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Posted by On 4:10 AM

Indonesia's Go-Jek could 'soon' launch its ride-hailing app in Thailand

Indonesia’s Go-Jek could expand into Thailand ‘very soon,’ its president says

Indonesia's largest ride-hailing, payments and services company, Go-Jek, plans to expand its presence across more markets in Southeast Asia in the near future, according to its president.

After o fficially launching its services in Vietnam earlier this week, Go-Jek is building up its operations in Thailand and working with regulators in Singapore and the Philippines, Andre Soelistyo told CNBC on Friday.

"Thailand is coming very soon ... the team is already working to operationalize the product," he said, adding that, for Singapore and the Philippines, "we're still working it out with local regulators, local teams to make sure that all the requirements are being checked properly, before we do the expansion."

Earlier in May, Go-Jek announced that it would invest about $500 million to move into the four markets over the next several months. The company said it would provide "technological support and expertise" to local founding teams that would then work on gaining traction in each of those coun tries.

The mobile app that was launched in Vietnam is called Go-Viet and is now available in the major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. On that app, users can book two-wheel rides and make use of courier services â€" the company said there are plans to introduce four-wheel ride-hailing, food delivery and digital payment services on the application in the future.

Soelistyo said the decision to launch first in Vietnam had several motivations, including its cultural similarity to Indonesia, and the high social media penetration rate.

"Motorcycle penetration is very high, and that& #039;s very key for our platform" he said. "We saw a lot of excitement from the local team, and local partners, and they really wanted to push this. So, we started with Vietnam as a result."

Ultimately, Go-Jek's goal is to consolidate transactions on its app by building new technologies on top of it that can do various functions such as making payments, buying goods and services online and ordering food, according to Soelistyo.

In Singapore, reports previously suggested that Go-Jek was in talks with the country's largest taxi operator, ComfortDelGro, to forge a partnership ahead of the company's entry into the market. Soelistyo declined to comment on that report, and instead said Go-Jek always takes a "very partnership-driven" approach.

Go-Jek� 39;s expansion into Southeast Asia is set to potentially fill the void left by Uber. The U.S. tech company earlier this year sold its regional business to local competitor Grab. The two Southeast Asia-based companies already compete in Indonesia and will now do the same in Vietnam.

Both companies have notable backers: Grab counts SoftBank, China's Didi Chuxing, Toyota, global asset manager OppenheimerFunds and China's Ping An Capital among its investors. Go-Jek, which reportedly raised about $1.5 billion in funds in February, is backed by Google, Singapore's Temasek Holdings and tech giant Tencent.

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Posted by On 4:10 AM

Indonesia and Singapore will exchange financial data to curb tax evasion

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Login"; document.querySelector('body').innerHTML += noteHTML; document.querySelector('.timeoutmsg-area .close-button').addEventListener('click', function() { document.querySelector('.timeoutmsg-area').classList.add('hidden'); }); } } function timeoutNote() { var oneMin = 60000; var timeDur = 120; var timeoutDuration = timeDur * oneMin; setTimeout(timeoutEvt ,timeoutDuration); } PremiumIndonesia and Singapore will exchange financial data to curb tax evasion
Indonesia has met all requirements, including confidentiality and data protection safeguards, to kick-start the arrangement on Sept 30.
Indonesia has met all requirements, including confidentiality and data protection safeguards, to kick-start the arrangement on Sept 30.
PublishedSep 14, 2018, 5:00 am SGT

Indonesia and Singapore will start exchanging financial data on taxpayers by the end of this month, with an eye on cracking down on tax evasion.

Indonesia has met all requirements, including confidentiality and data protection safeguards, to kick-start the arrangement on Sept 30, the tax office's spokesman Hestu Yoga Saksama told The Straits Times.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2018, with the headline 'Indonesia and S'pore will exchange financial data to curb tax evasion'. Print Edition | Subscribe Topics:
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Posted by On 4:10 AM

Indonesian election could be decided by the economy, not religion, as Joko Widodo eyes challenger

Email Indonesian election could be decided by the economy, not religion, as Joko Widodo eyes challenger

Posted September 14, 2018 04:29:17

A teller counts Indonesian rupiah at a money changer Photo: The value of the Indonesian rupiah is slipping down towards the levels of the 1998 currency collapse. (Reuters: Willy Kurniawan) Map: Indonesia

Indonesia's sliding rupiah could threaten President Joko Widodo's re-election chances, with his political rival shifting the deb ate to the economy in an attempt to expose a key weakness, analysts say.

