Corona Virus Update #91 November 29, 2021
Cumulative number of reported cases: 4,254,443 (as of November 29)
- Deaths: 143,766
- Recovered: 4,102,700
- Fatality rate: 3.3%
Rupiah to US: 14,340
Jakarta Stock Exchange Index: 6609
Reserves (US$ Billions): $145.461 (October 29)
Overview- Indonesia Prepares for Omnicron
Although COVID case detections continue to decline, Indonesia anticipates a rise due to the Omnicron variant. It has not reported any cases yet and has instituted new travel restrictions. (See next section).
Through November 25, nationwide COVID cases declined 5% to daily average of 353 and a death rate of 10. Vaccinations rose 18% week-to-week to 1.5 million a day.
Travel- Quarantine Now 7 days
Indonesia increased the mandatory quarantine for travelers and returning citizens from 3 to 7 days. It banned travel from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini, Malawi, Angola, Zambia, and Hong Kong (China). Indonesians returning from these countries must quarantine for 14 days.
View travel restrictions here.
· BI Predicts Stronger Growth in 2022: Bank Indonesia projects national economic growth in Indonesia in 2022 in the 4.7-5.5% range, up from 3.2-4.0% in 2021, driven by ongoing global economic improvements that are driving solid export performance, coupled with growing domestic demand in terms of consumption and investment. This is supported by a faster vaccination rollout, reopening of economic sectors, and policy stimuli. BI is likely to maintain its pro-growth stance and hold interest rates steady through 2022. BI Governor Perry Warjiyo said on Wednesday that the central bank would only reduce liquidity in banks starting 2022 and hold the current low rate “until there are signs of early rise in inflation.”
· Omnibus Law Challenge: Indonesia’s Constitutional Court replied to suits brought against the landmark Omnibus Job Creation Bill, passed in 2020. The court’s verdict mandates that the government make corrections to the law within two years and not issue any implementing regulations or other decisions derived from the legislation. The court had previously denied challenges to the law’s labor provisions. This decision, issued November 25th, has to do with variances in the law’s text as well as the validity of using an omnibus format to replace or revise other laws. Since implementing regulations have already been issued for most of the law, the impact should be minimal, and the Government should be able to make the necessary changes that will add to its durability.
· Fitch Affirms Indonesia’s Rating/Predicts 6.8% GDP in 2022 Fitch Ratings has affirmed Indonesia’s long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating (IDR) of BBB with a stable outlook and expects GDP growth of almost 7 percent next year. The agency noted the country’s high dependence on external financing, low state revenue and the fact that it lagged behind peers in terms of governance indicators and per-capita GDP. However, it saw these shortcomings balanced out, however, by a “favorable medium-term growth outlook and a still low, but rising, government debt-to-GDP ratio”. “We forecast growth to accelerate to 6.8 percent in 2022, with the main risks relating to the evolution of the pandemic. Thereafter, we expect growth to remain at around 6 percent over the next few years, as the negative output gap from the pandemic closes gradually,” the agency wrote in a press release.
Foreign Affairs- Defense Minister Prabowo “Understands” AUSKUS
At a security forum held in Bahrain last week, Indonesia’s Defense Minister—and possible 2024 presidential candidate—Prabowo Subianto took a practical view of the AUSKUS, a new security pact between the US, Australia and Britain. “Officially our position is that of course Southeast Asia should remain nuclear free, and the fear of course among Southeast Asian nations is that this will spark an arms race,” he said. “But as I said the emphasis of every country is to protect their national interest. If they feel threatened… they will do whatever they can to protect themselves… “And this is what I mean that we understand that and we respect them.” said Prabowo. Indonesia’s foreign ministry issued a statement in September saying it was “deeply concerned” by the alliance, warning that it could spark a regional arms race.
(sources: International and Indonesia news media, Bali Update (from balidiscovery.com), Reformasi Weekly, US Embassy website)