Monday, March 13, 2017

1) Raja Ampat Coral Reefs Destroyed by Foreign Tour Vessel

1) Raja Ampat Coral Reefs Destroyed by Foreign Tour Vessel
2) ANALYSIS: Jokowi’s visit heralds new optimism for bilateral trade with Australia
3) US vice president to visit Indonesia
4) Plane skids off runway in Papua

MONDAY, 13 MARCH, 2017 | 21:52 WIB
1) Raja Ampat Coral Reefs Destroyed by Foreign Tour Vessel

TEMPO.COJakarta - The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) has urged the Government and the Regional Government to increase their maritime supervision in social and ecological aspects following the destruction of coral reefs in Raja Ampat, West Papua. The destruction was allegedly caused by the body of the Caledonian Sky cruise ship from the Bahamas that rammed into a large number of coral reefs in shallow waters under a low tide March 4, 2017.
Sea Coast and Small Islands Campaign Manager from Walhi, Ony Mahadika, stated that the government does, in fact, focusing on maritime development. “But unfortunately their focus is based on its economy and coastal industrialization, which makes their focus on social and ecological matters very minimal,” he said on Sunday, March 12, 2017.
The 90-meter long cruise ship operated by tour company Noble Caledonia hit the shallow water after completing their bird-watching at Waigeo 4 Island. The evaluation result from the Pacific Water Resources Research Center from Papua University shows that the Caledonian Sky had left a vast trail of coral reef destruction of 1,600 square meters. This coral damage took place in a diving site known as the Crossover Reef.
Ony regrets about the tragedy happened in Raja Ampat, considering that healing the damaged coral reefs would need another 10-20 years to recover. He urged the government to conduct an investigation and hand over a form of punishment for the owner of the vessel. “This is essential as a deterrent effect,” he said.
The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fishery has already dispatched a team to investigate the level of damage endured by coral reefs in Raja Ampat. The team involves the Directorate General of Marine Space Management and the Directorate General and the Directorate General of Marine Resources and Fisheries.
A local team in Sorong have already observed the location of the incident for the past few days.

2) ANALYSIS: Jokowi’s visit heralds new optimism for bilateral trade with Australia
10:03 pm GMT+12, 09/03/2017, Australia
By  Dr Greta Nabbs-Keller
After worrying delays, Indonesian President Widodo has finally met with Prime Minister Turnbull in Sydney. In spite of the countries’ past animosities, Australia-Indonesia trade cooperation may now finally live up to its potential.
The last visit by an Indonesian president to Australia was characterised as a missed opportunity by the Indonesian side. Commenting on then Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s Darwin meeting with then President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2012, Indonesian vice-presidential advisor and foreign policy expert Dewi Fortuna Anwar observed that the leaders were talking at “cross purposes”. She noted that whilst Gillard “focused on security issues, the strategic environment and the asylum seeker problem,” President Yudhoyono “promoted Indonesia as a land of market opportunities for trade and investment”.
Five years on, one sees a welcome shift in policy emphasis with trade and investment priorities front and centre of bilateral discussions during President Joko Widodo’s (Jokowi) Sydney visit last week. No doubt this emphasis reflected the priorities of both countries, but the visit’s style and substance were different in a number of ways.
First, Australia’s preoccupation with threats emanating from Indonesia was less apparent. With uncertainty around the United States’ Asia policy under President Trump, the ongoing need to counter youth radicalisation and China’s continuing militarisation of islands in the South China Sea, security issues were, of course, still on the agenda of the bilateral talks in Sydney.
Agreement was reached on a joint declaration enhancing maritime cooperation with an associated Plan of Action. The talks also reaffirmed the cooperation undertaken by both the ‘2+2 Meetings’ of foreign and defence ministers and the recent Ministerial Council on Law and Security —with commitments to enhance cooperation on counter-terrorism, cyber security, transnational organised crime, and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Finally, the lingering uncertainty over the status of the defence relationship ended with the statement made by the two leaders’ joint declaration on the “full restoration of defence cooperation, training exchanges and activities”.
Economic cooperation
Although security issues were still on the agenda for Jokowi’s visit to Australia, they did not dominate the discussions as in previous years. Rather, Jokowi’s points of discussion suggested greater policy attention to the trade and investment potential of the bilateral relationship and recognition of the importance of non-government actors in bilateral engagement.
It is widely recognised that Australia’s trade and investment relationship with Indonesia is relatively weak given the market significance of Indonesia’s consumer class (estimated to grown to 85 million by 2020) and the size of Indonesia’s economy relative to others in Southeast Asia (more than double the other economies combined in Southeast Asia). There are a number of causal factors explaining this weakness, apart from Canberra’s previous preoccupation with security issues.
Indonesia’s bureaucratic red tape, corruption and lack of legal certainty has long made Australian companies wary of investing in the country. For years Indonesia had ranked poorly by world standards on both the World Banks’s Ease of Doing Business surveys and Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index. Moreover, economic nationalism and suspicions about ‘exploitative’ foreign capital remains an enduring part of the Indonesian national psyche.
Since his inauguration in 2014, however, Indonesia’s ‘infrastructure president’ has worked to improve the investment climate for foreign capital. Bureaucratic red tape has been reduced, business licensing has been expedited and the need to continually renew company registration certificates has been ameliorated. Partly as a result of such policy changes, Indonesia has risen in both the World Bank and TI indices. Certainly, Australian business has taken note, with leaders from the mining, retail, tourism and healthcare sectors meeting directly with President Widodo and his senior delegation in Sydney.
Formalising trade
The Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) formed the centrepiece of bilateral discussions in Sydney. In essence a comprehensive free trade agreement, it provides for improved market access for Australian and Indonesian goods and services, relaxed visa provisions and reductions in both tariff and non-tariff barriers. Early announcements—just prior to and during President Widodo’s visit—included a reduction in Indonesian tariffs on imported Australian sugar, a move by the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture from quarterly to annual live cattle import quotas and the abolition of tariffs on pesticides and herbicides from Indonesian suppliers.
Both governments have committed to finalising the IA-CEPA by the end of this year, which builds on the foundations of the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement signed in 2010. Australia’s announcement that it will host the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit Meeting in 2018 is further recognition of Australia’s common economic and strategic interests with the Southeast Asian sub-grouping.
Personalising relations
Inherent in preparations surrounding Jokowi’s visit was greater sensitivity to the cultural and people-to-people dimensions of the relationship. Jokowi’s programme included a visit to Darling Harbour International Convention Centre where he met with hundreds of excited members of the Indonesian expatriate community. Whilst in recognition of Indonesians’ embrace of social media, Australia’s ambassador to Indonesia posted a heart-warming Twitter video featuring suggestions by Australian school children on what Indonesia’s president should do and eat whilst in Australia.
Jokowi and his wife Iriana also enjoyed a private dinner held at Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull’s Point Piper residence—a noticeable departure from the fussier state dinner format. Dinner was followed by an early morning walk in Sydney’s Botanical Gardens where members of the public warmly greeted both leaders.
There is little doubt that the personal rapport between Jokowi and Turnbull, combined with their entrepreneurial backgrounds, has seen renewed commitment by both countries to capitalise on the economic potential of the relationship. Moreover, since Turnbull’s tenure as prime minister, bilateral interactions have been characterised by a more informal, contemporary style congruent with the personalities of both leaders.
Indeed, personal rapport between leaders is a critical variable in determining the stability of Australia-Indonesia relations. This is due to the frequency of bilateral political tensions based often on sovereignty concerns and differences in cultural values. In Sydney it also became apparent, however, that Jokowi’s lack of interest in international political issues, in this instance at least, was a distinct advantage to Australia. As he explained to an adoring crowd at Darling Harbour: “I don’t want to talk much about politics, it’s confusing. Let’s just talk about the economy.
Dr Greta Nabbs-Keller is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Queensland’s School of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS-UQ) and director of Dragonminster Consulting.

