"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

The headquarters of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in 
Jakarta. (BeritaSatu Photo)
"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Survey finds govt offices lack integrity

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta  |  Sat, 03/29/2008 1:18 AM 

The country’s fight against graft has been dealt a big blow after a survey Friday found the public sector and the general public alike condoned corruption.

Conducted by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) between August and October last year, the integrity survey discovered 30 government offices and state companies providing public services had low integrity scores, averaging only 5.33 on a scale of one to 10.

Responsible for law enforcement, the National Police ranked in the bottom five. Ironically, the Justice and Human Rights Ministry ranked last with a score of 4.15.

The Religious Affairs Ministry, which deals with moral behavior, fared slightly better with 5.15.

“The average score is considered worse than the integrity levels of public sectors in other countries,” KPK deputy chairman Moch. Jasin said about the results of the survey.

During the survey, KPK pollsters interviewed 3,611 participants who were direct users of 65 public service units and state companies across Greater Jakarta.

Despite mechanisms and systems in place to smooth service delivery, corruption among public officers has not changed. The survey found 31 percent of the participants said they were discriminated against by officers for not paying grease money, while 29 percent said the officers they dealt with were used to receiving tips, gifts or rewards.

“The corrupt behavior is supported by the lack of transparency and information related to delivery time and costs,” Jasin said.

The situation is exacerbated by the general public’s tolerance of corruption. The survey discovered the majority of participants considered rewards for public officers acceptable. Of the participants surveyed, 20 percent admitted offering tips, gifts and rewards for accelerated services. The highest reward recorded in the survey was Rp 150 million (US$16,480).

It was the first integrity survey ever conducted by the anti-graft body, which is currently investigating corruption cases involving the Bank Indonesia’s governor and senior officials, House of Representative members, regents and a prosecutor.

Jasin said the survey would be held every year, with the upcoming one extended to 100 government offices and state corporations. The next survey will also look into bribery practices in the recruitment of state employees.

He said the survey would provide the government with the much-needed input for its drive against graft and raise public awareness to fight corruption.

“We hope the preventive measures against corruption will regain investors’ trust and convince them the country is cleaning itself up. If corruption and illegal levies were eradicated, we wouldn’t have such a high-cost economy,” Jasin said. (ewd)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Government to maintain conducive business climate : President

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the government would continue to maintain a conducive business climate in the country so that business people could play a bigger role in efforts to solve problems faced by the nation.

Addressing the 8th National Meeting of the Indonesian Businessmen's Association (Apindo) at the State Palace here on Wednesday, the president said if a conducive business climate was maintained, business players could contribute to the country's

"If tax revenues increase, it will help the government advance development and improve the people's welfare," the president said.

On the occasion, the head of state also called on business makers to create harmonious relations between workers and employers.

"If they have a problem, a solution has to be found that benefits both sides," he added.

Yudhoyono also called on businessmen to make use of business opportunities although at present global economic conditions were less favorable and energy sources were limited.

"Change the obstacles into opportunities for the sake of business development," the president told the participants of the meeting.

In the meantime, Apindo Chairman Sofyan Wanandi in his address asked the government to help the business world by improving and wrapping up a number of business regulations.

"We need the government's support in improving a number of regulations. There are still a number of laws such as on taxes and manpower that have not been finalized," Wanandi said.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Local governments are hurting more than making things better

Debnath Guharoy, Consultant, The Jakarta Post | Tue, 03/25/2008 12:43 AM

Decentralizing power, by shifting control from the central government to smaller local governments, is the will of the local population and can only be deemed progressive in a new democracy like Indonesia.

But it is a new system fraught with problems. In a special poll recently conducted across the country, Roy Morgan Research measured the response to the rollout of local governments.

In a sample projected to represent the views of close to 90 percent of the population, Roy Morgan interviewed 2,083 people aged 14-years and older.

Almost half the people interviewed felt the actions taken by members of their local government were in the member's individual interest or in the interest of their political party.

Although answers to the survey did not significantly vary according to gender or location, the young were much less forgiving.

Furthermore, 63 percent believed there had been no improvement to their economic situation since regional autonomy had been introduced.

Merely 15 percent thought their economic situation was improving and 21 percent actually thought they were worse off. This is not a ringing endorsement for the progress of democracy.

