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Kapital News Highlight - Nov 23

Friday, November 23, 2018

• Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution revealed that the government would allow foreign investors to have full ownership in 25 business units out of 54 business units issued from the Negative Investment List (DNI). The policy aimed at increasing foreign investment was introduced as a government effort to reduce the current account deficit and trade deficit. The deficit so far had made the rupiah in a weak position against foreign currencies, particularly the US dollar. Secretary of the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs Susiwijono remarked that the removal of the 54 business units from the DNI was aimed to attract foreign investors. (The Jakarta Post)

• Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati remarked that the government was well-aware of the potential of the creative economy. She also said that the government is currently stepping up policies through available instruments to drive the growth of this industry in Indonesia. In the World Conference on Creative Economy in Bali, Sri Mulyani revealed that the government was focusing on the infrastructure development to provide access to all of Indonesia. Over the past five years, fintech has grown rapidly in the country from only 25 companies in 2012 to 235 companies in 2017. The minister added that she supported the idea of expanding the creative economy. However, one obstacle appears that involves changing the mindset of the policy makers and bureaucracy which will require various approaches. (Jakarta Globe)

• The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Indonesia has all the potential not only to become a pharmaceutical industry player, but also to lead the Islamic Cooperation Organization (OIC) in the pharmaceutical sector. With all its potential, Indonesia excels in the pharmaceutical sector among OIC countries and has been designated as a pilot by the Muslim countries. According to General Director of Multilateral Cooperation at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Febrian Alphyanto Ruddyard, the OIC appointed Indonesia as the center of excellence for the drug regulatory in 2017 because the country has a high capacity compared to other countries. Moreover, the pharmaceutical supervision mechanisms in Indonesia were also going well. (Antara News)

• The Indonesian government encouraged the negotiations of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Indonesia and Bangladesh as an effort to boost trade cooperation between the two countries. The PTA negotiations were agreed during the state visit of President Joko Widodo to Bangladesh earlier this year. Indonesian Ambassador for Bangladesh Rini P Soemarmo stated that the first negotiations for the PTA between the countries will begin in December 2018. The PTA is very important for Indonesia as Bangladesh has the prospective market that Indonesia seeks to increase its market share. The main export commodities from Indonesia to Bangladesh include pal oil, textile products, textiles, nuts, paper, etc. Meanwhile, the main import commodities from Bangladesh to Indonesia include bags, packaging bags, clothing, and steel sheets. (Antara News)

• The economy of Singapore grew by 2,2 per cent year on year in the third quarter, which is slowing from the 4,1 per cent growth in the previous quarter. This number also appears below the government's initial estimation and market's expectation. After releasing the official 2019 forecast, Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore said that the economy was expected to slow between 1,5 to 3,5 per cent, partly due to the impact of the ongoing US-China trade war. MTI permanent secretary Loh Khum Yean expected that balance to shift in 2019, where manufacturing would see more moderate growth. He also said that there were concerns regarding the risk aversion and faster than expected hikes in interest rates causing excessive volatilities in the financial markets. In the near term, the trade war could also add salt to wound, he added. (StraitsTimes)


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