (y/y), comfortably within Bank Indonesia’s target range of 2.5 – 4.5 percent (y/y) for full-year 2019. February inflation always tends to ... Read More »

Current account deficit recorded at 2.98 percent of GDP in 2018

Bank Indonesia has announced that the current account deficit increased to US$31.1 billion, 2.98 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), in 2018 from the previous year, which stood at $17.29 billion, 1.7 percent of GDP. “The current account deficit was still within safe limits, amounting to $31.1 billion or 2.98 percent of GDP,” said BI spokesman Agusman over the weekend ... Read More »

Fast Asia Open: Indonesia GDP, SoftBank

Snap, the parent of disappearing message app Snapchat, stemmed recent declines in users and beat revenue expectations in its fourth-quarter results, despite investor concern over growing competition from Instagram and recent management upheaval. The Los Angeles-based company posted a 36 per cent rise in revenues in the fourth quarter of 2018 to $390m, beating analyst estimates of about $379m. Net losses ... Read More »

Great Eastern to sell minority stake in Indonesia insurance firm for $1.9m

SINGAPORE: Insurer Great Eastern has entered into a share and purchase agreement to divest a minority stake in Indonesia insurance firm, QBE Indonesia, for some US$1.4 million (S$1.9 million). The buyer, PT Suryasono Sentosa, will receive a 5 per cent stake in QBE Indonesia following the transaction, which is subject to approval by Indonesia’s financial services authority, Otoritas Jasa Keuangan, ... Read More »

Indonesia’s trade doomed without adaptations

Stakeholders are worried the United States-China trade war will continue to take its toll on Indonesia after inflicting a huge blow to the country’s trade balance in 2018. The US and China, two of Indonesia’s major trade partners, are still embroiled in a trade feud, despite the leaders of the two countries having agreed to a 90-day truce in early ... Read More »

Indonesia`s foreign debts up 7 percent to US$372.9 billion

Indonesia`s foreign debts rose 7 percent year-on-year to US$372.9 billion as of late November 2018, according to Bank Indonesia. The debts comprised the government`s and the central bank`s debts worth US$183.5 billion and private and state companies` debts worth US$189.3 billion, the central bank said in its foreign debt statistics published. Compared to October 2018, Indonesia`s foreign debts increased US$12.3 ... Read More »

Indonesia targets 7 percent growth in agroindustry

The Industry Ministry has targeted an increase of 7.1 percent in the agroindustry in 2019, higher than last year’s 6.93 percent, following a surge in domestic demand. “In this political year, there are several sectors that will enjoy great opportunities, including the food and beverage industry,” the Industry Ministry’s acting director general of agroindustry, Achmad Sigit Dwiwahjono, said in a ... Read More »

Indonesian fishermen plead guilty to smuggling shark fins

HONOLULU: US prosecutors in Hawaii are accusing the owners and officers of a Japanese fishing boat of helping Indonesian fishermen smuggle nearly 1,000 shark fins, worth about $58,000 on the black market. It’s against US law to remove the fins of sharks at sea. Prosecutors say the fishermen harvested fins from sharks that were still alive, and then discarded their ... Read More »

Indonesia to rely on trade agreements to boost exports: Minister

Indonesia’s trade deficit this year, which reached US$7.5 billion in November, has forced the government to find a way to boost exports. Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said on Thursday the government could not increase exports significantly this year because of various barriers, particularly the high tariffs imposed on Indonesian products that made them less competitive than the products produced by ... Read More »

Indonesia books $2.05 billion trade deficit in Nov

Indonesia’s trade deficit reached US$2.05 billion in November, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced on Monday. The figure is higher than the $2.03 billion recorded in July, which was then the highest deficit in the last five years. The increase was triggered by a $1.46 billion monthly deficit in oil and gas trade despite declining oil prices, both in international indexes and ... Read More »

Indonesia woos Chinese investors with US$60b menu of Belt and Road projects

JAKARTA: Indonesia is offering new projects worth up to US$60bil to Chinese investors in a bid to capitalise on Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative, a senior official said, despite growing concern about the strings tied to some of the loans worldwide. Despite Indonesia’s strategic location, Southeast Asia’s largest economy has not been among the biggest beneficiaries of China’s trillion-dollar push ... Read More »

Divided over Indonesian removal of levy on palm oil exports

JAKARTA: An Indonesian government decision to lower the levy on crude palm oil (CPO) exports to zero would remove incentives for local refiners, a palm industry refiner body said. Facing low palm prices, the government on Monday said it will temporarily lower export levies on CPO and palm oil products to zero, from a range of $20 to $50 per ... Read More »

Indonesia records US$1.82 billion trade deficit in October

Indonesia has booked another monthly deficit in October after it enjoyed a $230 million surplus in the previous month, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced on Thursday. The October deficit was recorded at US$1.82 billion, the second-highest deficit this year after a five-year high deficit of $2.03 billion in July. BPS head Suhariyanto said global price fluctuations in several commodities had affected ... Read More »

Indonesia sentences eight Taiwanese drug smugglers to death

Jakarta: Eight Taiwanese drug smugglers were sentenced to death by an Indonesian court Thursday after being nabbed with around a ton of crystal methamphetamine in a country that has some of the world’s toughest anti-drug laws. The men were arrested during raids last July, when the drug network’s suspected leader was killed in a shootout with Indonesian police. “The defendants ... Read More »

Indonesia detains vessel for suspected fuel smuggling

The Indonesian navy held a vessel illegally importing 5,000 tonnes of high-speed diesel – used as automotive fuel – last week. The Mongolia-flagged vessel, captained by an Indonesian national, did not have any import document or proper sailing permit when it was intercepted in waters off Batam last, Rear-Admiral Yudo Margono told reporters in Batam last Saturday. MV Eastern Glory ... Read More »

Maybank gives first ever syariah hedging loan in Indonesia

PETALING JAYA: Malayan Banking Bhd’s (Maybank) Indonesian unit has provided the first-ever syariah hedging financing in the country worth US$128mil to PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (PT SMI). With the Islamic hedging product, PT SMI is expected to mitigate the risk of foreign-exchange volatility within the period which it needs to pay its obligation. This may be in the form of ... Read More »