AmCham Update
AmCham Update Vol. 2 #42
To be Young and Digital, Signs of Growth, Micro PPKM, Thinning out Tanah Abang
May 03, 2021 | AmCham Indonesia

Purchasing Managers’ Index Shows Signs of Growth

Indonesia’s Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for April hit a record high of 54.6, according to a report by research and analysis company IHS Markit, an increase from 53.2 in March. The PMI starting point is 50, with a PMI higher than 50 meaning the business sector is growing, and less than 50 showing it is shrinking. This improvement was due to an increase in domestic and export demand, with the latter increasing for the first time in 17 months. 

IHS Markit Economics Director Andrew Harker said that despite the increase in Indonesia’s manufacturing production and demand, companies were still reluctant to hire new workers, although this may change in the coming months.

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Jakarta Acts to Reduce Tanah Abang Crowds

The Jakarta government is trying to reduce crowds in Tanah Abang Market and minimize the risk of Covid-19 transmission ahead of Idul Fitri. The commuter train (KRL) will skip Tanah Abang Station from 15.00 to 19.00 to avoid crowds of passengers departing from the market in the evening. Data from May 1 shows the market had 87,000 visitors, with around 45,000 using trains, a big increase in visitors from the normal average of 35,000. The market normally undergoes a spike in business just ahead of the Idul Fitri celebration.

The Jakarta government will also ban merchants from selling outside the market area, use greater traffic control, regulate the number of visitors and impose staggered closing hours for stalls to avoid crowds building up. There will also be 2,500 officers from the military and police in the area to enforce health protocols. 

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Phase 2 Jakarta School Reopening Trials Set for June

Jakarta will begin the second phase of its pilot school reopening plan in early June, following a successful three-week trial that concluded on April 29 involving 85 state and private schools.

An editorial in The Jakarta Post today, May 3, threw its weight behind the importance of providing the best possible education for Indonesia’s youth as being key to the nation’s future and economic recovery post-pandemic.

“In spite of the sad story of our national education, life must go on and time cannot wait. The misery, in particular, the potential loss of learning our children have been experiencing after more than a year of studying from home, does not keep the world from making progress,” the editorial said.

“The pandemic perhaps is a golden opportunity for us to design the best way of learning for our children, given that the advancement of technology may no longer necessitate them to attend classes in the future.”

AmCham Indonesia sees improving the education of Indonesia’s youth as key to future economic development, and, as part of our continued advocacy work, we are holding the latest in our series of education forums via Zoom on May 7 at 09:00–10:30 WIB. The forum, featuring senior leaders from international schools and a senior advisor from the Jakarta Governor’s Office, will discuss the prospects for blended and in-person learning, the results of the government’s recent pilot project, and how schools are coping with Covid-19.

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Micro PPKM Extended to 5 Provinces

The government has extended the enforcement of micro-community activity restrictions (PPKM) for May 4-17. It has also added five provinces: Riau Islands, Bengkulu, Central Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, and West Papua; making a total of 30 provinces implementing PPKM. The move was taken in response to concerns over crowds during the Idul Fitri holiday season.

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AmCham Cares: Mars

Three food and beverage giants, Mars, PepsiCo, and McCormick have launched a coalition aimed at encouraging suppliers to reduce carbon emissions in alignment with climate science. Through Supplier Leadership on Climate Transition, end-user corporates will help suppliers understand how greenhouse gas emissions can be measured and reduced in their own businesses by setting science-based targets and joining business commitments such as the RE100.

RE100 is a global initiative bringing together the world's most influential businesses committed to 100 percent renewable electricity. Led by the Climate Group and in partnership with CDP (an NGO running the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states, and regions to manage their environmental impacts), its mission is to accelerate change towards zero-carbon grids at scale.

Mars is currently engaging its largest 200 suppliers to decarbonize, of which 23 have set science-based targets or joined the RE100. Mars is now working with another 30 firms to enroll in the new supplier program. 

AmCham Young Professionals: Going Digital in Business

AmCham Indonesia’s Young Professionals Committee held a virtual discussion on digitizing business, on April 29. The speakers were Ferri Jubair, CEO and founder of Click Indonesia and Wisnu Nugrahadi, CEO and co-founder of Sampingan.

Click Indonesia’s main competencies are in content creation and copywriting, brand and identity design, and social media management. Ferri started the discussion with five reasons why businesses go digital: cost efficiency, trackable data, maintaining visibility, keeping up with trends, and reputation management.

Indonesia has seen a 6 percent increase (around 10 million) online users compared to before the pandemic hit, and along with an increase in the average time spent on social media, Ferry said this was why maintaining a presence digitally is crucial for businesses.

But along with opportunities come challenges. Ferri said it was important to have a roadmap and know your demographic and then finding the right narrative to show how your business can change people’s lifestyles. Engagement and content are key to widening your digital reach. He also discussed marketing versus branding, saying a marketing focus can bring fast, short-term response, while branding brings more long-term results and shows a business that is purpose-driven, making it more engaging and relatable to the consumer.

Wisnu said Sampingan is a platform for businesses to find the matching and qualified workers by connecting companies to a network of selected and trained freelance agents who complete tasks via a pay-per-performance system. He said Sampingan is working on easier verification of qualifications and performance, rather than just relying on a CV, through an Android app using a complex algorithm. He predicted that in five to 10 years the workplace will use AI-based screening, contracts will fully go digital, and workers will be happier because of the automation of many administrative duties. 

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Katadata D-insights offers a special rate for all AmCham members. The subscription for D-Insights are as follows:

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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.

JP Premium Digital Subscription Packages

Monthly subscription – Rp 50,000

Yearly subscription – Rp 600,000

Now is the Time to Join AmCham!

Now is the Time to Join AmCham!

We offer a full slate of meetings, events, and information for our community online. But we can only do this through the support of our members. If you are not yet an AmCham member, please join now.

AmCham Indonesia is open to all companies with an interest in US business relations and we have many non-American members. We are a community and we welcome you!

Reach us at [email protected] or click below!



AmCham Office and Events

AmCham Office and Events

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 well

We urge you to send us press releases and other information that we can pass on to the broader AmCham community. If you have items of interest, please email material to [email protected]. Follow this link to information provided by the US Embassy

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