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            [post_content] => Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo will visit Hong Kong on April 30-May 1 in a bid to increase economic ties and seek greater protection for Indonesian foreign workers in the autonomous Chinese territory, Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said on Tuesday (25/04).

During his trip, Jokowi will seek to increase bilateral trade with Hong Kong – one of Asia’s largest economic hubs  and boost cooperation in advancing creative industries.

Last year, the territory launched the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Jakarta to facilitate large-scale trade and investments between the two regions.

"The visit will also focus on implementing greater protective measures for Indonesian foreign workers in Hong Kong, who number over 170,000," Arrmanatha said.

"Jokowi will also seek to increase cooperation in promoting mutual tourism."

The president will look to attract greater investments from companies in Hong Kong to develop infrastructure projects across the archipelago when Jokowi meets with industry leaders this weekend.

Jokowi is also scheduled to meet with Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, also known as CY Leung, who took office on July 1, 2012.

Two memoranda of understanding on cooperation in business and cultural affairs are expected to be signed during the president's state visit.

Investments from Hong Kong to Indonesia increased last year to $2.25 billion from $691 million in 2015, while total trade came in at $3.90 billion.

 
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            [post_excerpt] => President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo will visit Hong Kong on April 30-May 1 in a bid to increase economic ties and seek greater protection for Indonesian foreign workers in the city-state, Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said on Tuesday (25/04).
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            [post_content] => Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo will attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit this week in Manila, where leaders of ten Southeast Asian countries are expected to discuss regional connectivity and diplomacy, and address both regional and international challenges.

This year marks the 30th year of the Asean Summit, and also the association’s 50th anniversary. The summit will take place in Manila on April 26-April 29 since the Philippines currently holds the Asean chairmanship.

According to Asean cooperation director general Jose Tavares, Jokowi will attend meetings to discuss a variety of issues on Saturday (29/04).

One of the topics for discussion is finding ways to increase economic, social and infrastructural connectivity in the region, and to improve sense of ownership among Asean residents. Another discussion will address regional diplomacy and the thorny issue of Asean centralization.

"The summit will discuss regional and international issues. Indonesia will get a chance to share its perspectives as we face an increasingly fluid world and uncertain geo-political and geo-economic situations," Jose said during a press briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Jose also said Asean leaders will likely touch on the problems of transnational crime, migrant workers, the South China Sea dispute and increasing tension in the Korean Peninsula during the summit.

Demand on the Asean Secretariat to foster regional and interregional growth has risen in recent years, but funding for Asean remains relatively small at $20 million annually. As a comparison, the European Union receives a funding of around $140 billion in 2015 and between $120-$130 billion the year before.

Under the Philippines's chairmanship, Asean currently sets six priority areas: a people-oriented, people-centered Asean, peace and stability in the region, and maritime security and cooperation.

Sub-regional organizations

Jokowi will also attend meetings during the summit with two sub-regional initiatives, the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) and the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT).

These meetings, scheduled for an hour each on the sidelines of the Asean summit, will launch new visions and plans for both initiatives.

BIMP-EAGA has already set a long term plan until the year 2025, while IMT-GT will soon finalize a similar plan for 2036. Both will focus on building well-connected infrastructure and a resilient region capable of adopting sustainable development practices.

According to Asean's director of cooperation for Asia Pacific and Africa, Benyamin Carnadi, the new visions will strengthen trade relations in the region.

"Traditionally these countries have had trade relations for centuries, but we will further strengthen that, especially with infrastructure development in the sub-regions," he said.
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            [post_excerpt] => President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo will attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or Asean, Summit this week, where leaders of ten Southeast Asian countries are expected to discuss regional connectivity, diplomacy and address both regional and international challenges.
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            [post_content] => Jakarta. Hary Tanoesoedibjo, an Indonesian media mogul and chairman of the Indonesian Unity Party, or Perindo, filed a police report on Tuesday (25/04) against an article written by senior investigative journalist Allan Nairn which mentions Hary as one of the main supporters in an alleged treason plot against President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo’s administration.

Nairn's story alleged that Hary provided funds to the plotters and supported them by skewing the reporting of the group to their advantage on his MNC Group TV station, newspaper and online news outlets.

Perindo's defense team leader Christophorus Taufik said Nairn’s piece, translated and published in an abridged form by local online media Tirto.id, was a hoax.

"The article is slander," Christophorus said at the Jakarta Police headquarters in South Jakarta on Tuesday.

"It must have been written by someone had just woken up from his dream of being a spy. It's delusional. But we're not taking it lightly, this has gone too far as a joke," the lawyer added.