Critics will argue the decentralization of power has created more obstacles in the fight against corruption. The banter among businessmen today has changed. Instead of "Madame Ten Percent" paving the way for business to get started, in the days of the dictatorship, there are now numerous little wheels to grease in a much larger democratic machine.

Idle chatter aside, the desire to create smaller fiefdoms, by politicians wanting to carve an ever-growing number of provinces, is a worrying sign.

Today Papua is witnessing a small group of ousted politicians trying to reclaim power by slicing up the sparsely populated territory into smaller provinces for their own gain.

However, the people of Indonesia have greater faith in the federal government with the "Good Government Monitor", updated every 90 days, showing a further improvement in the October-December 2007 quarter.

Almost 60 percent believe the national government is "doing a good job running the country", a dip of just 1 percent from the previous quarter, and only 31 percent "don't trust the current government", down 3 percentage points from the previous survey.

Seventy-two percent have faith in democracy, while 87 percent believe the fight against corruption remains "one of the major problems affecting this country".

After a difficult two years, it appears the average family's main income earner was able to pay monthly household expenses in the October-December quarter of 2007. The Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index continued to climb upward, reaching a robust 115 during that period.

Not surprisingly, marketers across the spectrum of products and services, including fast-moving consumer goods, cellular networks and motorcycle manufacturers, all ended the year satisfied with the progress made under difficult economic conditions.

The long and difficult stretch appears to be improving, finally. But while signs the local economy is improving offer glimmers of hope, the economy is held hostage by an increasingly fragile global economy coping with the twin shocks of oil price increases and the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States.

These conclusions are based on Roy Morgan Single Source, the country's largest syndicated survey with more than 27,000 Indonesian respondents annually, projected to reflect almost 90 percent of the population over the age of 14. That is a universe of 140 million people.

The results are updated every 90 days. The opinions expressed here are my own.

In the creation of wealth, families and societies are enriched in numerous ways and every employer can justifiably feel proud of the contributions they make. But there are a myriad opportunities for employers to go the extra mile.

Some are leading by example. In Bangladesh, Mohamed Yunus of Grameen Bank has shown the way, empowering millions through his micro-financing schemes. And Mo Ibrahim of Celtel is promoting good governance across Africa with grants to governments setting high standards.

These new heroes are just two examples of businesspeople from the developing world joining the ranks of living legends like Bill Gates and Richard Branson.

In Indonesia, the fight against corruption cannot be won by the government alone. Associations like KADIN, Indonesia's chambers of commerce, need to take the lead in assisting the government in the fight.

Although passing a resolution is merely the first step, it can act as a call to action for individual CEOs and captains of industry to pass the message along the chain of command.

Without collective awareness, leading to individual action, Indonesia's fight against corruption will be a losing battle. If local governments are encouraged to wield power for individual gain, the situation will magnify exponentially.

The cynics among us have probably stopped caring. To them I recommend Barack Obama's "Audacity of Hope".

The writer can be contacted at Debnath.Guharoy@roymorgan.com

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Survey sees slower biz expansion in first quarter

Novia D.Rulistia , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Tue, 03/18/2008 1:15 AM

Expansion in the business sector is likely to slow down in the first quarter of 2008, emulating a similar trend in the previous quarter, a Bank Indonesia survey says.

According to the survey released Monday, the nation's business sector expanded by 15.25 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007, a drop from 21.99 percent the previous quarter, which was the highest quarterly growth recorded in 2007.

In the first quarter of last year, the sector contracted by 0.24 percent.

It is estimated the decline in the last quarter will continue into the first quarter of this year, in part because of slower demand, the survey found.

Entrepreneurs, the survey respondents, said although there would be an increase in business activities in almost all sectors in the first quarter of this year, the growth would be slower than in the previous quarter.

"Growth in business expansion will occur mostly during the first quarter of this year in industries such as processing at 5.81 percent, and mining and exploration at 4.47 percent.

"Agriculture, farming, forestry and fisheries will grow at 3.7 percent, and services at 3.18 percent," BI's director for economic and monetary statistics, Triono Widodo, said when launching the survey.

Triono added while the business climate was expected to improve, only 22.37 percent of the respondents said they would invest in expansion during the first quarter of this year.

This figure is lower than that in the first quarter of 2007, 27.54 percent.

Most respondents said interest rates were the main barrier to investment, followed by poor infrastructure, banking access and licensing procedures.

