Friday, July 31, 2015

1) Discourse: Nationalizing Freeport could be disastrous for the economy -

2) Freeport’s Export Permit Extended  
3) Papua’s first railroad  to connect Sorong-Manokwari - 

4) Papua`s cultural events effectively attracting tourists


1) Discourse: Nationalizing  Freeport could be disastrous  for the economy - 
The Jakarta Post | Discourse | Fri, July 31 2015, 2:27 PM - 
The future of PT Freeport McMoran in Indonesia is hanging in the balance with the government refusing to negotiate the extension of its contract until 2019, two years before it will expire. The American gold mining giant, which operates the world’s largest gold mines in Papua, is lobbying to get the negotiations underway. Political analyst Ikrar Nusa Bhakti of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), who has done extensive research in Papua, talks to The Jakarta Post’s Safrin La Batu to discuss the future of Freeport. The following are excerpts from the interview.

Question: What do you think of the growing demands for nationalizing Freeport?

Answer: The majority of Freeport’s employees in almost all divisions are Indonesian; from the lowest to the highest positions. In fact, up to 98 percent of its employees are Indonesian. I was told that jobs with certain expertise, like explosive handling, are still handled by Filipinos because Indonesians are not as capable. 

But the government has made Freeport use Indonesian-made detonators supplied by PT Pindad, the state-owned arms company. That seems like a fair deal. 

The company also now buys its food and beverages from Indonesia rather than from Australia as it 
did in the past. Some Indonesian workers have also been sent to work at Freeport’s other operations in Australia.

But would nationalizing Freeport make sense to you?

I would say that I am a nationalistic person, but I am also realistic. The mining industry is a lucrative sector. If our leaders, cabinet members, governors and local leaders are greedy and cannot control themselves, then nationalization will be counterproductive. 

This was exactly what happened during the massive nationalization of Dutch companies in 1957. The impact for our economy was catastrophic, and lasted until 1971. There was mismanagement by army officers with little knowledge and skill who were entrusted to manage state-run companies. They didn’t have the international market networks.

So, should we just forget about nationalization?

Nationalization is possible, but it needs process and time. Before even thinking about it, we need to fix and strengthen the governance of state-owned companies and create a system that stops officials from working for their own personal gain.

The government instead should focus on enforcing existing laws or come up with new ones that are more pro-people. 

Do you think Freeport is doing enough to help with the economic development in Papua?

Freeport can do more in helping to build infrastructure facilities. Infrastructure development in Papua, such as road construction, is not evenly distributed. Freeport has already helped build roads in the Mimika regency [where it operates], and it can help with the development in other parts of Papua like Merauke.

Freeport says they have also contributed large sums for education in Papua. But how many schools have they built? How many Amungme people [the main tribe in Mimika] have benefited from this program? They should also help to bring the many tribes in the area, who are often in conflict with one another, together. Freeport needs to have peace and stability in the area to be able to operate.

Is Freeport also responsible for fostering harmony in Papua?

We have to question the results of Freeport’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. They must have spent a huge sum, but where did the money go? 

The people living in areas near its operation should get a proper education, not just material benefits.

The recent Tolikara tragedy (communal conflict between Christian Papuans and migrant Muslims) was just the tip of an iceberg. The biggest problem in Papua is education, and the target is for all the people in the province, whether they live in the highland or the coastal areas, or whether they are indigenous Papuans or migrants, is learning to live in harmony. -


FRIDAY, 31 JULY, 2015 | 21:12 WIB
2) Freeport’s Export Permit Extended  
TEMPO.COJakarta - The government has officially extended Freeport's permit to export copper concentrate on Friday, July 31, 2015. Bambang Gatot Arianto, the director general of mineral and coal at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, said that the letter of permit extension had been signed by the Trade Minister.
"It's official. Freeport's commitment has been realized," Bambang said on Friday, July 31, 2015 in Jakarta.
The Energy and Mineral Resources issued the recommendation letter for Freeport's permit extension on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 allowing the giant mining company to export 775,000 tons of copper concentrate for next six months.
Bambang explained that Freeport had met the requirement set by the Energy and Mineral Resources related to its smelter construction. Currently, the company's smelter construction in Gresik has progressed to 11 percent. Under Finance Ministry's Regulation Number 153/PMK.011/2014, Freeport is entitled to export duty reduction from 7.5 percent to five percent.
Freeport has also paid its commitment fee under Energy and Mineral Resources Minister’s Regulation Number 11/2014, requiring the mining company to pay 60 percent of the total smelter construction cost on a semester basis to a government-owned bank. In the period of January-June 2015, the smelter construction cost in Gresik reached US$280 million.
"We will continue to supervise the smelter construction," Bambang said.
3) Papua’s first railroad  to connect Sorong-Manokwari - 
The National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) has announced that the first railway service in Papua will be the Sorong-Manokwari route in West Papua.
Bappenas transportation director Bambang Prihartono also said that other routes are soon to follow, as the Ministry of Transportation is currently doing feasibility studies to decide which areas are suitable for railroad.
“We are hoping that the feasibility studies will be wrapped up by the end of this year,” Bambang said in Jakarta as quoted by Antara news Agency.
The project will accommodate both passenger and freight trains to increase connectivity in Papua, as well as supporting the planned development of industrial areas on the island.
Bambang explained that the project will need years of preparation before physical construction can start. After the feasibility study is finished, the Ministry of Transportation will begin the detailed engineering design (DED); both phases have an estimated cost of around Rp 33 billion (US$ 2.4 million).
The government is setting the target for physical construction to start as early as 2019.
The railroad project is one of the infrastructure priorities set by the government to facilitate transport on all major islands in the country. The Transportation Ministry Directorate General of Railways earlier has estimated the cost of the projects to be around Rp 234 trillion. (rad)(++++

4) Papua`s cultural events effectively attracting tourists

Jumat, 31 Juli 2015 15:33 WIB | 945 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Annual events, such as the cultural festivals of Lake Sentani, Baliem Valley, and Humboldt Bay have proven effective in attracting both domestic and foreign tourists to Indonesias easternmost province of Papua.