Last month, Mr Widodo chose conservative Muslim cleric Maruf Amin as his presidential running mate, ahead of an election that was shaping up to be fought on religious grounds.

But, as the rupiah edges to lows not seen since the 1998 Indonesian currency collapse, which led to the fall of the Suharto regime, Widodo's pick for vice president is now being seen by some as a "hindrance".

"Widodo is approaching the election using the tactics of the previous war, so to speak," independent political risk analyst Kevin O'Rourke, who publishes the newsletter Reformasi Weekly, told the ABC.

"He conferred the vice presidential nomination on a very conservative Islamic cleric thinking, apparently, that he needed to guard against attacks on his religiosity.

"In fact, it seems that his opponents will be criticising him for his handling of the economy and W idodo's running mate is no help at all in that arena. In fact, he's probably a hindrance."

Last Saturday, presidential challenger Prabowo Subianto's coalition issued a statement blaming the Widodo administration for the currency slide.

Prabowo at formal registration Photo: Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, centre, greets his supporters after formal registration as candidate. (AP Photo: Achmad Ibrahim)

"We are gravely concerned with the endless weakening of rupiah's [sic] currency" the statement said.

"It's becoming a burden on our national economy, for the most vulnerable Indonesians in particular, who sooner or later must face rising basic commodities prices.

"Our ec onomy's fundamentals are weakening because there have been misguidances in the strategies used to propel our economic development."

Food prices the key issue for voters

The Indonesian rupiah has fallen around 9 per cent this year against the US dollar, forced downwards in part by the US decision to raise interest rates, which has seen capital flow back into America's coffers, spooking emerging markets like Turkey and Argentina.

That's made many imported goods in Indonesia more expensive, which in turn is putting upward pressure on inflation.

"Polls have showed for many years that by far the most important concern for [Indonesian] voters is inflation, especially the price of food," Mr O'Rourke said.

"If the currency continues to weaken, the price of food will go up."

Matthew Busch, Visiting Fellow at the Lowy Institute, said if food became more expensive, the President would get the blame.

"If food prices started to go up considerably, that could be a real problem," Mr Busch said.

"That is something that has moved votes in the past and has a tangible impact on the way people evaluate the President's performance."

Indonesia has already imported 2 million tonnes of rice this year, much more than usual, in an attempt to ease rising costs.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Indonesian President Joko Widodo arrive for high tea. Photo: Scott Morrison and Joko Widodo recently signed an agreement on a long-awaited free trade deal. (AAP: Lukas Coch)

The Widodo Government has also introduced protectionist measures, including slapping tariffs of up to 10 per cent on around 1,000 imported items, from soap to electronics, to help narrow Indonesia's current-account deficit.

Just two weeks ago, Prime Minister Scott Morrison signed an agreement with Mr Widodo to conclude negotiations on a long-awaited Free Trade deal.

Hal Hill, professor of economics at the Australian National University, says much of the discussion about the Indonesian rupiah has been "overdone".

"Indonesia had one of the modern world's biggest economic crises in 97-98 when the rupiah went into freefall and the banking sector collapsed, and of course it triggered the collapse of the Suharto regime," he said.

"So, every time you get significant movements in the rupiah, people start to get a little bit edgy.

"I wouldn't expect it to become anything like the full-blown crisis Indonesia had earlier, or what looks like becoming a pretty serious crisis currently in Argentina and maybe Turkey. "

That doesn't mean President Widodo's opponents won't continue to use the currency issue to attack him.

The challenger, Mr Subianto, a former military strongman, has chosen Sandiaga Uno, a wealthy and successful businessman, as his running mate.

Mr Widodo is a popular president and is widely tipped to win the election in April, but Mr O'Rourke believes the combination of rising food prices and the two candidate's chosen running mates, could significantly narrow the gap.

"These two factors can make the presidential election contest a bit more competitive, possibly too competitive for comfort."

Topics: elections, government-and-politics, business-economics-and-finance, world-politics, indonesia

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Posted by On 4:10 AM

Indonesia Wins Backing From IMF for Response to Market Rout

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Posted by On 6:36 AM

How a BC idea could help save a 'storybook' jungle in Indonesia

How a B.C. idea could help save a 'storybook' jungle in IndonesiaThere are more than 12,000 kilometres between the Great Bear Rainforest and the jungles of the Leuser ecosystem in northern Sumatra â€" more than a quarter of the Earth's circumference.

