Overview- Cases Continue to Dwindle
COVID case detections fell 18% week-on-week. There where 671 new cases reported, the lowest number since June 2020 when Indonesia’s COVID outbreak began ramping up. COVID fatalities averaged 30 during the last week. PCR testing revealed a positivity rate of below 1% but health officials are not complacent, warning that upcoming holidays in December could lead to higher transmissions.
Sinovac, a COVID vaccine from China, was authorized for children ages 6-11, important news, since students have returned to in-person learning.
The Indonesian government announced this week that they have advanced their goal of 100% vaccination to December 31, 2021.
Travel- Indonesia Hosting International Events Again
Indonesia’s ambassador to China spoke at a large event inviting Chinese tourists back to Bali. The US is still on the do not enter list, except for business visas. Meanwhile Bali is greenlighted to host several international events in the months ahead, including 2 World Badminton tournaments, and the Bali International Film Festival. The 2022 G20 Summit will be held in October/November in Bali.
It is now possible again to travel to Indonesia on sponsored business visas. A five day quarantine is required at designated Jakarta hotels. A local Indonesian organization applies online at the Directorate for Immigration. If travelers do not have a local counterpart an AICC member, PT Cekindo (a business facilitation firm, part of Singapore’s InCorp group) can become the sponsor for a $300 fee. 14 days is the approximate processing time.
Contact: Pandu Biasramadhan, firstname.lastname@example.org.
View travel restrictions here.
· Inflation Rises for 4th Straight Month: Statistics Indonesia (BPS) reported on Monday that the annual inflation was recorded at 1.66 percent in October, which continued an upward trend since July, as food, beverage and tobacco prices, as well as transportation fares, picked up.
· FDI Down 2.7%: The Investment Ministry reported on Wednesday that foreign direct investment (FDI) had declined 2.7% in the July to September period as the government implemented emergency public mobility restrictions (PPKM Darurat) to contain a second COVID-19 wave. With the re-opening of business visas, FDI should improve.
· CPO Export Ban Contemplated: In an October 13 speech, President Jokowi announced that the government would “at some point” ban CPO exports so that the commodity could be processed into higher-value derivatives, such as cosmetics, food products and biodiesel for both domestic use and export. Experts and business leaders immediately panned the idea as infeasible given local demand would not be high enough.
· Due to higher commodity prices and shortfalls in spending, Indonesia’s fiscal position improved in the 3rd quarter. Rather than a 5.7% of GDP budget deficit, Indonesia’s is closer to 3% currently.
President Joko Widodo is attending the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow following the G20 Summit in Rome; both will be in person events for him, the first in 20 months. Indonesia now assumes the chairmanship of the G20 for the first time since 1999.
“In Glasgow, we will reaffirm our commitment and ambition to achieve the targets regarding aspects we are concerned about, including, for example, a 1.5-degree (rise in temperature),” Minister Siti Nurbaya stated at the Climate Leaders Message event that was followed online from Jakarta on Thursday. US Special Envoy for Climate Change, John Kerry, praised Indonesia’s efforts in reducing deforestation and carbon emissions in his presentation.
(sources: International and Indonesia news media, Bali Update (from balidiscovery.com), Reformasi Weekly, US Embassy website)