The survey, which involves more than 2,500 companies across the country, is conducted by the central bank every quarter, except for investment, which is conducted in the second and fourth quarters.

The companies surveyed operate in nine sectors that contribute significantly to the economy, including agriculture, mining, infrastructure, trade and services.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Japanese investors focus on local potential

Aditya Suharmoko , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Wed, 03/12/2008 1:36 AM

To attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) from Japan, Indonesia needs to take a good look at what's happening in local markets.

The reason is that motives make Japanese investors go overseas have shifted -- from a need for low production costs to an interest in the potential of local markets, a seminar concluded on Tuesday.

"Previously, Japanese investors considered low production costs, including the cost of labor and raw materials, the main reason for investing in a country.

"Now they consider local market, including future growth potential and the size of the market, as the main factor," Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) senior economist Susumu Ushida told the seminar.

JBIC data showed Indonesia in 2007 as the 8th most-promising country for overseas business, far below neighbors Vietnam and Thailand, coming in third and fourth, respectively.

University of Indonesia economist Faisal Basri said in response to such trends, the government should improve domestic markets to attract FDI from Japan investors.

"It is time for the government to improve the market. Indonesia actually has enough potential, if not huge."

However, according to JBIC, intense competition with other companies, poor infrastructure and security, and social instability are among the obstacles confronting Japan-based companies who wish to do manufacturing or otherwise invest here.

Of the development elements regarded as problematic, electricity, communications and road networks are considered most daunting.

Should the government fail to address these immediately, Japanese capital will flow to Indonesia's neighbors, especially Thailand and Vietnam.

JBIC director general Masaaki Amma said Japanese investors now perceived Thailand and Vietnam as ahead of Indonesia in attracting FDI.

The investors said Indonesia hadn't done enough to improve its investment climate.

Japan is one of Indonesia's largest investors. Between 1967 and 2007 Japan pumped some US$40 billion into the country and last year was ranked No. 4 in terms of Indonesian FDI, according to the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).

To address infrastructure problems, BKPM deputy chairman for investment planning Luky Eko Wuryanto said the government this year allocated Rp 59 trillion (about $6.43 billion), far above 2007's Rp 41.8 trillion.

"About Rp 16 trillion will go to road development," he said.

Bad roads in the country have increased transport and vehicle maintenance costs, in turn driving up the price of goods.

"There will be impediments (in securing funds from Japanese investors) unless the government improves the infrastructure," said Indonesia-Japan Economic Committee head Kusumo Martoredjo.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Islamic funding initiative aims to help reduce poverty

Desy Nurhayati , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Sat, 03/08/2008 12:10 PM

Indonesia has come out in support of an initiative by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to establish a fund aimed at promoting solidarity and cooperation among Islamic countries in line with poverty alleviation movements.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Thursday met with the president of the IDB, Ahmed Mohammed Ali Al Madani, at the State Palace.

They discussed the idea of establishing the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), which was proposed during an Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) meeting in 1991.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said after the meeting the ISFD was a fund collected by OIC member countries and the IDB to be disbursed for poverty alleviation programs in Islamic countries.

"As of now, we have collected US$2.6 billion, with $1.6 billion from OIC members and the remaining from the IDB. We have targeted to collect $10 billion," she said.

"We will invest the money and use the profit to finance poverty alleviation programs, such as through public-private partnerships in micro-financing and other activities that are aimed at improving the economy."

She said other initiatives would include delivering technical assistance through vocational training, in a move to develop working skills and create more job opportunities.

The meeting was also attended by the former president of Sudan, Abdel Rahman Swar Al Dahab, IDB regional office director Ahmed S. Hariri, an adviser to the IDB president, Mansour bin Fetten, and former Indonesian president B.J. Habibie.

"President Yudhoyono said he fully supported the idea and would discuss it with other OIC members in the upcoming summit in Senegal," Sri Mulyani said.

She said it would require the commitment and contributions from all OIC members, and that it would take years to completely realize the idea.

The decoupling debate

As America's economy struggles to stay aloft, the developing world is learning to spread its wings

From The Economist print edition, Mar 6th 2008 | HONG KONG

MANY nasty words begin with the letter D: death, disease, depression, debt (when you drown in it) and deflation. “Decoupling”, on the other hand, has a nicer ring to it, even if it is the source of a great deal of controversy. Economists continue to argue about whether or not emerging economies will follow America into recession. The most pessimistic claim that “it makes no sense to talk about decoupling in an era of globalisation”: economies have become more intertwined through trade and finance, which should make business cycles more synchronised, not less. The slide in emerging stockmarkets on Wall Street's coat-tails appears to endorse their view. Yet recent data suggest decoupling is no myth. Indeed, it may yet save the world economy.