Politicians and environmentalists from Aceh visit B.C. to learn about Great Bear Rainforest

The Leuser ecosystem in Indonesia is home to orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinoceros. (Paul Hilton)

There are more than 12,000 kilometres between the Great Bear Rainforest and the jungles of the Leuser ecosystem in northern Sumatra â€" more than a quarter of the Earth's circumference.

Even in winter, the temperature rarely drops below 25 C in the Leuser, a tropical rainforest that sits just north of the equator in Indonesia's Aceh province. It's a stark contrast to the snow-capped mountains of the Great Bear.

And yet a group of Indonesian lawmakers and environmentalists are looking to the B.C. forest as a model for how to protect the Leuser â€" the last place on Earth where tigers, elephants, rhinoceros and orangutans live side by side.

  • 7 rare rhinos photographed in western Indonesia

"All throughout the world, we are faced with the question: Which one is more important â€" environmental protection or economic development? Which one is more important â€" for people to be able to feed themselves or to protect elephant habitat?" said Farwiza Farhan, leader of the environmental group Forest, Nature & Environment Aceh.

"I think conservation and development should be hand in hand, and this is the concept that has been proven here in Canada, in the Great Bear Rainforest."

Bear cubs explore with their mother in B.C.'s Great Bear Rainforest. (Andrew S. Wright)

This week, Farhan joined a delegation of conservationists and politicians who travelled all the way from Aceh to B.C. to learn about the framework that made the Great Bear possible. They've met with Environment Minister George Heyman, chiefs and council of the Kitasoo First Nation, and potential donors from across North America, and they're spending this weekend exploring the Great Bear.

"The Great Bear Rainforest expanded from five to 85-per-cent protection â€" it's inconceivable to us. And the fact that it was driven by the First Nations and it benefits the local community, it's something that's like a conservation dream," Farhan said.

  • How an Indigenous academic is harnessing local knowledge to fight for land sovereignty

The Great Bear Rainforest was financed in 2007 with $120 million in funding from private donors and the federal and provincial governments. That money that has gone toward conservation management, sustainable First Nations businesses like ecotourism, and jobs in science and stewardship for local communities.

Eighty-five per cent of the 64,000-square-kilometre forest is now protected from logging, and the remaining area is managed through an ecosystem-based model, which aims to allow economic activity while still protecting endangered species and habitats.

Leuser ecosystem at a crossroads

The Indonesian delegation was organized by the Vancouver forest conservation group Canopy, which was involved in the agreement that created the Great Bear.

  • Province ends grizzly bear hunt throughout all B.C.

Canopy founder Nicole Rycroft sees strong similarities between the Leuser and the Great Bear, especially in terms of the big, beloved mammals t hat make their homes in both rainforests.

"Rather than spirit bears and whales, [the Leuser] has elephants and rhinos and orangutans and tigers. It's essentially the landscape of storybooks that we all grew up with as children," she said.

A baby Sumatran elephant plays with a mahout from the Trumon Conservation Response Unit at the Leuser Ecosystem wildlife reservation area. (CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Leuser is currently under "imminent threat," according to Rycroft, with a proposed land-use plan that would see extensive logging, palm oil production and mining.

"The Leuser ecosystem is at a juncture, much like we had in British Columbia in the early 2000s. The Great Bear Rainforest could have gone down a path where we would see extensive industrial logging," sh e said.

Challenges ahead for conservationists

The political contingent from Indonesia comprises both local and provincial lawmakers, including Irwan Djohan, deputy head of the Aceh House of People's Representatives and chair of the Aceh Sustainable Development Caucus.

Speaking through a translator, he said the Leuser is not just important because of the animals that live there.

"It's actually the lungs of the world. With climate change, the Leuser ecosystem will become very important … not just for Indonesian people but I guess the whole humanity," Djohan said.

  • Tigers trap Indonesian men in trees for 5 days

But he added that a major challenge will be providing local people with alternative ways to make a living, when activities like illegal logging are so lucrative.

"So much deforestation is caused by the people's needs to better their economic life," Djohan said.

A Sumatran rhino roams at Gunung Leuser National Park in Aceh province, Indonesia. (Leuser International Foundation/Associated Press)

During a lunch break in the visitors' Vancouver itinerary earlier this week, it was clear that environmentalists around the world are keenly invested in the future of the Leuser.

Some major potential donors were on hand, including Justin Winters, executive director of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

"If we lose the rainforests of Indonesia, it's game over," Winters told CBC.

