Asia Shipping Correspondent
Randolph's Feed
Sep 28, 2015

Indonesia hopes rejoining OPEC will help ease reliance on oil traders

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia hopes its return to OPEC in December will bring Asia’s top gasoline importer closer to the world’s main oil producers and ease its reliance on a small group of traders for supplies, the country’s energy minister told Reuters on Monday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is expected to approve Indonesia’s request to reactivate its full membership at the group’s next meeting on Dec. 4, making the Southeast Asian country the group’s only net crude oil importer.

Sep 9, 2015

Indonesian president’s latest problem: a loose cannon in the cabinet

JAKARTA (Reuters) – As Indonesian President Joko Widodo was preparing on Wednesday to present a grand package of measures aimed at restoring investors’ faith in the competence of his government, one of his ministers stepped in and spoilt it all.

Rizal Ramli, who told Reuters this week that perhaps he is too outspoken, suddenly announced in parliament that fuel pipeline and storage projects worth $7.4 billion had been dropped because they were no longer a priority.

Sep 6, 2015

Indonesia expects bids for medium-speed rail project from China and Japan

6 (Reuters) – Bids were expected from China
and Japan for a medium-speed rail project in Indonesia that will
be 40 percent cheaper than the $6 billion bullet train project
that Jakarta scrapped last week, an Indonesian minister said in
an interview on Sunday.

China and Japan were disappointed by the cancellation of the
high-speed rail project, announced by the government on Friday,
but could renew rivalries to build the medium-speed rail link
between the capital Jakarta and the third-largest city, Bandung.

Aug 26, 2015

East Timor PM seeks to diversify economy with help of oil fund

JAKARTA, Aug 26 (Reuters) – East Timor will tap into its
$16.6 billion oil fund to build the necessary infrastructure to
attract non-energy investment, the prime minister said on
Wednesday, as disputes over undeveloped gas fields look to
remain unresolved for years.

Rui Araujo told Reuters the government would not compromise
on its demand that Woodside Petroleum build onshore
processing facilities in the development of the Greater Sunrise
gas fields, a project that could provide billions of dollars to
the impoverished nation.

Jul 30, 2015

Indonesian agency probes Astra Honda, three others on possible price-fixing

JAKARTA, July 30 (Reuters) – Indonesia’s anti-cartel agency
is investigating Astra Honda Motor and three other car and
motorbike companies for possible price-fixing in Southeast
Asia’s largest economy, the agency and an Astra Honda official
said on Thursday.

The Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) said
it launched the probe after prices of automobiles and motorbikes
in Indonesia continued to rise, in contrast to prices in
Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

Jul 22, 2015

Economic slowdown snuffs out growth in Indonesia’s smoking industry

JAKARTA, July 23 (Reuters) – Indonesians are smoking less
than before, and that poses a dilemma for a government that
faces a budget shortfall as well as rising unemployment and
counts on tobacco taxes for about 10 percent of state revenue.

President Joko Widodo’s government needs to decide whether
to significantly raise tobacco taxes in 2016, something
Indonesian authorities have done for years.

Jul 1, 2015

Frustrated Indonesian leader launches charm offensive with investors

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Exasperated by the performance of his economics team, Indonesia’s president has personally taken on the job of promoting Southeast Asia’s largest economy to skeptical investors, said palace officials and economists.

Joko Widodo’s unusual intervention in a closed-door meeting with fund managers and economists has so far failed to turn the tide of disappointment in his policies, less than a year after his election was hailed as a new era for a country plagued by corruption, red tape and rickety infrastructure.

Jun 22, 2015

In ‘jihad’ for nationalism, Islamic group plans an Indonesian car

PALEMBANG, Indonesia, June 23 (Reuters) – Fed up with
capitalists plundering Indonesia’s riches, members of the
country’s second-largest Islamic group have drawn up plans to
launch a “people’s power” movement.

On top of their list: build a national car.

If realised, the Muhammadiyah group’s ambition would revive
a project launched by autocratic leader Suharto’s son, Tommy, in
1996 but halted during the Asian financial crisis just two years
later. As yet, though, its plans for the car are sketchy.

Jun 13, 2015

Australia stoops to ‘new low’ if boat payment confirmed: Indonesia

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Australia would have stooped to a “new low” if reports that its navy paid people-smugglers bound for Australia thousands of dollars to turn back their boat are true, an Indonesian government official said on Saturday.

Australia has vowed to stop asylum-seekers reaching its shores, turning boats back to Indonesia when it can and sending asylum-seekers to camps in impoverished Papua New Guinea and Nauru for long-term detention.

Jun 11, 2015

Indonesian president looks to open up neglected Papua region

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo wants to open up the remote and impoverished region of Papua after decades of conflict and neglect, but will first need the backing of the military, parliament and separatists.

Palace officials said the president plans to free dozens of political prisoners, launch a slew of infrastructure projects, and confront the serious unemployment problem in the easternmost province of the Indonesian archipelago.