Data Protection Bill, Jokowi All-in on EV, US Visas, Boosting Palm Oil Exports
Jun 10, 2022
Agreement on Personal Data Protection Bill
A consensus has been reached between the House of Representatives (DPR) and the Ministry of Communication and Informatics (Kominfo) on the Personal Data Protection Bill (RUU PDP) and the measure will be finalized in two months after a previous deadlock in discussions, according to DPR Commission I chair Meutya Hafidz.
A key issue was the PDP Supervisory Agency, with the DPR wanting the agency to report directly to the president, while Kominfo wanted the agency to be under its control. It has yet to be revealed what solution was agreed. Experts had said the PDP supervisory agency should not be placed under Kominfo or any other existing institutions such as the National Cybersecurity and Crypto Agency (BSSN), as it could trigger conflicts of interest and overlapping authorities.
Jokowi Kicks-Off Electric Battery Industry Development
President Joko Widodo officially launched the development of the integrated electric vehicle (EV) battery industry at Batang Industrial Estate (KITB), Central Java, on June 8. The industrial area is the first to integrate the upstream and downstream production process of EV batteries, from nickel mining to battery recycling.
The President said the total investment value is $9.8 billion and the industrial area will provide job opportunities for 20,000 people. He said he hopes Indonesia can become a major producer of nickel-based products such as lithium, electric, and EV batteries. He called on the central and regional governments to continue giving full support to the realization of the project.
Indonesia has initiated an export acceleration scheme targeted at shipping at least 1 million tonnes of crude palm oil (CPO) and its derivative products. The aim is to ensure the stability of production and prices of palm fresh fruit bunches at the farmer level. After the CPO export ban was lifted, exporters faced challenges with new requirements and farmers are still struggling to sell their palm fruit.
The government is also cutting the maximum rate of the export tax and fee for CPO to $488 per tonne, from the previous $575 per tonne. Companies participating in the export acceleration initiative must submit data to the Ministry of Trade's web portal, including information on storage inventories. Exporters registered for the scheme will be given a special tariff. The scheme is regulated under Ministry of Trade Regulation 38/2022, effective until July 31.
AmCham Indonesia hosted a virtual discussion on US Visa Applications and American Citizen Services with the Consular Section, US Embassy Jakarta on June 8, discussing current visa trends and the visa application process, including how to request an expedited visa.
Consular Officer Sulaiman Toghral said the current visa wait time is 50 days for Jakarta, therefore travelers are advised to plan their travel accordingly and apply early.
The application steps remain unchanged, but the Business Visa Program (BVP), previously designed for firms operating within Indonesia to reserve appointment times, is no longer available. The BVP has been replaced with an expedited appointment service, which is available for those who have unforeseen travel needs such as urgent business travel, medical needs, funerals/deaths and other qualifications.
The following services are also available for American citizens: passport renewal, citizenship documentation and notarial services to include affidavits, and acknowledgment of signature and power of attorney.
US citizens living abroad are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP – https://step.state.gov/), which enables them to receive information from the Embassy about safety conditions in their destination country, helping to make informed decisions about travel plans. STEP also helps the US Embassy make contact in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
OECD Predicts Indonesia's GDP to Expand by 4.7%
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) predicts Indonesia’s GDP will expand by 4.7 percent in 2022, with domestic demand rebounding after the government relaxed pandemic activity restrictions, falling short of the government's forecast of between 4.8 and 5.1 percent. However, the OECD predicts Indonesia will beat the 3 percent projected global economic growth.
The director of the Center of Economic and Law Studies (CELIOS), Bhima Yudhistira, said the OECD prediction is more realistic than the government’s due to rising cost of funds, and that the real challenge lies in the second half of 2022. However, Deputy Finance Minister Suahasil Nazara said 4 percent inflation was tolerable, considering the government estimates economic growth of 5 percent, and that so long as GDP growth exceeds inflation then demand in the production sector would rise and consumer purchasing power would be maintained.
Promoting the local economy has always been one of ExxonMobil Indonesia's focuses in implementing community development initiatives. One example is the "Untung Terus Dengan Biogas" (Tunas) program, loosely translated as "keep reaping benefits through biogas."
In collaboration with Yayasan Rumah Energi (YRE) and Yayasan Trukajaya, the program aims to provide access to an alternate energy source for the neighboring community in Bojonegoro and Tuban, East Java.
Since its establishment in 2013, the program has concentrated on converting abundantly available livestock manure into biogas and fertilizer. As a result, the program has helped at least 320 families in 15 villages to reduce the use of LPG gas for cooking and lighting and support their home businesses.
For its impact on the community, the program received platinum recognition from the Corporate Forum for Community Development (CFCD) in 2019.
AmCham Indonesia’s Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) Committee had a fruitful discussion on pressing issues impacting the technology industry, on June 9. The discussion was opened by Committee Chair Ajar Edi, on the draft government regulation on non-tax state revenue (PNBP) issued by the Ministry of Communication and Informatics, which regulates sanctions in the form of fines for violations of personal data protection rules and content moderation responsibilities. AmCham provided updates on engagements with the Ministry on this issue, from sending input to attending the consultation meeting.
The committee also discussed the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) moratorium on applying customs duties to electronic transactions. Companies are worried Indonesia will oppose the extension of the moratorium in the upcoming WTO ministerial on June 12-15, considering that it would give an economic disadvantage to both global and local digital companies if countries were to start levying duties on services and transmissions delivered digitally.
The meeting continued with a series of discussions on pending issues such as the ever-present personal data protection bill, the revision of e-commerce policy and the upcoming ministerial regulation on public electronic system operators (ESO). The committee also raised a new issue, the protection of vital information infrastructure under the newly passed Presidential Regulation 82/2022. AmCham Indonesia will continue to monitor the developments of these issues and take the necessary actions going forward.
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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.