Overview-Jakarta “A Green Zone”
COVID case detections continue to decline from their mid-July peak; falling 55% nationwide week-on-week. New case detections halved during the week and are 93% below what they were in mid-July and are back to June levels before the Delta spike. The nationwide positivity rate is 20%. Average case detections are still over 20,000 a day, however. Stricter mobility restrictions begun in June have helped. Although they are slated to be relaxed August 23, its not clear how much as authorities may either want to suppress cases numbers further or guard against a second wave given relatively low vaccination rates (11.7% fully vaccinated).
Deputy Governor of Jakarta Ahmad Riza Patria said the capital city has been classified as COVID-19 green zone, following the declining number of COVID-19 cases and acceleration of vaccination drive. “Alhamdulillah (Thank God) Jakarta has entered the green zone and achieved herd immunity. However, we ask for all residents to remain discipline in implementing health protocols,” he said while observing the vaccination drive in South Jakarta’s Al-Azhar Grand Mosque, Sunday.
· Moderna vaccines are now available to the general public in Jakarta. Jakarta will sell Sinopharm vaccines to foreigners for a $48 (2 doses). 1.6 million purchased doses of Pfizer vaccines arrived on August 19.
· President Jokowi continues to urge increasing vaccination to 2 million doses a day but the government has struggled to get to half that level. Health Ministry spokesperson, Alexander Ginting, cited “problems in distribution, warehouse logistics, and the synchronization of schedules.”
NYC Donation of COVID Surplus Supplies-Progress on Shipping
American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce(AICC) has been working closely with the Global Task Force for Pandemic Response (GTF) on shipping the massive quantities of NYC-donated surplus COVID medical supplies. Formed in late April in response to the Delta variant overwhelming India, GTF groups over 30 CEO’s of major US companies now turning its attention to Indonesia. After AICC’s President, Wayne Forrest, raised the issue of the NYC material, the GTF responded and currently UPS and Fedex are planning air shipments as early as this week. Other groups working with GTF include US Chamber of Commerce, US-ASEAN Business Council, and AMCHAM Indonesia. GTF’s priorities for corporate support are: oxygen generation, home care kits, and testing kits.
Travel-Restrictions Move Back to Level 3
Indonesia lifted the harder travel and work-from-home restrictions in certain regions on August 24. Depok, a city near Jakarta is now at Level 3 and Jakarta is slated to be downgraded on August 30. PPKM Level 3 rule adjustments are as follows:
· PPKM Level 3 permits attendance at house of worships of up to 25 percent or a maximum of 30 people.
· Restaurants are now permitted to a 25 percent dine-in capacity with tables limited to two persons and business hours to 8 PM
· Malls and shopping centers, said the President, are permitted to open until 8 PM with a 50 percent maximum capacity under strict health protocols monitored closely by local administrations.
Borders remained closed to foreign business and tourist travel. Only foreign nationals who are diplomats, holders of temporary or permanent resident cards, cabin crews and those engaged in medical and humanitarian purposes can currently enter Indonesia. US State Department lists Indonesia as Level 4, Do Not Travel.
Indonesia Travel Restriction Details can be found here.
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
· Budget Deficit: Indonesia’s 2022 budget indicates a deficit of 4.9% of GDP and a slight decline in spending compared to 2021. Debt-to-GDP ratio for 2022 is expected to be 44%. Although President Jokowi announced in his annual statement to Parliament that Indonesia will return to its traditional 3% budget deficit by 2023, this may be premature, given reduced revenue levels and the heavy fiscal burden of pandemic-related social assistance. S & P Global Ratings warned: “Risks to the ratings include a weaker economic growth recovery driving a worsening of the fiscal position beyond our current projections, or Indonesia’s external metrics not improving as we forecast,” global ratings analyst Andrew Wood told The Jakarta Post by email last Thursday.
· Energy Problems: Concerns are growing that Indonesia state-owned power monopoly PLN’s mandate to purchase independently-produced power (IPP) is near-term unstainable as the current economic slowdown has produced a surplus power scenario.
· Exports The value of Indonesia’s exports in July 2021 reached US$17.70 billion, down 4.53 percent compared to exports in June 2021. Compared to July 2020, the value of exports rose 29.32 percent. Non-oil and gas exports in July 2021 reached US$16.71 billion, down 3.46 percent compared to June 2021, but up 28.26 percent compared to non-oil and gas exports in July 2020. Cumulatively, the value of Indonesia’s exports from January to July 2021 reached US$120.57 billion, an increase of 33.94 percent over the same period in 2020, as well as non-oil and gas exports which reached US$113.77 billion, an increase of 33.17 percent. The largest decline in non-oil and gas exports in July 2021 compared to June 2021 occurred in iron and steel of US$409.5 million (20.56 percent), while the largest increase occurred in animal/vegetable fats and oils of US$614.0 million (32.42 percent).
· Imports The value of Indonesia’s imports in July 2021 reached US$15.11 billion, down 12.22 percent compared to June 2021 or up 44.44 percent compared to July 2020. Oil and gas imports in July 2021 were worth US$1.78 billion, down 22.28 percent compared to June 2021 or up 86.39 percent compared to July 2020. Non-oil and gas imports in July 2021 were valued at US$13.33 billion, down 10.67 percent compared to June 2021 or up 40.21 percent compared to July 2020. The largest decline in imports of non-oil and gas categories in July 2021 compared to June 2021 was machinery and mechanical equipment of US$422.3 million (18.39 percent). Meanwhile, the largest increase was pharmaceutical products of US$185.9 million (66.67 percent).
Indonesia and Afghanistan
Saturday August 21 an Indonesian military plane ferried dozens of Indonesians to Jakarta from Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Indonesia had planned to maintain its embassy in Kabul but it is now shuttered and a small team is working from Islamabad, Pakistan.
(sources: International and Indonesia news media, Bali Update (from balidiscovery.com), Reformasi Weekly, US Embassy website)