The government of Singapore is allowing fully vaccinated Indonesians to visit without quarantine and Thailand has ended quarantine for tourists. Indonesia currently has a 3-day quarantine and has re-opened tourism for 19 countries but not yet the US.
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.
· Ulamas Against Bitcoin: The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) issued a fatwa, or religious edict, against cryptocurrencies as virtual currency trading soars in the country and elsewhere. Fatwas have no legal effect in Indonesia, but the declaration could potentially convince many Muslims to avoid cryptocurrencies. The Council likened crypto to gambling, which is haram or forbidden under Islamic law. “Cryptocurrencies as commodities or digital assets are unlawful for trading because they have elements of uncertainty, wagering and harm, It’s like a gambling bet.” said the Council’s head of religious decrees
· Jokowi Challenges EU On Nickel: President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has vowed to defend the country’s nickel ore export ban as the European Union escalates its challenge of the policy at the World Trade Organization (WTO). “Do not drag us to the WTO because we stopped nickel exports. We will fight in any way,” Jokowi said on Thursday at a forum hosted by Kompas newspaper.
· BI Holds to 3.5% Rate: Bank Indonesia (BI) has left the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 3.5 percent, a rate it deems appropriate for supporting the country’s economic recovery while maintaining macroeconomic and financial stability. The central bank also kept the deposit facility and lending facility rates at 2.75 and 4.25 percent, respectively. “This decision is in line with the need to maintain the stability of the exchange rate and financial system, amid the forecast of low inflation and efforts to support economic growth,” BI Governor Perry Warjiyo said in a virtual press briefing on Thursday, following BI’s November monetary policy meeting.
· Inflation Remains Low: Despite early signs of growing domestic demand, core inflation remains low in line with maintained supply, stable exchange rates and anchored inflation expectations. In October 2021, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded 0.12% (mtm) inflation, bringing headline inflation to 0.93% (ytd) for the year. Annually, CPI inflation stood at 1.66% (yoy), up from 1.60% (yoy) in September 2021Lower volatile food inflation was recorded due to adequate supply, while inflationary pressures on administered prices have increased because of rising airfares in line with greater mobility and the knock-on effect of higher tobacco excise duty.
Foreign Affairs-US-Indonesia Military Relations
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin met on November 20 with Indonesian Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto in Manama, Bahrain, during the annual Manama Dialogue. Secretary Austin re-affirmed the United States’ policy championing a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific that upholds international law and is based on shared principles. Secretary further reiterated the United States’ support for Indonesian leadership in the region and the importance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The leaders discussed the regional security environment and bilateral exercises and security cooperation particularly in the area of maritime security. The United States and Indonesia have enjoyed more than 70 years of bilateral ties. The United States has $1.88 billion in active government-to-government sales cases with Indonesia under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system. News reports indicate that the US is considering supplying Indonesia with armed drones for the first time.
(sources: International and Indonesia news media, Bali Update (from balidiscovery.com), Reformasi Weekly, US Embassy website)