The ratio of positive COVID tests to the total tests conducted fell into the single digits for the first time in 9 months. The ratio dropped, in part, because unlike in the past rapid-antigen tests are being counted for the first time, not just polymerase chain tests. Case detections fell one percent nationwide on a seven-day moving average.
Indonesia is trying to secure more vaccines. Indonesia is in talks with China to secure as many as 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to plug a gap in deliveries after delays in arrivals of AstraZeneca shots, the health minister said on Thursday (04/08). Indonesia would receive 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine via a bilateral deal in 2021, instead of 50 million initially agreed, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin told a parliamentary hearing. The remaining 30 million doses were due to be shipped by the second quarter of 2022, he said. Budi said the government had “embarked on a discussion with the Chinese government to ask for an additional 90-100 million (doses)”. “We’re also asking for vaccines from the U.S. when they’re done with their own vaccinations and sell their vaccines overseas,” he added.
Indonesia has not yet opened access for visa-on-arrival and visa-free during the COVID-19 pandemic, except for foreigners with essential purposes such as businesses, works, or humanitarian reasons. Visit Indonesian Immigration (https://www.imigrasi.go.id) and the Indonesian Embassy (https://kemlu.go.id/washington/en) for updated visa and entry requirements as regulations may change frequently.
AICC can help secure business visas for traveling to Indonesia. Please contact our office at (212) 687-4505 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
· IMF Lowers Growth Projection: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered its 2021 growth projection for Indonesia and is far less optimistic than the government about the economic recovery as the country faces setbacks with its COVID-19 vaccination program. In its April outlook, the IMF downgraded Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth projection by 0.5 percentage points to 4.3 percent for this year. That figure is lower than the government’s projection, which assumes GDP growth between 4.5 percent and 5.3 percent. Josua Pardede, an economist at publicly-listed Bank Permata, said the IMF’s downgraded outlook was in line with the country’s slow vaccination rollout compared to other emerging economies, like India and Turkey.
· Indonesia/Europe Trade Deal: Indonesia is one short step away from having its first trade agreement with European countries after legislators approved a bill over a deal between Indonesia and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The House of Representatives approved on Friday the draft for the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IE-CEPA) between Indonesia and the EFTA, which comprises Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The deal would help push for Swiss acceptance of Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certification.
· Indonesia Participates in Hannover Digital Exhibition April 12-16 Indonesia, as the official partner country of the Hannover Messe 2021: Digital Edition, is showcasing its competence in implementing the industrial technology 4.0 called Making Indonesia 4.0. Seven industrial sectors have been designated as the priority focus of Making Indonesia 4.0: the food and beverage industry, textile and clothing industry, automotive industry, chemical industry, electronics industry, pharmaceutical industry, and medical device industry.
· Digital Mergers
1. Gojek/Tokopedia According to Reuters, Indonesian ride-hailing and payments company Gojek and the country’s leading e-commerce business Tokopedia are close to sealing their proposed merger as they prepare to seek formal shareholder approval. A deal that sources have previously pegged at US$18 billion would create a technology powerhouse offering online shopping, courier services, ride-hailing, food delivery, and other services in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
2. Traveloka SPAC Merger: Online travel search engine operator Traveloka is in advanced discussions to go public via a merger with Bridgetown Holdings, a SPAC managed by billionaires Peter Thiel and Richard Li, Bloomberg reported. The deal could value the Jakarta-based company at US$5 billion, the report said.
Natural Disasters: At least eight people were killed after a 6.0 magnitude quake struck off the coast of Indonesia’s main Java island on Saturday (04/10), as the country reels from a cyclone disaster. The afternoon quake hit offshore about 45 kilometers southwest of Malang city in East Java, damaging homes as well as schools, government offices, and mosques across the region. It did not trigger a tsunami. Disaster agency spokesman Raditya Jati said eight people had died.
(sources: International and Indonesia news media, Bali Update (from balidiscovery.com), Reformasi Weekly, US Embassy website)