Decoupling does not mean that an American recession will have no impact on developing countries. That would be daft. Such countries have become more integrated into the world economy (their exports have increased from just over 25% of their GDP in 1990 to almost 50% today). Sales to America will obviously weaken. The point is that their GDP-growth rates will slow by much less than in previous American downturns. Most enjoyed strong growth during the fourth quarter of last year, and some speeded up, even as America's economy ground to a virtual halt and its non-oil imports fell.

One reason is that while exports to America have stumbled, those to other emerging economies have surged (see chart 1). China's growth in exports to America slowed to only 5% (in dollar terms) in the year to January, but exports to Brazil, India and Russia were up by more than 60%, and those to oil exporters by 45%. Half of China's exports now go to other emerging economies. Likewise, South Korea's exports to the United States tumbled by 20% in the year to February, but its total exports rose by 20%, thanks to trade with other developing nations.

A second supporting factor is that in many emerging markets domestic consumption and investment quickened during 2007. Their consumer spending rose almost three times as fast as in the developed world. Investment seems to be holding up even better: according to HSBC, real capital spending rose by a staggering 17% in emerging economies last year, compared with only 1.2% in rich economies.

Sceptics argue that much of this investment, especially in China, is in the export sector and so will collapse as sales to America weaken. But less than 15% of China's investment is linked to exports. Over half is in infrastructure and property.

It is not just China that is building power plants, roads and railways; a large chunk of the Gulf's petrodollars are also being spent on gleaming skyscrapers and new airports—not to mention ski-domes in the desert. Mexico, Brazil and Russia have also launched big infrastructure projects that will take years to complete.

The four biggest emerging economies, which accounted for two-fifths of global GDP growth last year, are the least dependent on the United States: exports to America account for just 8% of China's GDP, 4% of India's, 3% of Brazil's and 1% of Russia's. Over 95% of China's growth of 11.2% in the year to the fourth quarter came from domestic demand. China's growth is widely expected to slow this year—it needs to, since even Wen Jiabao, the prime minister, warned this week of overheating—but to a still boisterous 9-10%.

Smaller economies in Asia look more vulnerable. For example, Malaysia's exports to America amount to 22% of its GDP, and they fell by 18% in the year to December. Yet its annual GDP growth jumped to 7.3% in the fourth quarter, thanks to consumer spending and a jump in government infrastructure investment.

Mexico's exports to America are an even larger 27% of its GDP. Real GDP growth held steady at 3.8% in the year to the fourth quarter, but manufacturing jobs are falling and workers' remittances from abroad are falling. Retail sales grew by only 1% in the year to December. Yet the economy is holding up better than during previous American downturns, partly because high oil revenues have enabled the government to increase investment by around 50% over the past year.

American downturns have often caused the prices of oil and other raw materials to slump, but this time China's surging demand is propping up prices and fuelling booms in Brazil, Russia and the Middle East. Brazil's exports jumped by 26% in the year to February. In turn, if prices stay strong, so will China's exports to commodity-producing countries. A sharp slowdown in China would hurt them more than an American recession will.

Act global, think local

A recent IMF study* by Cigdem Akin and Ayhan Kose offers some support for the idea that you can have both decoupling and globalisation at the same time. They divide 106 countries into three groups—developed, emerging, and low-income developing countries (which are less integrated into the world economy)—and then measure how the correlation between economies has changed over time as cross-border flows have expanded. They find that growth has indeed become more synchronised among developed economies and also among emerging economies. But, surprisingly, economic activity in emerging economies has diverged (or decoupled) from that of developed economies over the past two decades. The impact of rich economies on emerging economies' growth has fallen sharply.

The popular argument is that business cycles should become more synchronised because in a globalised world everyone is in the same boat. But this rests on an out-dated impression that poor countries mainly export to rich ones. Instead, emerging economies' trade with each other has risen faster and now accounts for over half of their total exports. Emerging markets as a group now export more to China than to the United States (see chart 2).