The report was filed to the police's special crime investigation unit, accusing Nairn of violating Article 310 of the Criminal Code on slander through electronic media and Article 311 on Information and Electronic Transactions (ITE) — Indonesia's draconian internet law.

Jakarta Police spokesman Chief Comr. Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono said the report has been received and the police have already initiated a preliminary investigation.

"We've got the report. It's under investigation," Argo said.

Allan Nairn is an award-winning US investigative journalist who has had several run-ins with the Indonesian military over his coverage of its brutal occupation of East Timor.

His article, originally titled "Trump’s Indonesian Allies in Bed With Isis-backed Militia Seeking to Oust Elected President," detailed an alleged plot by former and current members of the military, as well as various political elites and prominent businessmen to use the protests against Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama to oust Jokowi’s administration.
            [post_title] => Media Mogul Files Report Against Investigative Journalist Allan Nairn
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            [post_content] => This article was updated on Wednesday (26/04) at 6 p.m. to add footage of President Joko Widodo.

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo denied rumors of a cabinet reshuffle in April during a visit to the Al-Hikamussalafiyah Islamic boarding school in Purwakarta, West Java, on Tuesday (24/04).

"No [cabinet] reshuffle today, none this week and there will be none this month," Jokowi said.



According to the president, his administration performs routine evaluation on the performance of each cabinet minister.

"We assess our ministers every week, every month, always," he said, reserving his biggest praise for ministers who make plenty of visits to regional areas.

"My ministers have been working day and night. Always visiting different regions, always on the field," Jokowi added.

The president also denied rumors that Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa might be resigning to run for governor in East Java next year.

"I haven't received any [resignation letter] until now," the president said.

Reports have said that Jokowi may reshuffle his cabinet again following the loss of his party colleague Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama in the Jakarta gubernatorial election.

Watch Indonesia Highlights at 8 p.m. tonight on the Jakarta Globe News Channel and Facebook Live to find out more about the cabinet reshuffle issue.
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            [post_content] => Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is scheduled to visit the Philippines this week to improve bilateral relations and attend the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit on Friday (28/04).

The president will be accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi. The trip is also meant to reciprocate Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to Indonesia in September.

Two memoranda of understanding and a joint declaration on the establishment of a shipping line between Davao City in Southern Philippines and Bitung in North Sulawesi are expected as an outcome of the leaders' meeting.

The Davao-Bitung shipping line is going to increase trade between the two countries.

A shuttle ship, Roll On Roll Off (RORO), which can carry up to 500 containers, will operate on the route.

"We hope this will strengthen trade relations between Indonesia and the Philippines, and will reduce transport time," the Foreign Ministry's director of cooperation for Asia Pacific and Africa, Benyamin Carnadi, said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

According to Benyamin, with the new shipping line the transportation time will be twice shorter.

Trade between Indonesia and Philippine increased by 32 percent between 2015 and 2016, and was worth more than $6 billion last year.

While Indonesia mainly exports coal, motorized vehicles and spare parts, the state visit will also market products from the strategic industry, including dock landing ships.
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            [post_content] => Jakarta. Vice President Jusuf Kalla said on Tuesday (25/04) that a potential cabinet reshuffle should not be based solely on the ministers' failure to meet target goals.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said at the Indonesian Ulema Council's (MUI) 2017 People's Economic Congress in Jakarta on Saturday that his main considerations for shifting cabinet positions would be based on individual ministers performance in achieving targets laid out by the administration.

"I have always worked with targets," Jokowi said at the conference, adding he would not hesitate to sack any ministers who fail to live up to the administration's expectations.

However, Kalla responded that if a reshuffle is based on meeting targets, Jokowi will be forced to replace several ministers. Nevertheless, the vice president agreed that ministers should do their utmost to meet their respective goals.

"If we are talking only about targets, current economic and political circumstances will hamper many ministers, regardless of their professional capabilities. The state budget will be hard to achieve. The president ascribes that to the current fiscal conditions in the country. But again, [the cabinet reshuffle] is the president's prerogative. The vice president has none," Kalla said.

As examples of ministers who should not be sacked, regardless of recent performance, Kalla mentioned Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati – who is struggling to meet tax income targets laid out by Jokowi – and Public Works Minister Basuki Hadimuljono  – who is struggling to meet infrastructure development targets in the face of a limited budget.

