VoA Changes, Pandemic Almost Over, Jokowi Tells Officials to Drive Electric, New Renewable Energy Regulation
Sep 16, 2022
VoA Can Now Be Used For Business Meetings
Visa on Arrival (VoA) holders will be able to attend business meetings as of today, Sept 16. Under Directorate General of Immigration Circular IMI-0700.GR.01.01/2022, the VoA can now be used for the following travel purposes: tourist visits, government duty visits, business talk visits, purchase of goods, meeting visits, and transit. The number of VoA recipient countries has also increased from 75 to 86, adding countries such as Chile, Ecuador, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.
The Directorate General of Immigration said that to receive a VoA one must process VoA payment at the BRI counter. Once they have received their proof of payment, they can proceed to the immigration checkpoint and present their passport and payment receipt to have their VoA stamped in their passport. The VoA costs Rp 500,000 and is valid for 30 days with a one extension allowance.
This VoA update comes at a time when an increasing number of foreign nationals are entering the country. From January to August 2022, 3,017 tourists entered Indonesia with the B211A Visa, most of whom are assumed to be digital nomads – a person who earns a living working online in various locations of their choosing (rather than a fixed business location). The government has made it so that via the B211A Visa, foreign nationals are allowed to work remotely for up to 6 months without paying taxes. The government’s original plan for a longer-term digital nomad visa is still under discussion.
The world is in its best shape in handling Covid-19 since the pandemic started, said World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus. With global figures at their lowest since 2020, WHO has urged countries to keep their guards up, and prepare strategies to smoothen the transition from pandemic to endemic.
In Indonesia, cases have been in decline since the peak of the Omicron sub-variants wave in early August this year. If the low figures of hospitalization and deaths continue, the WHO could revoke the public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) status for the Covid-19 pandemic by mid-2023, according to Dicky Budiman, epidemiologist from Griffith University, Australia.
McDermott's four sustainability goals support the broader global goals of the United Nations, and one of its key objectives is to promote well-being in its workplaces and the communities in which it operates.
McDermott is very active in the local community and recently, in the spirit of Go Beyond, donated nutritional packages to 20 local children in Indonesia. The children all suffer from stunting, which is a condition that restricts a child’s growth and can often be attributed to poor nutrition in pregnant women, infants, and toddlers.
McDermott's fabrication yard in Batam also acts as a "foster parent" for the children, who are all from unprivileged families and were proposed and validated by the local health authority. This facilitates an arrangement of ongoing support so the team in the yard can continue the make donations, amongst other activities, for the next six months.
Senior Project Manager Longgam Panggabean visited the Tanjung Sengkuang Local Health Center in person to make the donation on behalf of the wider team. In attendance was the Head of the Batu Ampar Sub-district and the Head of the Tanjung Sengkuang Health Center.
“We are proud to support this important initiative here in Batam. Diet and physical well-being is something that affects us all and it is important we extend our focus beyond our offices and sites to the wider communities where we operate,” said Director of Fabrication Operations, Dino Cimetta. “I would like to commend the team on their cumulative efforts to make this happen.”
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Jokowi Tells State Officials to Use Electric Vehicles
President Joko Widodo has issued Presidential Instruction (Inpres) 7/2022 telling officials in the central and regional governments to accelerate the use of electric vehicles (EV) as their main operational vehicles. This is part of the government’s efforts to control fuel prices. The President issued three main instructions for state officials on policy making, budget determination, and the implementation of EV procurement to replace fuel powered vehicles.
In addition to the instruction, President Joko will also highlight EVs in the upcoming G20 Summit in Bali. The use of EVs in the global event will be the start of Indonesia’s massive transition from fuel powered vehicles to more environmentally-friendly vehicles.
Presidential Regulation on Renewable Energy Issued
President Joko Widodo has issued Presidential Regulation 112/2022 on the Acceleration of Renewable Energy Development for Electricity Procurement, effective Sept 13. The regulation sets provisions on new renewable energy electricity tariffs and incentives to attract more investment in the development of geothermal energy power plants (PTLP). The lack of geothermal electricity use in the country is partly driven by tariff issues, President of the Indonesian Geothermal Association (API) Prijandaru Effendi said.
Meanwhile, coal power plant projects (PLTU) are no longer allowed to be developed, except those registered as National Strategic Plans and meet other criteria.
The regulation also requires government institutions and/or ministries to prioritize the use of local renewable energy generating components by local content verification and import quotas. Some investors say such requirements are a significant non-tariff barrier which will hinder Indonesia in achieving affordable and competitive energy prices and quality.
SSEK Seminar: Mandatory Insurance For Employers of Short-Term Expatriate Workers
Looking to hear the updates on mandatory insurance policies for employers of short-term expats workers in Indonesia? On Friday, September 23, gather insight on the insurance obligations for companies employing short term foreign workers in an in-person seminar which will feature a guest speaker from the Ministry of Labor; and will be moderated by our AmCham Indonesia Board Member and HR Committee Co-Chair Stephen Warokka, Partner at SSEK Indonesia Legal Consultants. Please note this event will be conducted in Bahasa Indonesia.
Increased Income, Increased Spending for Govt
The government has revised its 2023 revenue forecast, raising it by Rp 19.4 trillion based on higher tax income, performance of extractive industries, and the overall improvement in the domestic economy. Next year’s total income forecast is Rp 2.46 quadrillion, or an 8 percent rise from the 2022 projection of Rp 2.26 quadrillion. Tax revenue as the main contributor is expected to increase Rp 4.3 trillion to Rp 2 quadrillion, underpinned by the increase in the VAT tariff and extensification of the tax base.
Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the 2023 tax revenue projection no longer takes into consideration the commodity boom and voluntary tax declaration program which occurred this year. Following the 2023 revenue forecast increase, the government also increased planned spending for 2023 by Rp 19.4 trillion to Rp 3.06 quadrillion. Sri Mulyani said that with this increased spending forecast, the government will accelerate payments of subsidies and compensation to state-owned energy companies Pertamina and PLN.
Indonesia's trade surplus hot streak extended to 28 months in August at $5.76 billion. Exports were $27.91 billion, a 9.17 percent month-on-month (MoM) rise, and imports hit $22.15 billion, up 3.77 percent MoM. Indonesia recorded the biggest trade surplus from India ($1.8 billion), the US ($1.6 billion), and the Philippines ($1.09 billion). Cumulatively from January to August 2022, Indonesia had a $34.92 billion trade surplus, a 68.6 percent increase year-on-year.
Export growth in August was driven by oil and gas exports (up 25.59 percent) and other commodities such as agriculture, forestry, and fisheries (16.99 percent), the processing industry (13.49 percent), but mining exports were down 6.66 percent. Despite falling commodity prices globally, the increasing export value is also due to rising export volume. Import performance was largely supported by an increase in imported raw and auxiliary materials to $16.76 billion. This is in line with the improvement in consumption and stronger manufacturing activities in the country.
The AmCham Office is transitioning back to the office. We are still maximizing online meetings, using the Zoom platform, but starting to have in-person meetings. You will be notified of the 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.