PresidentJoko Widodo conducted an expected cabinet reshuffle today, April 28, after the House of Representatives approved his plan to reorganize several ministries and establish a new Ministry of Investment. Rather than major changes, the president elevated a pair of ministers.
Education minister Nadiem Makarim saw his duties expanded as the newly created Minister of Education, Culture, Research and Technology, the result of a merger of the education and research and technology ministries. Widodo also formed the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), and appointed Laksana Tri Handoko, head of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), to lead the new agency.
The new post is seen by observers as a victory for the reform-minded Nadiem, the founder of Gojek, and an indication that he has weathered several political storms and attempts to have him ousted from the education post. With fewer obstacles and presidential backing, observers hope that Nadiem will now be able to make good on changes in the conservative education establishment.
The now-defunct research and technology ministry was previously headed by veteran official Bambang Brodjonegoro, who will no longer serve in the Cabinet.
Bahlil Lahadalia, Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) chief, will lead the new Ministry of Investment, and also continue his BKPM role. Indriyanto Seno Adji was also appointed to the Supervisory Board of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), replacing Artidjo Alkostar who passed away in February.
Covid-19 Prevention in the Workplace: AmCham Forum
AmCham Indonesia hosted a virtual discussion with the Covid-19 Task Force, WeWork, and Reckitt Indonesia this morning (April 28), providing updates on the spread of Covid-19 in workplaces and best practices for prevention in offices.
Dewi Nur Aisyah, Head of Data and Information Technology at the government’s Covid-19 Task Force, opened the session with the latest Covid-19 developments in Indonesia, including rocketing cases in workplace clusters across Jakarta, and guidelines on health protocols to be implemented in offices.
Elizabeth Fuller, Head of Growth at WeWork Southeast Asia, spoke of her company’s portfolios and actions in adapting to the pandemic, and its strategy in answering future challenges, notably office decentralization. Head of Community Affairs and Partnerships at Reckitt Indonesia Donny Wahyudi then spoke of Reckitt’s contributions in tackling the pandemic, including information sharing with the public on healthy habits and providing necessary supplies to nearby hospitals. Reckitt has adopted policies such as employee self-temperature checks to ensure the health and well-being of its employees.
Reckitt produces a range of cleaning sanitizer products, including Detol. WeWork is a global leader in member-oriented office space. Both companies are Platinum members of AmCham.
Donny also provided valuable insights on how one major consumer products company has reconfigured its workspaces to cope with the pandemic.
The big takeaway from all the presentations was that business, employees, and government have to work together to create a safe working environment.
WeWork’s Covid-19 Operations Playbook can be found below as well as other presentation materials. The playbook provides an overview of how WeWork tries to maintain clean, safe, and accessible workplaces globally. By incorporating changes based on health guidelines, government requirements, member feedback, and workplace insights, WeWork is creating solutions that meet both safety and work needs.
Local measures and mandates are updated and aligned in accordance with local conditions, and WeWork also works hard to develop its standards. If you would like a better understanding of these mandates and/or the insights Elizabeth shared during the meeting, please reach out to Ivan Darius, [email protected] from WeWork.
Jakarta Government Closed 2,114 Companies Due to Covid-19
The Jakarta government temporarily closed 2,114 companies from January 11-April 26 after inspections related to the spread of Covid-19. The government inspected 3,703 companies in total. Some 824 companies were closed in South Jakarta, 652 in Central Jakarta, 270 in West Jakarta, 201 in North Jakarta, and 167 in East Jakarta.
Since 2018, AIG Indonesia has sponsored the Indonesian Student Companies Program in partnership with Prestasi Junior Indonesia (PJI). Year 10 students established their companies starting with designing, manufacturing, and selling environmentally friendly products through various channels. The program generally runs from April to October each year.
In 2020, AIG Indonesia sponsored 100 students across three high schools. The program ran virtually with support from AIG’s employee volunteers who mentored students on running a company, including production, marketing, and distribution, human resources, and finance. AIG’s volunteers also provided insights on soft skills, such as managing employees, public speaking, and presentation.
“AIG Indonesia is proud to sponsor this outstanding program which develops young Indonesian entrepreneurs. I’m also proud of our volunteers who devoted more than 150 hours during 2020 guiding and encouraging the students in the program,” said Rob Logie, President Director and CEO of AIG Indonesia.
One innovative business initiated by students from SMKN 20 Jakarta was Magic Enzyme, a natural shoe cleaner made from fermented orange peel waste and starfruit. Nature Piece was targeted to reach 210 packages within three months of launching the company. Having achieved their objective, they were recognized with Second Runner Up in the Indonesian National Student Company Competition.
Save the Date: 2021 Exim Annual Conference
The US Export-Import Bank will hold its annual conference on September 21-23. EXIM is an independent federal agency that equips US exporters with the necessary tools to compete in the global sales market. It provides trade financing solutions, such as export credit insurance, working capital guarantees, and guarantees of commercial loans to foreign buyers.
Registration is expected to open in mid-May, and people are encouraged to sign up on the EXIM site to receive regular conference updates. Those who sign up will be the first to receive details on agenda updates, new speaker announcements, and registration notifications. Those interested in sponsor and exhibit opportunities should email inquiries to [email protected].
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]
Support Independent Journalism: Subscribe to The Jakarta Post
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