Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) received a courtesy call from Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad Al Maliki at the Merdeka Palace, in Jakarta, Monday. Jokowi was accompanied by Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi while receiving Al Maliki, who was accompanied by Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia Zuhair Al Sun. They held a discussion in the veranda of the Palace. On Sunday, Al Maliki took part in an event titled "Walk for Peace and Humanity: The Joint Walk to Independence for Palestine" as part of the Solidarity for Palestine Week organized by the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry in Jakarta. The "Walk for Peace and Humanity" activity was held to strengthen solidarity and deepen understanding of the wider community of Indonesia`s contribution and role in the struggle for Palestinian independence. Al Maliki noted that all support and solidarity shown by the Indonesian government and people were like a breath of "fresh air" for Palestine. The Solidarity Week for Palestine began in Bandung, West Java, by inaugurating the Palestine Walk, followed by a walk for peace and humanity in Jakarta. (ANTARA)


Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore Ngurah Swajaya has promoted Labuan Bajo and Komodo National Park in West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara, to Singaporean investors participating in the 2018 IMF-WB Annual Meeting held in Nusa Dua, Bali.

"Ambassador Swajaya has been in Labuan Bajo since Saturday along with two investors, who will invest in Labuan Bajo," Deputy Head of the Bank Indonesia Representative Office in East Nusa Tenggara Muhammad Syarial informed Antara in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, Monday.

Syarial explained that Ambassador Swajaya’s visit to Labuan Bajo along with investors, who had invested in Belitung and Jakarta, was a follow-up to the Leaders Retreat of President Joko Widodo and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Thursday (Oct 11).

Syarial added that during the visit to Labuan Bajo, Ambassador Swajaya had met with several officials of the West Manggarai District Administration, Ministry of Tourism, and related stakeholders, including Bank Indonesia representatives in East Nusa Tenggara, West Manggarai Police Chief, state-owned enterprises, and business representatives in Labuan Bajo.

"They have seen first-hand the tourism and investment potentials in Labuan Bajo and visited Padar Island, Komodo Island, and Pink Beach," he remarked.

Labuan Bajo is one of the 10 New Bali launched by the president during the Leaders Retreat in Singapore in September 2017. The Indonesian Embassy in Singapore has promoted the tourism and investment potentials, especially of three tourist destinations: Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Belitung, and Labuan Bajo.

One of the investments promoted by the ambassador is the development of airports to enhance international direct connectivity to Labuan Bajo.

He added that Labuan Bajo and Komodo Island are attractive for visitors from Singapore, including foreigners, who live in the country. They can visit the tourist sites, with twinning destinations visits and cruise tours.

As a popular destination, Labuan Bajo had recorded some 130 thousand tourist arrivals in 2017 yet has limited accommodation, with only 1,250 hotel and homestay rooms.

In the first semester of 2018, Singapore’s investment value in Labuan Bajo was recorded at US$210 thousand for hotels and restaurants. This figure is significant, considering the fact that in 2017, there was no investment in this sector. Some leading international hotel operators plan to invest in Labuan Bajo.

Bank Indonesia representative in East Nusa Tenggara recorded that the realization of Singapore`s investment in the first semester of 2018 increased by 38 percent, from $5.04 billion recorded in the same period in 2017, thereby making Singapore the largest investor in Indonesia in the past five years. (ANTARA)


Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism held a tourism exhibition on 13-14 October in Guangzhou to attract Chinese tourists to visit Indonesia. Vice Director of International Marketing Communications of the ministry, Erwita Dianti said in Guangzhou, China, on Sunday (14/10) that the ministry does not set a certain target from the event which held together with seven tourism agencies in the capital of Guangdong Province. She added the main goal is 2.6 millions Chinese tourists during 2018. The tourism promotion event, she pointed out, was held to recover Chinese tourists’ confidence regarding to the situation in Indonesia after several earthquakes shook Lombok and central Sulawesi. The disasters have affected on the number of Chinese tourists who visit Indonesia. The number of Chinese tourists visiting Indonesia in August 2018 reach only 215,200 people or decline 1.5 percent from the same month in 2017 which reach 230,800 people. The exhibition took place at one of shopping centers in Guangzhou and was opened by Indonesian General Consulate in the city, Gustanto. The exhibition held by the Tourism Ministry offered various travel packages to Bali and Manado and showed traditional dances and songs. The Indonesian government revised the target for China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan’s tourists from three millions to 2.6 millions after the earthquakes in Lombok. (ANTARA)


Indonesian Ambassador in Oslo Todung Mulya Lubis and Managing Director of Sustainability & Strategic Golden Agri Agus Purnomo promoted sustainable palm oil while delivering keynote addresses during NHO conference held in Oslo, Norway on Wednesday (10/10).

The effort was intended to give a comprehensive understanding to the Norwegian public about the description and contribution of the sustainable palm oil industry towards efforts to achieve the targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Indonesia, the Indonesian Embassy in Oslo said in a statement, on Sunday.

The conference was opened by Norway`s Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment, Atle Hamar, and presented speakers from among others the RSPO, EPOA, UNDP, Rainforest Foundation Norway and WWF Norway, as well as multinational companies ST1 and Nestle.

The conference was also attended by participants from the Norwegian parliament, government, business circles, NGOs and the Media.

In his presentation, the Indonesian Ambassador in Oslo stated that Palm Oil is one of the strategic industries that can push forward the achievement of SDGs targets in Indonesia.

Apart from that, the existence of the palm oil industry is essential for the economy and welfare of the Indonesian people, so that the Government of Indonesia is committed to managing the palm oil industry in a sustainable manner and in line with environmental preservation for the present and future generations.

While Agus Purnomo in his presentation underlined that a comprehensive perspective on the palm oil industry is required and not to apply "selective-logging" in the vegetable oil industries.

The focus of the current debate should be looking for ways to make the palm oil industry sustainable, while still taking into account environmental sustainability. As it is now done by GAR / Sinar Mas by managing oil palm in a sustainable manner.

A concrete example: GAR / Sinar Mas is not any longer opening new land sites to meet increasing market demand, but it is upgrading existing land, among others by way of optimizing production through the use of superior palm oil seeds.

As one of the largest palm oil producers in the world, the spreading out of negative issues and campaigns against palm oil has greatly harmed the Indonesian palm oil industry.

Indonesia`s active role (through representatives of the government, national oil industry and all relevant stakeholders) in various international fora is a positive and constructive effort in addressing the issue of palm oil which has been widely misunderstood by the general public.

The conference was held in conjunction with the session on the preparations for the Norwegian National Budget in the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) so that it was hoped to be a counterweight to inaccurate information which was often echoed by NGOs and local / international mass media, such as linking palm oil with the issue of deforestation, palm oil and the issues of carbon / water related to the damaging of peatlands, and palm oil which is often suspected to be the cause of extinction of various biodiversity, particularly destruction of orangutan habitat.

At the end of the presentation the Indonesian Ambassador to Oslo stressed that it was time for Indonesia to take seriously and make real efforts to fight the negative issue / campaign by opening the eyes of the world to the facts and progress that had been achieved in the field.

The Indonesian government is strongly committed to maintaining environmental sustainability while still providing space for the sustainable palm oil industry for the welfare of the Indonesian people. (ANTARA)

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