Halal Dialogue, Partnering to Battle Future Pandemics, Helping MSEs
Mar 31, 2021 | AmCham Indonesia
Halal Body Meets with AmCham
AmCham Indonesia held a virtual discussion with the Acting Head of the government’s Halal Certification Agency (BPJPH), Dr. H Mastuki, this morning, March 31. The body is charged with implementing the nation’s sweeping mandatory Halal Law.
With the issuance of Government Regulation 39/2021 on Halal Product Assurance, and given BPJPH’s central role in overseeing halal standards in Indonesia, companies were eager to question Mastuki and his team. Mastuki recently took over the body following the resignation of the founding head of the agency.
BPJPH provided an overview of the procedures to apply for halal certification for products, as well as the mechanism in formulating a partnership between BPJPH and foreign halal certification bodies for imported product certification. BPJPH insists that such partnerships or agreements be done on a government-to-government (G2G) basis. This is a challenge in countries such as the United States where religious affairs are strictly separated from government. BPJPH said it welcomed foreign companies submitting their products directly for halal accreditation, which could involve Indonesian inspectors traveling to factory sites in other countries to conduct inspections.
The discussion is the latest step for an industry trying to secure legal certainty over halal standards. While there are still issues to be worked out, it is in encouraging that BPJPH is listening to private sector concerns.
Indonesia Joins Forces with Other Countries to Tackle Future Health Crises
Indonesia has joined 22 other countries plus the World Health Organization to express support for an international treaty for tackling future health emergencies. The treaty is aimed at improving alert systems, data sharing, research and the production and distribution of vaccines, medicines, diagnostics and personal protective equipment. Leaders are saying countries should collaborate on an international treaty to prepare for future pandemics. The treaty will also mention the interdependence between the health of mankind, animals and the planet, emphasizing shared responsibility, transparency and international cooperation.
Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD) Indonesia, in partnership with Mercy Corps Indonesia (MCI), launched the Supporting Micro and Small Entrepreneurs through Adaptive Digital Advisory and Financial Services to Cope with Covid-19 Impacts (Summer Act) Program in October 2020, in response to the pandemic’s impact on micro and small enterprises (MSEs).
The program has four key initiatives; two were launched in February:
Development of an android-based application, UMKM Tangguh (Resilient MSMEs), which has reached 42,658 MSEs mainly from Greater Malang. Of the total participants, 51 percent are women, 45 percent men, and 4 percent didn’t disclose their gender. Through UMKM Tangguh the program has delivered numerous information, education, and communication materials related to business development, financial literacy, business policies and Covid-19.
Access to digital mentoring for MSEs through the MicroMentor platform partnering with community business organizations and academic institutions. Some 715 new mentees and 374 new mentors have joined the platform, and 430 mentoring connections have been made. Of the total mentors, 38 percent are women, 45 percent men, and 17 percent didn’t disclose their gender. While for the total mentees, 43 percent are women, 29 percent men, and 28 percent didn’t disclose their gender.
The Summer Act program will be conducted for 12 months to help MSEs recover and be equipped with digital and financial tools to cope with the pandemic.
Only 70.91% of Foreign Workers Insured by BPJS
BPJS (Indonesian Social Security Agency) said only 63,332 foreign workers, 70.91 percent of all foreign workers registered with the Ministry of Manpower, are registered with the agency. According to Presidential Regulation 20/2018, foreign workers are obliged to be insured under BPJS after working in Indonesia for at least six months. Therefore, the number of registered workers in BPJS will always be lower than those in the manpower ministry.
In this fast-paced world, it is often hard to stay informed on the latest political issues and business trends that may affect our lives. This is why Katadata’s D-insights provides the information we need on a daily basis, plus weekly and quarterly reports that summarize the trends and give background on the business, politics, markets, and energy.
Katadata D-insights offers a special rate for all AmCham members. The subscription for D-Insights are as follows:
Up to four users with a special price at Rp 40,000,000 annually. Send names, emails, and quote “AMCHAM2” to [email protected]
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In these difficult times, our hometown English language newspaper, The Jakarta Post, is more important than ever. Given the difficulties of physical circulation and the economic slump, the Post needs to boost its online subscribers – a goal we heartily support at AmCham Indonesia. Quality English language news is vital for our businesses, our home offices, and the flow of information out of Indonesia. It is for this reason, that we are urging all of our members and readers to subscribe to JP! Information is what will help get us through this crisis. Below is information about how to sign up.
The AmCham Office is on work from home status and all face-to-face meetings and events have been postponed. We are having a number of meetings online using the Zoom platform. You will be notified of virtual meetings as they are scheduled.
What is Your Company Doing on COVID-19?
Please let us know what measures your company may be taking in the form of donations and other assistance to help Indonesia during this time of confusion and concern. Contact [email protected] with your news. We would like to publicize the ways that our AmCham companies are pitching in.
Stay safe, call a doctor if you have a high fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Stay healthy above all else.
AmCham Update is AmCham's regular newsletter on developments related to the pandemic crisis and other issues in Indonesia. It is edited by AmCham Managing Director A Lin Neumann and written by the AmCham Staff. Paul L Goddard is the Managing Editor