Some contend that this mainly reflects imports of intermediate goods into China for assembly; the finished goods are then exported to America and so will be hurt by slower growth. There is some truth to this. However, an analysis by BCA Research, a financial research firm, finds that Asian exports to China are increasingly driven by China's own domestic demand. A growing share of emerging economies' exports are also commodities sold to China.

Another reason why globalisation and decoupling can co-exist is that opening up economies has not only boosted poor countries' trade, it has also spurred their productivity growth and hence domestic incomes and spending. In 2007 emerging economies' real domestic demand grew by an average of 8%, almost four times as fast as in the developed world.

A severe recession in America could still have a nasty impact on the developing world if commodity prices collapsed and if it caused stockmarkets to fall more steeply, depressing global consumer and business confidence. A sharper fall in the dollar could also further squeeze emerging economies' exports.

But for perhaps the first time ever, developing countries would be able to make full use of monetary and fiscal policy to cushion their economies. In the past, when they were net foreign borrowers, capital inflows tended to dry up during global downturns as foreign investors shunned risky assets. This forced governments to raise interest rates and tighten fiscal policy. Economies with large external deficits, such as South Africa, Turkey and Hungary, are still vulnerable. But most emerging economies now have a current-account surplus and large foreign reserves; many have a budget surplus or are close to balance, leaving ample room for a fiscal stimulus if necessary.

Perhaps the best support for decoupling comes from America itself. Fourth-quarter profits of big companies, such as Coca-Cola, IBM and DuPont, were better than expected as strong sales growth in emerging markets offset a sharp slowdown at home. In other words, bits of American business are rising above their own economy. With luck, the world economy can rise above America's.

*"Changing Nature of North-South Linkages: Stylized Facts and Explanations", IMF Working Paper WP/07/280.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Economy see 'paradoxical growth'

The Jakarta Post , Bogor , | Thu, 03/06/2008 1:21 AM

Economists attending a discussion in Bogor on Wednesday to review the country's economic performance over the last five years concluded that Indonesia suffered from a paradox in growth.

International Center for Applied Finance and Economics director Iman Sugema said an excess of liquidity had become the main character of Indonesia's economy.

However, he said, the superfluous funds, which theoretically came from gains generated from trade and services, had not been reflected in a growth in investments.

"Indonesia's success in improving its exports between 2003 and 2007 has not been accompanied by exporters' willingness to invest their surpluses here," he said.

In short, he said, the growth of export value, which benefited from the increases of commodity prices, failed to generate growth in production capacity, particularly in sectors such as agriculture, mining and agro-industries.

Another speaker at the discussion, Aviliani, a widely known economist, said the excess of liquidity also came from gains in portfolio investments.

She warned that if the growth of direct investment in the real sector continue to fail to match the growth of investment in the capital market, which is mostly dominated by foreign funds, it could lead to another economic crisis similar to 1997.

Aviliani said the foreign funds could exit the country anytime.

"If the funds went away before the direct investment level improved, the rupiah rate could be affected very badly."

Aviliani also expressed her belief that most Indonesian exporters were not genuine industrialists.

"They are merely traders. That's why they do not reinvest into the sector which has benefited them," she said.

An expert on the agricultural economy at the University of Lampung, Bustanul Arifin, said the sluggish investment level was also due to the government's failure to transform the high level of public saving into investment.

"The level of saving in Indonesia is around 37 percent, higher than 12 percent in the United States. The problem is how should the government use this high level of saving for improving the investment levels," Bustanul said.

Arif Iman Sunarso from Bogor's agriculture university IPB looked at the economic problems from a different perspective.

He expressed concern with how the economy, despite 6.32 percent growth last year, was still unable to resolve unemployment, which currently stands at more than 37 million people, or around 16.5 percent of the total workforce.

Poverty, he said, also remained high with about 37 million out of the total population of 224 million living beneath the poverty line.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

President want people`s empowerment program sped up, expanded

Bogor, West Java (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has asked Coordinating Minister for People`s Welfare Aburizal Bakrie to accelerate and expand the coverage of the national program for people`s empowerment (PNPM Mandiri).

Speaking during a visit to Bogor Wednesday to observe implementation of some projects under the program, the President said it was important for all parties to help make the program a success so that the country`s poverty rate would drop and the people`s welfare improve.

"All state officials and local leaders must take part (in the program) and ensure that the program remains on track," he said.

