Overview- Cases Spike
As expected, a spike in case detections (due to social gatherings celebrating the end of the fasting month a few weeks ago) is occurring in many provinces in Indonesia. Looking at week-to-week figures (7 day moving averages) detections are up 23% nationwide, 73% in Jakarta. Bed occupancy rates in COVID treatment hospitals –which had been down to 30-40%– are at 90% in Kudus, East Java, 67% at a facility in Jakarta, 79% in Bandung. So far, social mobility restrictions are in place only in selected “red zones”. The Vice Minister of Health announced that 66 cases (from a 2,000-testing sample) of more highly transmissible COVID variants have been found.
· Vaccinations have been extended to all 18 or older.
· 1.5 million AstraZeneca doses arrived as part of the Covax program and 1 million Sinopharm doses as part of the Chamber of Commerce program.
Indonesia is now banning travelers from India and Pakistan or who have traveled there. Check your airline regarding their route and landing policy.
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.
Port of entry for international flights remains Jakarta for most flights.
AICC Member, PT Cekindo can help secure business visas.
The current situation is that you need to have a local sponsor to obtain a visa and you have to undergo a 5-night quarantine but should new cases spike, especially those involving the Indian variant, Indonesia could lengthen them to 14 days. The local sponsor applies directly to Indonesia’s immigration department. Jakarta is currently the only port of entry; you fly to other regions (i.e. Bali) from there.
AICC member PT Cekindo is currently arranged business visas if you do not have a local sponsor. Contact: Vincent Cellier firstname.lastname@example.org
- Revision to Electronic Transactions Law- Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security M. Mahfud, announced a plan to revise three articles of the law that led to overuse of criminal proceedings for violations.
- Minimum Corporate Tax- Finance Minister Sri Mulyani co-signed an op-ed piece in the Wahington Post with her counterparts from US, Mexico, South Africa and Germany, calling for a 15% global corporate minimum tax.
- Tax Increase on Individuals: As part of proposed revisions to the 1983 Law on Taxation, the government is proposing a higher rate of personal income tax targeting people with earnings of at least Rp 5 billion (US$351,500) a year, raising the upper bracket as high as 35%.
- Garuda Grounds Planes: National carrier Garuda Indonesia has grounded two thirds of its fleet, citing leasing issues and maintenance needs. Garuda wrote in a statement filed with the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) on Wednesday that it was only operating 53 airplanes of the 142 in its fleet. The state-owned airline is in an extreme cash squeeze since last year and its teetering on bankruptcy.
- Wage Declines: he COVID-19 pandemic has led to a general decline in wages as businesses tightened their belts to survive the economic downturn caused by mobility restrictions. Statistics Indonesia (BPS) reported in early May that average wage had dropped 1.75 percent year-on-year (yoy) to Rp 2.86 million (US$201), but it was up 3.78 percent compared to August 2020, which suggested rapid improvement as the economy begins to recover. The average real wage recorded its steepest decline since at least 2016 last August, when it was down 7.18 yoy as the economy fell into its first recession in over two decades.
Indonesia Assertive at ASEAN-China Meetings:
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi raised several issues involving regional peace and stability at the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers Meeting in Chongqing, China on Monday. Speaking to the press after the meeting, which marked 30 years of ASEAN-China partnership, she said she raised three issues in the context of peace and stability in the region. “The first thing concerns Myanmar. I reiterated that the safety and welfare of the Myanmar people and the recovery of democracy must become our main priority,” she said at the press conference originating from Jakarta. Thus, ASEAN and China must soon continue the discussion on the Code of Conduct (CoC), which has made slow progress, she said. Indonesia is ready to host a meeting to negotiate on CoC in the near future, she added.” Indonesia also encourages all sides to comply with the implementation of the Declaration of Conduct (DoC), including exercising self-restraint,” she said. (INE)
PDI-P/Gerindra Ticket?- Perhaps signaling a political alliance for the 2024 Presidential race, Gerindra Chair Prabowo Subianto, in his capacity as Defense Minister, bestowed an honorary doctorate from the Ministry’s Defense University on Megawati Soekarnoputri, chair of the PDI-P party, the only political party that can directly nominate candidates for President and Vice President. Gerindra cannot nominated a candidate on its own. Megawati, although she clearly has some level of affection for Prabowo –even though he twice challenged her party’s Presidential candidate—may see him as a means to bring her daughter Puan Maharani on as either a Presidential or Vice-Presidential candidate. However, PDI-P has another figure in its ranks, Ganjar Pranowo, who is much more popular. Will Megawati concede to backing him remains the question as it could come at the expense of her daughter’s future in electoral politics.
(sources: International and Indonesia news media, Bali Update (from balidiscovery.com), Reformasi Weekly, US Embassy website)