Coronavirus Update #51 February 15, 2021
Cumulative number of reported cases: 1,223,930 (as of February 15)
Rupiah to US$13,946
Jakarta Stock Exchange Index: 6270
Overview- Case Declines/Micro Restrictions
Case detections and positivity rates dropped significantly, indicating that Indonesia, like other nations, may be past the post-New Year holiday “spike”. New confirmed cases fell 19% on a seven-day moving average. This is the first change in the upward trends since October 2020.
Indonesia has moved to a policy of micro-level restriction while partially lifting restrictions on economic activities. The government may lockdown at a neighborhood of “micro” level. The business sector is now open at 50% capacity from initially 25%. Workplaces can now adopt a 50% work-from-home policy rather than 75%. Additionally, shopping centers or malls and restaurants can operate until 9 pm (2 more hours).
According to the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, Indonesia has administered the first doses of coronavirus vaccine to 1,068,747 healthcare workers across the country as of Sunday (02/14) Of the total, 425,578 healthcare workers have got their second vaccine shots, an increase of 10,092 compared to a day earlier. Overall, the vaccination campaign will target 181,554,464 people, or 70% of the total Indonesian population, with the aim of building herd immunity against the coronavirus.
Travel- Border Restrictions Extended
On Feb. 8 Indonesia extended the closure of its borders to foreigners for another two weeks until Feb. 22, a day after its drug monitoring agency approved the emergency use of China’s CoronaVac vaccine for the elderly. Exceptions, however, will be granted for long-term residents, those from countries who have travel corridor arrangements with Indonesia, and those who get special permission from Indonesian ministries or institutions. Health protocols, including a five-day quarantine, still apply.
- BI Could Lower Rates: Indonesia’s central bank governor Perry Warjiyo said there is still room to cut interest rates further to support the country’s economy after a slower than expected pace of recovery. His comments came after data last week showed that the economy posted its first full-year contraction since 1998 last year, of 2.07%, with gross domestic product down 2.19% on an annual basis in the fourth quarter, as the pandemic hit private consumption and investment.
- Economic Regression: With the economy contracting 2.07% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia is projected to return to its status as a lower middle-income country, according to the National Development Planning Ministry (BAPPENAS).
- E-Business Giants Announce Merger: Indonesia’s two most valuable startups, ride-hailing giant Gojek and e-commerce provider PT Tokopedia, are finalizing terms for their merger and aiming to reach an agreement as early as this month. The two companies are discussing a variety of scenarios with the goal of ultimately listing the combined entity in both Jakarta and the U.S. The target valuation in the public markets is between US$35 billion and US$40 billion.
- Huge Palm Oil Production Increase: The Palm Oil Plantation Fund Management Agency (BPDPKS) claimed that the palm oil production during the 2020 pandemic had increased compared to the previous year with a total production of 51.58 million tons. This number was a staggering rise compared to the annual average of 37.57 million tons.
- Indonesian Company Violates US Korea Sanctions: A global supplier of cigarette paper products, PT Bukit Muria Jaya (“BMJ”), has agreed to pay a fine of $1,561,570 and enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department for conspiring to commit bank fraud in connection with the shipment of products to North Korean customers. BMJ, which is incorporated in Indonesia, has also entered into a settlement agreement with the TreasuryDepartment’s Office of Foreign Assets Control
- Omnibus Regulations: Indonesia’s Finance Minister, Sri Mulyani, made public statements indicated that all implementing regulations (labor, negative investment list revisions) would be done imminently.
Indonesia will defer regional elections until 2024 in order to coincide with national and Presidential elections. Caretakers will be appointed for elected officials whose terms end in 2022 and 2023. President Jokowi appears to have the support all but a handful of Parliamentary factions.
Rosan Roeslani, currently Chairman of KADIN (Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry) was nominated by President Jokowi to be the next Ambassador to the United States. Rosan is a businessman with a background in private equity and coal. He has been a business partner with current State Enterprise Minister, Erick Thohir, and Tourism Minister, Sandiago Uno