He also asked the relevant cabinet ministers to periodically make field visits to observe the implementation of the program in the regions.

The president launched the PNPM program in April 2007 after considering people`s aspirations.

The President also asked West Java Governor Danny Setiawan to soon disburse PNPM funds totaling Rp720.63 billion that had been allocated for 3,598 villages in 383 sub districts in the province.

"I don`t want to see the funds remaining idle for too long. Everything has to be done fast and meet the targets," he added.

The government would increase the fund allocation for the program to accelerate the achievement of the poverty alleviation target in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015, he said.

In 2007, the government had appropriated a total Rp3.6 trillion in funds for the PNPM program and the amount would be increased to Rp13 trillion in 2008.

Yudhoyono said, the PNPM program was part of the government`s policy to alleviate poverty. Although all the results of the poverty alleviation program would not be visible in the short term, the poverty rate was already showing a downward trend, he said.

During his visit in West Java, the President also commissioned a flyover in Depok and a complex of flats for low income people in Bogor.

The president was accompanied by a retinue consisting of Coordinating Minister for People`s Welfare Aburizal Bakrie, Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono, Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto, Public Housing Minister Yusuf Asyari, Education Minister Bambang Sudibyo, Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar and West Java Governor Danny Setiawan.

Royal visit seen as boost for RI investment

Andi Haswidi and Novia D. Rulistia , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Wed, 03/05/2008 2:15 AM

BUSINESS AFFAIRS: Prince Andrew shakes hands with the Minister of Trade Marie Elka Pangestu before a meeting in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, was in Jakarta on Tuesday as a special envoy for trade and investment, aiming to strengthen bilateral ties between the United Kingdom and Indonesia and look for new business opportunities.

The high-level visit, business players said, would help bridge the perception gap between existing foreign investors in the country and potential investors on Indonesia's investment climate.

"Existing investors, many of whom have been here for decades, are generally upbeat and positive about doing business in Indonesia despite challenges that exists," British Chamber chairman Simon Morris said during a luncheon with the Duke in Jakarta.

However, he said, potential new investors often had a different perception that could negatively affect their business decisions when it came to investing in Indonesia.

"I have no doubt that visits like this, by the most senior level of UK trade and investment, can only help to ensure that such perceptions are gradually overcome. It will also help to ensure that business and investment decisions can be more informed and fact-based," he said.

During the luncheon, the Duke said he was here as part of the Indonesia-UK strategic partnership agreement signed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and then prime minister Tony Blair in March 2006.

"I want to make it clear that Indonesia is an important trading partner for the UK and offers us considerable potential for further growth, and that is for both directions," he said.

The Duke said the UK also had a great deal of business expertise to be offered, particularly London as a global financial capital, with advanced financial and business consultancy services.

Regular high-level visits, he said, are crucial in building a mutual relationship between the two countries. He invited President Yudhoyono to visit London to raise Indonesia's profile and showcase the opportunities that exist here and in the UK

The Duke also met with the President and Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu, before heading to Papua to visit British Petroleum's Tangguh project until Wednesday.

Mari reported after the meeting that the total value of Indonesia's exports to the United Kingdom reached Rp 1.4 billion and that her office was projecting a 10 percent growth this year.

Bilateral trade reached $1.72 billion in the first 10 months of 2007, a 6.5 percent increase from $1.61 billion during the first 10 months of 2006. Total trade in 2006 reached $1.98 billion.

"Together with the ministry of maritime affairs and fisheries, we're cooperating with the UK government in establishing a fisheries trade corridor which will help us meet the standards of exports," the trade minister said.

The UK is the second largest investor here after Japan, with total investments of $4.6 billion, mainly in the oil, gas and mining sectors, where British Petroleum, Rio Tinto and Shell are all active. UK investors also have stakes in automotive manufacturer PT Astra International and several hotels.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

'Antara' asked to stay professional

The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono asked national news agency Antara on Thursday to maintain internal professionalism, and to promote cooperation with agencies in other countries.

"The President considers that Antara has so far been able to maintain a good performance in journalism," Communication and Information Minister Muhammad Nuh said after a meeting at the State Palace.

Nuh said, due to the agency's transformation into a company, it had to restructure its organization, form a new vision and build new corporate values.

He said Antara had sound journalistic principles, maintaining objectivity and representing both sides on all issues.