Indonesia has lauded the promotion activity of Asian Games 2018 in Bac Nich Province, Vietnam, on Sunday.

"Asian Games Fun Run is held in Bac Nich Province, Vietnam to promote Asian Games 2018. The event was participated in by 3,000 participants from various social backgrounds," Secretary General of The 2018 Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC) Eris Herryanto said in a written statement received  in Jakarta on Monday ( 12 /3 ). 

The Asian Games Fun Run was also attended by 600 students in the province. The activity also showcased local arts and cultures as well as socialized the Olympic and Asian Games involving 400 elementary school students in Vietnam.

In addition, Deputy Director of Bac Ninh Culture, Sports and Tourism Department Nguyen Duang Bac stated that the event taught modern Olympic values such as brilliance, friendship and mutual respect for a better life. Coordinator President Office of Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Trkmani Wissam remarked that friendship and teamwork were important values of sports activities in the Asian continent.

The OCA will also host Asian Games Fun Run in other countries such as Saudi Arabia, Macao, Nepal, Oman, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, China, Japan, Thailand, Iran, South Korea and Timor Leste.

The regional government of Jakarta earlier expressed optimism in completing the construction of all infrastructure projects for the 2018 Asian Games on time, an official stated.

"In general, those construction projects are being implemented in line with the schedule, and they certainly can be completed on time before the Asian Games begins," Jakarta Government Secretary Saefullah remarked.

Saefullah pointed to some significant progress in the Jakarta Light Rail Transit (LRT) whose construction has currently reached 63 percent completion.

"Hopefully, it would be able to reach 95 percent completion by July 2018, so we can operate it in August 2018," he noted.

The Jakarta LRT will connect the Jakarta city center with suburbs in Greater Jakarta, such as Bekasi, Bogor, and Depok, where some Asian Games venues are located. The construction work on the Jakarta International Equestrian Park in Pulomas, East Jakarta, is on schedule and has reached 90 percent completion. During the finishing phase, Saefullah has also urged contractors to renovate the areas surrounding the Asian Games venues to increase the aesthetic appeal despite the Jakarta government being in charge of it. ( antara ) 


Finance Minister Sri Mulyani stated that the exchange rate movement and Indonesia Crude Price (ICP) in the early period of the year have caused a change in the energy subsidy in the 2018 budget. She explained that although it has a positive effect on the budget, the exchange rate movement and the ICP must be mitigated, so that it would not risk inflation and financial balance of business entities.

"The movement, in terms of budget, has provided a good impact on the revenue side, but on the other hand, it has affected the economic prices of the subsidized diesel fuel and electricity that use a coal mixture energy source, she noted at a press conference on the realization of the 2018 budget in Jakarta on Monday ( 12/ 3 ).

She remarked that mitigation could be done through maintaining people`s buying power by not increasing the price of subsidized goods to targeted people, increasing subsidy for diesel fuel from the current price of Rp500 per liter to Rp1 thousand to reduce the burden in the financial balance of state-owned oil company PT Pertamina.

"We are taking efforts to maintain the price, so that the world oil price will not affect the subsidized domestic price. We will also increase diesel fuel subsidy, so that Pertamina will not be burdened," she added.

Sri Mulyani has projected an increase in the subsidy for diesel fuel by around Rp4.1 trillion, from Rp500 to Rp1 thousand. She revealed that the government would also conduct capping on the selling domestic market obligation (DMO) price of coal to state-owned power company PT PLN at US$70 per ton from the current market price of $100.69 per ton.

"We will also anticipate additional electricity subsidy of 450VA for one million additional household customers, currently recorded at 23.1 million in the budget, to increase it to 24.1 million customers," she explained.

Sri Mulyani confirmed that there would be no hike in the subsidized price of 3-kilogram LPG canister of up to 6.45 billion kilograms, at Rp7,008 per kilogram, and regular oil fuel.  She noted that the change in the subsidy spending would not affect budget deficit in 2018, which has been set at the safe limit of 2.19 percent against the gross domestic product.

