AmCham Update
AmCham Update Vol. 4 #48
Nicotine Controversy in Health Bill, ASEAN and Energy Transition, Gov't Bullish on Completing National Strategic Projects, BPOM on Medical Syrups
May 15, 2023


Omnibus Health Bill Under Fire For Equating Nicotine With Narcotics

Article 154 of the Omnibus Health Bill should be removed as it includes tobacco products under the narcotic drugs-psychotropic substances category, said Member of House of Representatives (DPR) Commission IV Vita Ervina, a member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). 

Vita said the Bill exaggerates the effects of nicotine products compared to more harmful drugs and substances, and the classification would harm the livelihoods of Indonesia's tobacco farmers. The issue has yet to be resolved.

Meanwhile, Governor of East Java Khofifah Indar Parawansa initiated a dialogue with five associations of health professionals to gather input for a follow-up discussion with Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD.

Supported by many of our member companies in the health sector, AmCham Indonesia also has regularly contributed input for the Bill highlighting our support for granting access to foreign medical practitioners and sharing industry concerns over local content policies. AmCham will continue monitoring the updates.

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ASEAN Accelerating Energy Transition

ASEAN leaders agreed to explore cooperation in developing a regional electric vehicle (EV) through the adoption of the Regional EV Ecosystem Development Declaration at the 42nd ASEAN Summit, held on May 10-11 at Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara.

Member states backed the ambition to establish ASEAN as the global production hub for the EV industry and support the region’s sustainable economic growth. This is also in line with the goal to strengthen energy security in supporting the energy transition toward clean and renewable energy in the region.

Domestically, the Indonesian government is accelerating the realization of the country’s commitment to energy transition programs and is encouraging national projects in the energy sector. Deputy for Coordinating Regional Development and Spatial Planning Wahyu Utomo said the government is preparing investment opportunities for both domestic and foreign investors in the sector.

However, Arcandra Tahar, President Commissioner of Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN), Pertamina's gas subholding company, said “local wisdom” is necessary for a proper energy transition. The country needs to utilize what it has, such as natural gas, to encourage domestic energy security and independence.

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156 National Strategic Projects Completed, 58 More Next Year

Some 156 national strategic projects worth over Rp 1 trillion have been completed as of early this month, said the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, including the first phase of the MRT. Around 58 projects, including the Trans-Java toll road network, are also expected to be finished in 2024 at the latest.

President Joko Widodo also said the Committee for the Acceleration of Providing Priority Infrastructure (KPPIP) will assess the execution of the projects next month.

These strategic projects have had a significant impact on Indonesia, including the operation of the first MRT and LRT in Indonesia and the addition of more than 1,000 km of railroad lines. Dozens of dams have also been built to increase water supply, reduce the potential for flooding, and produce electricity.

The length of the toll road system has tripled since 2014, and the construction of three drinking water treatment systems under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme provides services to more than 2 million people.

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BPOM Declares More Medical Syrups Safe for Consumption

The Indonesian Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM) has declared a further 176 medical syrups free of Ethylene Glycol (EG) and Diethylene Glycol (DEG), two substances suspected to cause acute kidney failure, adding them to the list of 941 syrup products safe for consumption.

In October 2022, BPOM set public guidelines on medicinal syrup consumption amid an outbreak of cases of acute kidney failure.

Consumers are encouraged to read the warnings carefully prior to consumption, avoid using leftover syrups that have been stored for a long time, and consult with health authorities if symptoms persist after three days of consumption.

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G7 to Launch Partnership Scheme in Supply Chain Diversification

The G7 set a deadline of the end of the year to implement a new plan to diversify global supply chains, and promised to address regulatory holes in the banking system. The “urgent need” to address current vulnerabilities within highly concentrated supply chains was emphasized by central bank presidents and finance ministers ahead of the upcoming G7 summit in Japan set for May 19-21 .

The scheme, dubbed the Resilient and Inclusive Supply Chain Enhancement (RISE), is built on guidance released in April, and will offer aid to low and middle-income countries so they can play a bigger role in supply chains for energy-related products, such as by refining minerals and processing manufacturing parts. The financial leaders' discussions will set the stage for the G7 summit in Hiroshima the following week.

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Now is the Time to Join AmCham!

Now is the Time to Join AmCham!

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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

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