Increasingly more numbers of foreign tourists have shown profound interest in these cultural festivals and are visiting the province to enjoy its natural beauty and to gain firsthand information about the local culture.

According to Mayor of Jayapura Benhur Tommy Mano, the number of tourist arrivals in Papua through the provincial city of Jayapura continues to increase every year. 

He noted that the annual tourism and cultural events in Papua have served as a yearlong gateway for the tourism industry in the province.

"In line with the several tourism events in Papua, the number of tourist arrivals has continued to increase during the past four years," Mano remarked in Jayapura on Thursday.

He noted that the number of foreign tourist arrivals in Papua in 2014 comprised 7,268 foreign tourists and 66,137 domestic tourists.

Mano further explained that the increase in the number of tourist arrivals was a result of the efforts made by the Jayapura Culture and Tourism Office to intensively promote the local tourism attractions.

"In a bid to develop the tourism attractions in Papua and to make it a tourist destination in eastern Indonesia, the local authorities continue to work closely with the tourism ministry and other relevant institutions for holding the tourism events," Mano affirmed.

He stated that the local authorities annually organize events such as the Humboldt Bay Festival, Baliem Valley Festival, and Lake Sentani Festival to promote the local culture and tourism attractions.

Mano expressed optimism that the number of foreign tourist arrivals in Papua through the city of Jayapura will continue to increase until the cultural events kick off.

In an effort to attract more tourists, Papua will host the Humboldt Bay Festival on August 5-7, which will be followed by the Baliem Valley Festival to be held on August 6-8, 2015.

Scheduled to take place in Usilimo region in Jayawijaya district, the Baliem Valley Festival is usually enlivened by various fascinating art and cultural performances, including traditional Papuan dance performances, pig racing, Puradan Rattan Spear Throwing, Sikoko Spear games, and Papuan traditional musical performances, among several others.

The festival will also feature a special Sege-throwing competition and an archery competition for foreign visitors as a mark of appreciation for attending the festival.

The mayor of Jayapura stated that the Humboldt Bay Festival is part of the efforts to support Papua Governor Lukas Enembes program to make the province one of the key tourist destinations in eastern Indonesia.

Mano also affirmed that the Humboldt Bay Festival will be synchronized and coordinated with the implementation of other events such as the festivals of Lake Sentani and Baliem Valley.

"We will certainly create a calendar, which will include the agenda of the festivals in the regions that can be useful to the local and foreign tourists," the Jayapura mayor noted.

In the meantime, Jayapura Culture and Tourism Office spokesman Bernard Fingkreuw has stated that the Humboldt Bay Festival will be organized in a bid to preserve Papuas unique and traditional arts.

Known as the land of "Cendrawasih," or bird of paradise, Papua is truly blessed with an abundance of natural resources and unparalleled traditional arts and culture that must be maintained.

"Whether it will be themed "Beautiful Numbay", "Beautiful Humboldt", or any other theme, the important aspect is that the festival should showcase the beauty of Humboldt Bay and feature various art and cultural activities and attractions," Fingkreuw remarked.

According to the spokesman, the city administration of Jayapura has assigned an event organizer for the annual Humboldt Bay Festival.

"We have appointed an event organizer to make preparations for the Humboldt Bay Festival this year. This is the first time that we have done it," Fingkreuw noted.

He added that the event organizer was appointed to make the festival, which has been included in the national tourism calendar, more professional.

"If the government organizes the festival again, it will be monotonous. However, with the event organizer, which includes creative people, the atmosphere of the festival will be different and even better this year," he affirmed.

Further, he affirmed that the Humboldt Bay Festival in Jayapura will be supported by the Ministry of Tourism. 

Jayapura city, known in the past as Hollandia, is located in Yos Sudarso Bay, which was earlier known as Humboldt Bay.

American travelers to Jayapura will be interested to learn about the citys connection to the United States, and the role it played in World War II.

Fingkreuw noted that the Humboldt Bay Festival was scheduled in early August to avoid overlapping with the Baliem Valley Cultural Festival in Wamena, which is held on August 9 every year.

"We chose to hold the Humboldt Bay Festival early in the month of August, so that the visitors traveling to Wamena can stop over in Jayapura to attend the event," he explained.

Therefore, Papua Governor Enembe emphasized that the Humboldt Bay Festival should be promoted widely and packaged carefully, so that it can generate revenue for the city of Jayapura.

"This festival is unique and nice, as it will feature traditional dances, flute and drum performances, traditional menu cooking contest, hair weaving contest, and ornamental nut," he revealed.

Enembe also stressed that if all aspects of this annual event are well-packaged by involving all stakeholders from the board of hotels and restaurants, travel agencies, and related businesses, then it will be able to attract several local and foreign tourists.



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