The vice president says has not discussed yet the possible cabinet reshuffle with Jokowi.
            [post_title] => Cabinet Reshuffle Shouldn't Be Based Only on Unmet Target Goals: VP
            [post_excerpt] => Vice President Jusuf Kalla said on Tuesday (25/04) that a potential cabinet reshuffle should not be based solely on the ministers' failure to meet target goals.
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            [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_656103" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]US Vice President Mike Pence chats with President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo at the Presidential Palace in Central Jakarta on Thursday (20/04). (Reuters Photo/Darren Whiteside) US Vice President Mike Pence chats with President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo at the Presidential Palace in Central Jakarta on Thursday (20/04). (Reuters Photo/Darren Whiteside)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_656105" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Pence's daughters, Charlotte, left, and Audrey, right, sit with Jokowi's daughter Kahiyang Ayu, center, as they watch a Balinese dance at the Presidential Palace. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta) Pence's daughters, Charlotte, left, and Audrey, right, sit with Jokowi's daughter Kahiyang Ayu, center, as they watch a Balinese dance at the Presidential Palace. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_656106" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Vice President Pence listens during a meeting with Muslim community leaders at the Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta on Thursday. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta) Vice President Pence listens during a meeting with Muslim community leaders at the Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta on Thursday. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_656107" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Vice President Pence talks to reporters after meeting with ambassadors of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Jakarta on Thursday. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta) Vice President Pence talks to reporters after meeting with ambassadors of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Jakarta on Thursday. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_656108" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Vice President Pence, accompanied by his wife Karen, left, talks with chief imam Nasaruddin Umar during his visit to the Istiqlal Mosque on Thursday. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta) Vice President Pence, accompanied by his wife Karen, left, talks with chief imam Nasaruddin Umar during his visit to the Istiqlal Mosque on Thursday. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_656109" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Pence and his wife Karen wave before departing for Australia at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport in East Jakarta on Friday. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta) Pence and his wife Karen wave before departing for Australia at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport in East Jakarta on Friday. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_656110" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Pence shakes hands with Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, left, as he arrives to speak at a business forum at the Shangri-La Hotel in Central Jakarta on Friday. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta) Pence shakes hands with Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, left, as he arrives to speak at a business forum at the Shangri-La Hotel in Central Jakarta on Friday. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)[/caption]
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            [post_content] => Updated on Saturday, April 22 at 05.44 p.m. 

Jakarta. Indonesia and the United States agreed on Friday (21/04) to find ways to reduce barriers to U.S. companies operating in Southeast Asia's largest economy, visiting U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Jakarta's investment chief said.

The Trump administration has put Indonesia on a list of 16 countries whose trade surpluses with the United States will be put under review. A series of disputes between Indonesia and American firms has also ruffled ties.

"We will work with President Jokowi to reduce barriers to trade and investments and to create a truly level playing field where all our businesses have equal opportunity and market access," Pence said. Jokowi is the nickname of Indonesia's President Joko Widodo.

"The president and I spoke about that very candidly and very respectfully," Pence told a roundtable discussion with business executives in Jakarta before flying to Australia on the last leg of his 10-day Asia-Pacific tour.

Indonesia's investments barriers include a lack of intellectual property protection, insufficient transparency with regulations and requiring local content for manufactured goods sold in the Indonesian market, Pence said.

Indonesia's Investment Coordinating Board chief Tom Lembong said Widodo agreed "we still have too many regulations, too many barriers to trade, and these are bad for local and international industries".

"I'm optimistic because President Jokowi and President Trump are both lifelong business people, and I think they are very focused on the practical issues that hinder business and investment," Lembong told Reuters. "I feel that the Trump administration and the Jokowi administration are on the same wavelength."

Lembong said Indonesia needs both investment and imports from the United States, "especially productivity-enhancing products and services. You need imports to boost exports."

$10 billion agreements

Neither side disclosed any discussions about the disputes Indonesia has had with American companies of late.

Over the past six months, Indonesia has wrestled with mining giant Freeport McMoRan, demanding the company divest 51 percent of its shares in its Papua-based gold and copper mine, and has demanded that Google Inc. settle unpaid taxes and fines of more than $400 million. Jakarta also scrubbed JP Morgan from its list of primary bond dealers after what was deemed a negative research report.

Pence did, however, witness the signing of more than $10 billion in memoranda of understanding with U.S. companies in Indonesia on Friday.

Among the 11 agreements were ones by Exxon Mobil to sell liquefied natural gas to Pertamina, Lockheed Martin to provide upgrades to the Indonesian Air Force's F-16s, and General Electric to develop electrical infrastructure in Indonesia.

"We think there are opportunities to clear open the way for American companies to participate more greatly in Indonesia," Pence said, adding the agreements would "draw our nations closer together and benefit both our people."

