Governor of Jakarta Anies Baswedan received a visit from Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia Zuhair Al Shun and his delegation at the City Hall, in Jakarta, on Monday.

The visit was aimed at exploring cooperation in the economic field between Palestine and the capital city of Indonesia.

"I hope that the relations between Indonesia and Palestine would become closer through trade ties between the two countries. As we have already established people-to-people ties and diplomatic relations, business-to-business ties remain to be intensified," Baswedan remarked, adding that Palestine holds a special place in the hearts of Indonesian people.

By forging mutual cooperation in business, Palestine will have an opportunity to introduce its products -- dates, olive oil, and baklava -- to Jakarta's residents.

The governor invited Palestine to participate in a people's bazaar to be organized along Sudirman-MH Thamrin Boulevards, Jakarta, in September this year.

The governor vowed to provide facilities, such as information and business permits, required by Palestinian businessmen to market their products. (ANTARA)


Minister of Research and Higher Education Mohamad Nasir has urged all higher education institutions, particularly state universities, to produce competent undergraduates and diploma graduates in line with the industry demands.

"This is an effort to improve the quality of human resources. Hence, universities can no longer afford to produce graduates that are unable to meet the requirements of the industry," he remarked after attending the Plenary Meeting of the Indonesian Economic Scholars Association (ISEI) at Stikubank University, Semarang, on Monday.

Minister Nasir affirmed that massive endeavors will be made to boost the quality of college graduates to obtain optimal results in terms of the human resources.

The minister highlighted the need for students to secure competency certification to respond to challenges arising from digital transformation that have changed the structure of the labor market.

Furthermore, the policy of necessitating undergraduates and diploma graduates to obtain a competency certificate aims to ensure that those from universities are employable.

"Hence, scholars and diploma holders must obtain competency certificates, and we will implement this on a massive scale," he stated.

The minister confirmed that his party will revitalize higher education through vocational education, so that after graduation, the students have not only obtained a diploma but also a certificate of competence in their respective fields, especially in the areas of science and technology.

"In addition, college graduates must be able to compete and boost economic growth of the surrounding community," he stated. (ANTARA)


The government has prepared a national action plan spread over the next few years to reclaim regions exposed to the toxic elements of mercury (Hg), the Environment and Forestry Ministry said. "It has become a national priority and we have the national action plan," the Director General of Waste and Toxic Waste Management of the ministry, Rosa Vivien Ratnawati said in Jakarta Monday.

It would not be an easy task to reclaim ex-mining sites that have been contaminated with mercury but it is necessary to prevent the negative impact on the society, she admitted.

Illegal public mines must be closed based on the law No. 32/2009 on the protection and management of the environment, she said.

In the near future, the government will restore the condition of Mount Botak in Buru Island, Maluku Province that had been damaged by illegal gold mines.

"Usually it will take one to two years for the recovery," she said and added that the ministry has conducted an evaluation on the levels of contamination and methods that could be used to reclaim the area.

Sumatra, Kalimantan and West Nusa Tenggara are among regions in the country that were heavily contaminated by mercury and need recovery action.

Two districts in West Nusa Tenggara are so badly contaminated with mercury that it has forced the authority to ban people from consuming meat produced by these two regions.

Regions with public small-scale mines that did not use mercury will get gold processing facilities between Rp1.2 billion and Rp1.5 billion, Ratnawati said. (ANTARA)


The Indonesian Consul General in Sydney, Heru Hartanto Subolo, has stressed the significance of cooperation between Indonesia and Australia to face global challenges, especially in the health and environment sectors.

The consul general delivered his remarks at the inauguration of the Centre for Environment and Population Health (CEPH)Hub for Global Health Security, at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, according to a statement received by Antara in Sydney on Monday. "I encourage more collaboration, cooperation and connection between Griffith University, specifically the Centre for Environmental and Population Health, the Hub for Global Health Security, which was inaugurated today, with universities and related institutions in Indonesia," the Subolo Consul General said.

He added that cooperation, collaboration and connections will make Indonesia and Australia more productive and effective in responding to global and environmental security.

Griffith University has invited Consul General Subolo to deliver a speech during the inauguration of this institution along with other representatives of fellow countries, namely, the Chinese Consul General in Brisbane and the Vietnamese Embassy in Canberra.

Meanwhile, representatives of the Queensland State Government and Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade were also present at the inauguration ceremony and gave speeches.

Former Indonesian Minister of Environment, who is also the Indonesian President's Special Envoy for Climate Change, Rachmat Witoelar, and his wife, Erna Witoelar, were also present.
Indonesia, China and Vietnam are countries where the CEPH establishes partnerships.

With Indonesia, the CEPH has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indonesia Muslim University in Makassar (South Sulawesi) in October 2014 on research seminars, training events and workshops.

Griffith University’s CEPH is an academic centre that provides international collaboration with a focus on research, including theories and practices on global health promotion, conservation, disaster risk management and global health security.

"At the end of August 2018, President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, expanded the partnership between Indonesia and Australia into a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. I hope the CEPH can contribute to the implementation of people-to-people connections with the new partnership," Consul General Subolo said.

He underlined the commitment of the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Sydney to facilitate the cooperation that has been established and the one which will be built in the future between the centre and its partners in Indonesia. (ANTARA)

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