President Joko Widodo questioned the current immigration system when discussing immigration services such as visa on arrivals and Kitas' at the Merdeka Palace on Sept 9. He criticized the Directorate General of Immigration after receiving a number of complaints on its services, including granting visas on arrival and Kitas' for foreigners coming in for work and travel purposes, and requested a major overhaul of the immigration system.
AmCham Indonesia and several other foreign chambers have noted issues pertaining to the lack of Kitas lanes at airports, and submitted a letter to the Ministry of Law and Human rights on the matter.
The President said that in granting visas and Kitas' to investors, the scale of the investment, number of possible jobs produced, and contribution to the economy should all be taken into consideration. He cited instances of nations that issue visas and residency permits to foreign nationals with economic capabilities and unique skills. He also said the Director General of Immigration should be replaced if these issues persist.
The position of Acting Director General of Immigration has been filled by the Head of the National Legal Development Agency (BPHN) Widodo Ekatjahjana since June 2021 after the retirement of Jhoni Ginting. Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly said the process to fill the Director General role had been in progress since last year, with the selection stage entering its final phase as three names have been brought forward to the Final Assessment Team (TPA).
Indonesia took part in the US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) ministerial meeting in Los Angeles, US, last week. Led by Airlangga Hartarto, the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, the Indonesian government fully supported the IPEF initiative, participating in all the four pillars the IPEF offers. In return, the US government committed to push more investment to Indonesia. Airlangga said the government would take this commitment to the technical level and push for concrete deliverables. A follow-up meeting is planned in October to discuss progress.
On the sidelines of the meeting, Airlangga also held bilateral talks with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. Airlangga said he hoped more investments would come from the US, specifically on development of the semiconductor industry. Gina reciprocated by committing to push big US companies to invest in Indonesia, and allocate the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) fund to support investments in Indonesia’s semiconductor industry. Katherine said the US government hoped member countries could settle regional issues and disputes through the IPEF.
The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Indonesia, the US-ASEAN Business Council, the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Indonesia, and the Philippine Business Club Indonesia previously sent a letter to the Indonesian government to encourage it to engage in all IPEF pillars, as each pillar provides opportunities to accelerate economic recovery and improve the country’s competitiveness. The chambers also shared their commitment to provide support when IPEF negotiations begin.
To make tomorrow’s workforce fit for the future of industry, Siemens has provided the Siemens Mechatronic System Certification Program (SMSCP) to SMK STI Jogjakarta and Swiss German University (SGU). SMSCP helps students to raise the bar for the implementation of digital enterprise by offering a holistic, hands-on approach to automation that can improve efficiency, productivity, and quality which ultimately decreases time to market. Graduates of the program will receive an internationally recognized industrial certificate from Siemens that will provide them with a clear advantage in pursuing a career in automation and manufacturing.
Siemens is the only global industrial company to offer the mechatronics certification program in cooperation with partner colleges and universities throughout North America, Asia, and Africa. Through this program, SMK STI Jogjakarta and SGU join a growing group of higher education leaders in this international network of advanced technology partners in education and industry.
President Director and CEO of Siemens Indonesia Dr Lamine Jendoubi said: “We look forward to supporting SMK STI Jogjakarta and Swiss German University (SGU) in preparing students for the workforce by providing them with the real-world technical skills required to support Indonesia’s industries, such as materials processing, machine building, automotive, transportation, building technologies, and mining.”
Let Us Know Your Recent Social Responsibility Initiatives!
We have received positive responses for this program and would like to continue featuring your CSR stories and best practices. It is wonderful to learn the great things that our members are doing for the community.
To minimize the impact of rising fuel prices, the government has begun distributing direct cash assistance (BLT) and wage subsidy assistance (BSU) starting today, Sept 12. The disbursement will be done through state-owned banks such as BNI, Mandiri, BTN, and BRI. Workers whose income is under Rp 3.5 million per month are entitled to receive the financial assistance. The Ministry of Manpower said it has coordinated the first stage of BSU disbursement for 4.36 million workers.
President Joko Widodo previously ordered regional governments to provide subsidies, Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi said. The increase in fuel prices will have a significant impact on the transportation sector, but Minister Budi said the problem will be resolved.
Former Minister of Finance Muhamad Chatib Basri has been elected as one of the co-chairs of the Management Board of the Financial intermediary Fund for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response (PPR-FIF), together with Rwanda Minister of Health Daniel Ngajime.
Chatib said the PPR-FIF aims to help low- and middle-income countries in building pandemic PPR, which compliments efforts from existing financial institutions while providing flexibility to collaborate with various implementing agencies. Indonesia is not only the Founding Donor, but also a recipient of funds, which can be used to assist the nation in achieving its health reform programs, and other activities related to PPR.
HSBC has renewed its bancassurance exclusive partnership with Allianz Asia Pacific. The 15-year distribution agreement allows Allianz Asia Pacific to provide insurance products to HSBC across six markets in Asia – including Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and China – where the agreement will be offered on a non-exclusive basis in selected cities.
The markets represent $450 billion in potential insurance premiums. Both companies will offer a series of more comprehensive products and services, and utilize new channels and tools including digital ones, President Director of HSBC Indonesia Francois de Maricourt said. HSBC will continue to distribute Allianz insurance products in the areas of protection, education, retirement, wealth, and legacy needs in the region.
The new Bank Indonesia-FAST program is proving very popular, with 77 banks signing up for the Rp 2,500 cheap transaction program, accounting for 85 percent national retail payment players.
BI-FAST is part of the central bank's initiatives regarding digital payment system infrastructure, and was developed to support industrial consolidation and end-to-end integrated digital economy and finance (EKD), to respond to public demand for a fast, easy, affordable, safe and reliable payment system.
In the fourth wave of registration 25 additional banks joined. Some big banks are already profiting from the implementation of the program, such as Bank Central Asia and Bank Mandiri. The former has processed 67 million BI-FAST transactions with income of Rp 166.2 billion, and the latter has processed 140 million transactions and income of Rp 347.3 billion.
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.