Counter-Terrorism Cooperation

Pence said in opening remarks to the roundtable that an attack in central Paris is the latest reminder terrorism can strike anywhere at anytime, and the United States would not relent in its efforts to end terrorism.

"The people of Indonesia can be confident in the wake of this latest attack: We will not relent in our effort to end terrorism and the threat it presents to both of our peoples," Pence said.

A French policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded in central Paris on Thursday night in an attack carried out days before presidential elections and quickly claimed by the Islamic State militant group.

Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority nation, has itself been hit by a series of deadly attacks over the past 15 years, led by militants affiliated with al Qaeda and more recently by Islamic State.

Pence said Washington would continue working with Indonesia to combat terrorism. On Thursday, Pence toured the Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Southeast Asia's largest, and said Indonesia's moderate form of Islam should serve as an example to other nations.

Indonesia has expressed concern about the Trump administration's proposal to bar entry to citizens of some predominantly Muslim nations. That plan, however, remains stalled in courts.

Pence on Thursday announced Trump would visit Southeast Asia in November for an annual series of regional summits. They include the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Vietnam and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in the Philippines.

Reuters
            [post_title] => Pence Discusses Barriers to US Companies With Jokowi, as $10b Deals Signed
            [post_excerpt] => US Vice President Mike Pence met with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Thursday (20/04) to discuss overcoming obstacles that limit bilateral trade and investment between the two nations.
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            [post_content] => Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has been ranked the fifth most followed global leader on Instagram, according to a research study released by global public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller earlier this month.

Over the past five years, governments and world leaders have increasingly flocked to the mobile photo and video sharing network to present more personalized images of themselves to a global audience.

In Indonesia, Jokowi uses several social media platforms – including Instagram – to share pictures and videos to engage with millennials and draw the public to participate in the country's political processes.

Burson-Marsteller presented the report, titled "Most Followed World Leaders on Instagram," which ranked 10 world leaders based on how many social media followers they have managed to accumulate and engage with.

The study showed that the number of users who follow Jokowi's Instagram account – @Jokowi – grew a stunning 673 percent over the past 12 months to a total of 3.7 million users.

The president also ranked fourth on the firm's "World's Most Interactive Leader" list, recording a total 17 million interactions with followers last year.

[caption id="attachment_655786" align="aligncenter" width="300"]President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo trails the White House, Pope Francis, Donald Trump and India's Narendra Modi on the 'Most Followed World Leaders on Instagram' list by Burson-Marsteller. (Photo courtesy of Burson-Marsteller) President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo trails the White House, Pope Francis, Donald Trump and India's Narendra Modi on the 'Most Followed World Leaders on Instagram' list by Burson-Marsteller. (Photo courtesy of Burson-Marsteller)[/caption]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi topped the list with 6.8 million followers, ahead of US President Donald Trump with 6.3 million.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis ranked third with 3.7 million Instagram followers, narrowly leading the White House's official Instagram account with a total of 3.4 million.

The firm also recorded Jokowi as having a 3.68 percent interaction rate, averaging 59 thousand likes per post. President Trump surpassed the Indonesian leader with a 3.39 percent interaction rate, averaging 111,000 likes per post and placing him fourth on the "Most Effective World Leaders on Instagram" list.

However, Modi topped that list as well, with each of his posts receiving an average 223,000 and comments or likes per social media post. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ranked sixth on the most effective list, recording a user interaction rate of 6.4 percent.

Over the past 12 months, Khamenei garnered a total 89 million interactions to his 1,423 social media posts, surpassing Pope Francis's 45 million interactions but behind Trump's total of 114 million.

Donald Baer, chief executive of Burson-Marsteller, said in a statement the study aims to show the popularity and effectiveness of how world leaders and governments communicate with their constituents on digital platforms.

"Leaders around the world are pursuing daring communication techniques that show [...] personality and creativity. Leaders in business and other sectors can learn from the way the government uses Instagram."

To expand their social media accounts, some world leaders hire official photographers to capture moments, or do it themselves by taking "selfies," or self-portrait photos typically captured through smartphones.

Through his official Instagram account, President Jokowi is among 13 world leaders who have uploaded selfies to Instagram, including Argentine President Mauricio Macri (@MauricioMacri), Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto (@PenaNieto), Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (@ Damedvedev) and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg (@Erna_Solberg).
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            [post_excerpt] =>  President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo has been ranked the fifth most followed global leader on Instagram, according to a research study released earlier this month by global public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller.
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