3) US vice president to visit Indonesia
Jakarta | Mon, March 13, 2017 | 08:32 pm

Indonesia and the United States are preparing for a visit by US Vice President Mike Pence to Indonesia, believed to be scheduled for next month.
 US Ambassador to Indonesia Joseph R. Donovan paid a visit to Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto at his office in Jakarta on Monday to discuss what Wiranto deemed as “strategic issues” that might be on the discussion table for Pence and President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
“We discussed matters that might be used for President Jokowi as a reference [in his upcoming meeting with Pence],” Wiranto said, as quoted from a press release.
In Monday’s meeting, Wiranto also expressed Jakarta’s hope for the two countries to continue forging the bilateral partnership enhanced under the leadership of US President Donald Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, in 2015 when Jokowi visited Obama. At that time, the two countries, which have cooperated under a comprehensive partnership since 2010, agreed to forge a strategic partnership.
"Under Trump’s leadership, we hope the partnership will continue,” Wiranto said.
Wiranto did not reveal the dates of Pence’s visit, but, reportedly Pence will be heading to Asia next month.
Pence’s Asian tour will include Japan, amid concerns the Trump administration is rolling back Obama's “pivot to Asia”, says Reuters.
Trump has withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, which was seen as an economic pillar of the strategy.
Reuters also reported Pence would visit South Korea and Australia, with North Korea’s missiles, which has sparked tensions on the Korean Peninsula, likely be among topics of discussion. (ipa)

4) Plane skids off runway in Papua
Nethy Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post
Jayapura | Mon, March 13, 2017 | 05:35 pm

A Grand Caravan aircraft operated by Alda Air, skidded off the runway as it attempted to land at Kenyam Airport, Nduga district, Papua on Monday, apparently as a result of a burst tire.
The airplane, piloted by Capt. Paulus Kayadu and co-pilot Darsono, departed from Moses Kilangin Airport, Mimika, Papua, at 11:30 a.m. bound for Kenyam at 12:15 p.m.. The plane carried 1,090 kilograms of cargo and five passengers.
''There were no casualties in the incident, the plane was successfully evacuated,” Jayawijaya Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Yan Piet Reba told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
“The airplane was in a good condition, but the tire burst and so it went off the runway,” Yan said.
Kenyam Airport was temporary closed after the incident. (hol/wit)

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