The visitors are scheduled to return to Indonesia on Sunday night.

The Indonesian delegation, including lawmaker Irwan Djohan (third from right), meets with Canopy founder Ni cole Rycroft (fourth from right). (Canopy)
  • Read more from CBC British Columbia

About the Author

Bethany Lindsay

Journalist

Reach me at bethany.lindsay@cbc.ca or on Twitter through @bethanylindsay.

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Posted by On 6:36 AM

Mochtar Riady: The story of Lippo Group and modern Indonesia

From a small bicycle parts retailer in 1950s Indonesia, Lippo Group has grown into one of the country's biggest and most diverse conglomerates. Best known as a property developer, Lippo is involved in everything from malls and hospitals to banks and blockchain technology. The group's diversity and success --- it churns out some $7 billion in revenue a year -- is largely down to its founder and long-serving chairman, Mochtar Riady.

The 89-year-old recently opened up to the Nikkei Asian Review about himself and his sprawling group. In this 30-part series, he recounts the history of both a man and a business, from their humble beginnings in Indonesia to their success on larger scale.

The story of my life, particularly my professional life, is in many ways the story of modern Indonesia.

My name is Mochtar Riady, and I am the founder and chairman of Lippo Group. With sales totaling approximately $7 billion, Lippo Group is one of the five largest ethnic Chinese conglomerates in Indonesia, with operations in both Asia and the United States.

Written in Chinese, the word Lippo is composed of two characters, one meaning "power" and the other meaning "treasure." If you have ever visited Hong Kong or Shanghai, you may have seen the name on such buildings as Lippo Center and Lippo Plaza.

I was born on May 12, 1929, and am of ethnic Chinese descent -- my Chinese name is Lie Mo Tie (Li Wenzheng).

In my youth, I became involved in Indonesia's independence movement for a period of time. Later I built up the nation& #039;s largest commercial bank, though I had to let it go after the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s. After that, I focused my business on real estate development.

Now approaching 90, I am pouring my heart and soul into creating a new city in Indonesia. Meikarta, located some 40km east of Jakarta, will integrate residential areas with academic research facilities to create a new kind of community. The total construction cost is estimated at 278 trillion rupiah ($19.7 billion), and once completed it will have a population of 1 million.

The first part of the city's name comes from the name of my wife. Like me, she is ethnic Chinese, and her Chinese name is Li Limei.

Meikarta will have not only houses and shopping malls but also elementary, junior high and high schools, universities, hospitals and information technology research institutions.

Mochtar Riady (Photo by Akiyoshi Inoue)

Housing, education, health care -- areas like these are a crucial part of daily life for residents, and it is the intention of Lippo Group to manage all operations itself. Through our group companies and business units, we provide all of the commercial services and public facilities essential for urban life, including supermarkets, department stores, coffee shops, playgrounds, movie theaters, schools and hospitals.

Lippo Group has two core businesses.

The first is property development. This invo lves more than simply selling land and buildings. To be successful in this business, you must also add various value to the land, and that means providing the facilities and services that residents need to lead a comfortable life. This aspect of land development has driven Lippo's expansion into various lifestyle industries.

Our other core business is providing information and communication services.

In addition to mobile phone services, we also have a cable television unit and operate a TV news channel. We are also expanding our e-commerce and online banking operations.

Our two core businesses have given rise to a wide variety of units and are now generating synergies, with all our operations functioning as an integrated group.

In writing this series, I would like to do more than simply tell my own story. I also want to help deepen people's understanding of Indonesia, even if only a little.

Indonesia's independence came at exactly the sa me time as my own. I spent my university years in China and returned to my home country in 1950. Indonesia had gained its independence at the end of December 1949, and its history as a truly independent nation began the following year.

Both the successes and crises that I have experienced in business were reflections of Indonesia's situation at the time. Sometimes ahead of the times and sometimes in danger of being swept away by their violent currents, I have kept my business going through the years.

Allow me now to take you on a journey through the history of modern Indonesia.

Mochtar Riady is the founder of Lippo Group. Pinyin Romanization is used for Chinese names, except in cases of well-known or historical figures with established English spellings.

The "My personal history" series of autobiographies first appeared in The Nikkei in 1956. Since then, a wide variety of world-changing individuals have written or dictated their li fe stories for publication. The list includes Margaret Thatcher, Suharto, Lee Kuan Yew, Mahathir bin Mohamad, George W. Bush, Alan Greenspan, Seiji Ozawa and Carlos Ghosn.

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