The government has earlier confirmed that there would be potential depreciation of the rupiah exchange rate and fuel oil price in the macro assumptions set in the 2018 budget. The rupiah exchange rate, which is projected at Rp13.4 thousand against the US dollar, is predicted to be realized weaker to Rp13.5 thousand against the dollar for the whole year.

The Indonesian Crude Price, which is assumed at $48 per barrel, is predicted to increase to between $55 and $60 per barrel, in line with the increasing price of the commodity in the international market. The government set subsidy on energy, at Rp94.53 trillion in the 2018 budget. This number is divided into Rp46.9 trillion for fuel oil subsidy and Rp47.7 trillion for electricity subsidy. ( antara ) 


State plantation firm, PTPN XII will supply cocoa products produced by its subsidiary, PT Rolas Nusantara Mandiri, to New Zealand this year.

"New Zealand is a new market for the company. So far, we had exported the products through traders," President Director of PTPN XII Berlino Mahendra Santosa stated, after signing a memorandum of understanding with PT Sarinah (Persero) in Jakarta, on Monday ( 12/3) 

If the company sells the commodities directly to the factory, the supply chain will be shorter. The volume of cocoa supplied to New Zealand is 40 tons in a single delivery. The company had fulfilled the requirements of selling the commodities directly to New Zealand in November 2017.

"On Wednesday, we will go to New Zealand to meet other requirements," Santosa remarked.

Commodity-based products, such as coffee, tea, and cocoa, produced by companies are the highest quality products in the world. Through marketing the products directly to New Zealand, the company could attract world-class chocolate producers and learn from them. Indonesia must compete other countries to export the cocoa. "World famous chocolate factories in New Zealand buy raw materials from Ghana and Nicaragua," Santosa revealed. ( antara ) 


President Joko Widodo Thanks AIIB

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) thanked the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for funding several Indonesia`s infrastructure projects. Speaking at a meeting with the AIIB delegation at Bogor`s Presidential Palace  on Monday ( 12/3 ), Head of state also expressed his high appreciation for the bank`s role over these past two years. The AIIB has so far helped fund three ongoing infrastructure projects in Indonesia. Hence, President Widodo has urged the AIIB to be more efficient and effective in finalizing deals with Indonesia.

Some members of Jokowi`s cabinet comprising Coordinating Minister of Economy Darmin Nasution, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani, Public Works and People`s Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung also attended the meeting with AIIB.

Following the meeting, Chairman of the AIIB delegation Christopher Legg remarked that the Government of Indonesia is keen to work with AIIB in resolving challenges in building infrastructure. Speaking in connection with the request, Legg, who is the representative of AIIB Australia, noted that the bank had only disbursed loans for three projects in Indonesia as the AIIB had just operated for two years and had still maintained stable management, with the human resources and representative offices.

"We have offered 20 loans in two years, of which three are for Indonesia. I hope this would grow step-by-step to at least four to five billion in the next two years, and Indonesia will receive a significant part of the funds. However, it should be applied in accordance with the needs of each region," he emphasized.

During the meeting, President Jokowi lauded the AIIB for supporting Indonesia`s infrastructure development and conveyed his best wishes for the bank`s future. "I want to thank you for taking a part in financing some infrastructure in Indonesia in the first two years," he remarked.

The president also welcomed the AIIB delegation to visit some construction sites in Indonesia, such as the Mass Rapid Transit in Jakarta and toll roads in the Yogyakarta Special Region, as well as in Solo, Central Java. Indonesia is one of the founders and shareholders of AIIB that was established in 2016. During the first two years of AIIB`s operations, Indonesia had received US$216.5 million in loans to finance three projects: elevating slum areas program, regional infrastructure development fund, and damage rehabilitation and safety operational safety fund II.

Legg`s delegates comprised representatives from some AIIB member countries: Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, France, Italy, Bangladesh, India, the United Kingdom, Laos, Israel, and Poland. ( antara ) 

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