Sunday, October 25, 2015

1) Jokowi will not discuss Freeport during US visit: Cabinet Secretary

2) Jokowi to pursue $19.5  billion of business deals  with US firms - 

1) Jokowi will not discuss  Freeport during US visit:  Cabinet Secretary, Jakarta | National | Sun, October 25 2015, 4:25 PM 

Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung says issues surrounding the work contract between Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold Inc., which operates the world’s largest gold mine in Grasberg, Papua, and the Indonesian government will not come up in discussions when President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo visits the US from Oct. 25 to 30.
“Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said cancelled his departure; so, there is no more speculation [on possible discussions about Freeport],” he said as quoted by on Sunday. The Cabinet secretary spoke to journalists at Halim Perdanakusumah Airport in East Jakarta on Saturday evening.
Pramono said that during his US business trip, President Jokowi would visit both the western and eastern parts of the country. In the east, President Jokowi would meet with US President Barack Obama, members of the US Congress, ministers and lobby groups to discuss the roles Indonesia and the US could play in the world.
“Surely, issues related to cooperation between the two countries in the fields of politics and the economy, as well as the signing of agreements in defense and security, will also be parts of the talks in the meetings,” said Pramono.
In his visit to the western parts of the US, he added, President Jokowi would visit Silicon Valley to meet with business players involved in digital technology and the creative economy, including the CEOs of several technology companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft.
“So, the President will have two types of visits, namely formal and informal, in the US. This is just like what we want, in which in the US the President will not only have a state visit, but also discuss problems related to the development of our digital technology and creative economy,” said Pramono.
He added that the President wanted people living in villages across Indonesia to understand and be involved in the use of digital technologies.
“Our villages minister [Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Minister Marwan Jafar] will follow up on the talks. Google has been willing to help us [to expand digital technology use],” he said.
Pramono went on to say that there was quite a huge amount of village funds that could be used to expand access to digital technology. He said that was why President Jokowi wanted to use his US visit to specifically explore opportunities to boost villages’ knowledge and interest in digital technologies. 
Pramono said that in his US trip, President Jokowi was accompanied by a delegation of digital technology and creative economy developers, such as the founders of mobile-application-based motorcycle taxi company Go-Jek, local e-commerce giant Tokopedia and Indonesia’s largest online forum Kaskus.
“They are young entrepreneurs who are creative in digital technologies and the creative economy. That’s why they are involved in this US business trip, so that they can have more knowledge and understanding of the businesses because Silicon Valley has an increasing international influence,” said Pramono. (ebf)

2) Jokowi to pursue $19.5  billion of business deals  with US firms - 
Hans Nicholas Jong, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Sun, October 25 2015, 2:36 PM - 

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo departed on Saturday to the US on his first visit to the superpower, where he is scheduled to hold a meeting with President Barack Obama and tech leaders of Silicon Valley.

Speaking before taking his flight aboard the presidential aircraft at Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base in East Jakarta, Jokowi gave details about some of his objectives during the four-day visit. 

“The main objective of this visit is to boost bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and the US, particularly in investment and trade. I will also pursue [cooperation in] digital and creative economy industries. And also develop democracy and tolerance,” Jokowi said in a press briefing 

Jokowi is scheduled to meet Obama as well as the chamber of commerce on Monday. On Tuesday, Jokowi is expected to meet with the US foreign commerce committee and fund managers at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, DC. On the same day, he will also deliver a speech at US think tank Brookings Institution.

On the second leg of the visit in San Francisco, Jokowi will meet with leaders from Microsoft, Apple, Google and Facebook. 

“In San Francisco, our main objective is to develop a technological axis and see directly the successes of the US in developing its digital and creative economy,” Jokowi said. “And we hope the benefit of this digital and creative economy can be felt by all Indonesians, including those living in rural areas.”

During the visit, business deals worth US$19.5 billion, including joint projects between Indonesian state utilities and US firms in the power sector, are set to be announced, according to Indonesian officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Obama, who lived in Indonesia as a child, visited the country twice during his first term, as he sought to put more emphasis on thus ties with Asia. 

But like many countries in the region, Indonesia remains careful about balancing its relations with the US and China, the world’s economic powerhouse. Indonesia doesn’t count itself among the nations contesting for islands in the disputed South China Sea, although it is concerned that China’s expansive maritime claims extend into the waters of Indonesia’s Natuna Islands, where Indonesian officials say they want more US investment.

The Jokowi administration, driven by its decision to project Indonesia as a military power, especially a naval power, has sought to strengthen defense and security ties with the US. 

The presidential visit is the culmination of a series of visits by the top brass of Indonesia’s defense establishment over the last 12 months. 

Indonesia’s then naval chief of staff, Adm. Marsetio, visited the US in October 2014. Gen. Moeldoko, the then chief of the Indonesian Military visited the US in December 2014. Furthermore, Defense Minister Ryacudu Ryamizard, visited the US in May 2015. 

In this context, the presidential visit may secure substantive bilateral defense and security cooperation in the areas of defense procurement and the development of domestic defense industries.

“I hope my visit to the US will contribute to peace and welfare for all,” Jokowi said, without elaborating on the details of the security discussions that he will have with Obama. 

Jonah Blank, an expert on Asia at RAND Corp., said one area where Jokowi had a chance to make his mark with Obama was on climate change. His visit comes ahead of a global climate change summit to take place in Paris in December where the US will be pushing nations to set binding targets for reducing emissions.

Indonesia is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers estimate that since September, emissions from Indonesia’s rampant land and forest fires exceeded the average daily emissions from all US economic activities, as many of the fires are on peat lands that are extremely rich in carbon.

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