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28 June 2007
Bakrie Telecom to raise $145m syndicated loan for expansion


Publicly listed telecommunications firm PT Bakrie Telecom Tbk will raise US$145 million in the form of a syndicated loan from a consortium of overseas financial institutions.

President director Anindya Novyan Bakrie said Tuesday that the company would use $95 million of the loan to partly finance network expansion and the remainder to refinance debt worth Rp 450 billion (US$50 million).

The loan will mature in five years, including a two-year grace period, and will carry an interest rate of around nine percent, or four percent above the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) -- the world benchmark for short-term interest rates.

The loan agreement was signed recently by the company and the consortium, with Credit Suisse acting as the lead arranger.

This year, Bakrie Telecom will expand its network to 17 big cities around the country, including Semarang, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Medan and Padang. At present, the CDMA operator only serves Jakarta, and West Java and Banten provinces.

"These 17 cities are prospective markets for our business as we have discovered that most of their residents suit our customer profiles in the sense that they are value-oriented," Anindya said, adding that the company was running a major television advertising campaign for its cellular brand, Esia.

"By the end of this year, we will have covered 34 cities around the country."

The company will spend $220 million on capital investment this year.

It expects to double the number of its subscribers by the end of this year to 3.6 million, comprising 3.1 million in Greater Jakarta, and West Java and Banten provinces, and the remaining 500,000 in the new coverage areas. As of the end of the first quarter, the company had around 1.8 million subscribers.

By way of comparison, Bakrie Telecom's competitors PT Telkom and Mobile-8 have five million and two million subscribers, respectively.

Besides its Esia brand, Bakrie also operates its Wifone wireless fixed service, Wimode wireless internet service and the Esia-tel chain of telephone kiosks.

To raise more fresh capital, the company also plans to issue bonds worth Rp 500 billion in the third quarter of this year.

In the first quarter, its net profit surged 134 percent to Rp 16.25 billion from Rp 120 million in the corresponding period last year.

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jakarta post

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My mind's unweaving/ 8:32 AM

24 June 2007
Media Nusantara Citra’s Shares Officially Listed in Stock Exchange


From today (22/9), the shares of PT Media Nusantara Citra . (MNC) are officially for trading at the Jakarta Stock Exchange (JSX). As many as 13.75 billion shares of several television station companies’ are offered with the initial price of Rp900 per share.

MNC’s President Director, Hary Tanoesodibjo, said the release of the company’s initial shares was over-subscribed. From foreign investors which are mostly banks, the request is seven times of the given price range. “From local investors, there is nine times surplus,” he told reporters in Jakarta, Friday (22/9).

MNC release its 30 percent shares to the public with the offer of around 4.125 billion shares. Those that act as issuer guarantor is PT Bhakti Sekuritas and PT Danareksa Sekuritas.

Hary explained, 13 percent of the Initial Public Offering (IPO) funds will be allocated for RCTI bonds debt repayment amounting to Rp385 billion. The remaining 76 percent is for the development of the media, broadcasting and developing programs and also capital expenditure.

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tempo

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My mind's unweaving/ 12:26 PM

18 June 2007
US Companies Promise 2 Billion $ Investment In Indonesia


American companies this week made a commitment to invest more in Indonesia provided that the government can guarantee legal certainty and security.

During a meeting with President Megawati Soekarnoputri 10 American companies, mainly oil and gas enterprises, made a commitment for new investment totaling US$2 billion, according to presidential economic adviser Frans Seda. Seda, however, declined to elaborate.

Nonetheless, executives of Conoco Oil and Freeport Mc Moran, both with strong interests in Indonesia, expressed their intention to increase their investment in the country.

Conoco senior vice president J. Michael Stinson said that his company, with interests in the West Natuna gas field in Riau, intended to join the bidding for 17 new oil and gas blocks offered by the government during the meeting.

Freeport chairman and chief executive officer James R. Moffet, said that the company had invested a total of $6 billion in its giant copper and gold mines in Irian Jaya alone and was prepared to invest more in Indonesia´s eastern-most province.

Both Stinson and Moffet, however, spoke about the importance of the Indonesian government having stable and predictable regulations.

They mentioned the complications involved in the implementation of the new autonomy law, tax regulations as well as labor laws and regulations.

"Indonesia will be one of the best places (for companies) to put money if you have a stable and predictable tax environment, law respecting human resources and workers. Then it will be conducive for foreign investment," said Stinson.

The government, Stinson added, had also to make sure that all bureaucratic processes were rational and if possible they be pooled under one roof to make it more convenient for investors to do business in the country.

"We have to have all those things. Otherwise, investors will be reluctant to come to the country," he remarked.

James R. Moffet also spoke about regional autonomy, especially the special autonomy bill for Irian Jaya currently being deliberated.

Moffet, nevertheless, expressed Freeport´s readiness to work under the planned special autonomy law, that would give much of the revenue from mineral exploitation to the province.

"The regional autonomy law is like other laws. We will work with it," Moffet said.

Meanwhile, Texaco Inc. chairman Glenn F. Tilton, who also attended the meeting with the President, brought up the importance of bringing uniformity in investment regulations that seemed to be negated by the autonomy law.

He suggested that the current drafting of the new investment bill focus on creating uniformity in investment, especially to deal with possible confusion in the implementation of the autonomy law.

"We appreciate the efforts of the Indonesian government to bring uniformity for investment opportunity in Indonesia ... We will avail of what Indonesia has to offer," Tilton said after the meeting.

ExxonMobil Oil Corp. executive vice president Harry J. Longwell highlighted the importance of security being guaranteed, especially in restive areas such as Aceh, its center of operations in Indonesia.

He noted that ExxonMobil suspended its operation for four months due to security reasons and it would take some time to resume full operations in Aceh.

"We have secured the operation at this time and we have an ongoing understanding that security is the responsibility of the government and they are handling it," Longwell said after meeting Megawati.

Speaking at the opening of the Houston Energy Dialog on Sunday, Megawati stressed once again the government´s commitment to protect foreign investment and at the same time underlined the importance of the need for companies to work with local people to improve their welfare.

Megawati invited oil and gas companies to invest in Indonesia, promising a more stable and conducive investment climate under her administration.

She noted that the House of Representatives had just passed the oil and gas bill into law, giving more room to private investors to play a greater role.

"I am not here to make empty promises. But I can assure you of my determination ... What I can promise you is very modest: Do come to Indonesia and we will warmly welcome you," she ended her speech.

(source : www.indonesian-observer.com)
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indoexchange

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My mind's unweaving/ 3:22 PM

15 June 2007
DPR Asked to Evaluate Tangguh Gas Price


The House of representatives (DPR) has been asked to form a special team to investigate the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sales contract from Tangguh gas field in Papua.

The price of Tangguh gas overseas is regarded as cheaper compared to that of domestic gas sales.

Effendi Situmorang, an oil industry observer, said that the team was aimed at researching and probing the contract and sales price of Tangguh gas.

The special team, he said, comprises DPR members, government officials and the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK).

“The purpose of forming the team is to take responsibility as regards whether the 20-year gas sales contract will result in benefit or loss for the state,” he told Tempo yesterday (13/6).

According to Effendi, the Tangguh gas sales price, US$3.5 per mmBtu on average, is the lowest price in the history of Indonesia's LNG sales.

“LNG price from Tangguh is lower than gas price in domestic market, which is above US$4 per mmBtu on average,” said the former Pertamina's Director of Production Sharing Management (now the Upstream Oil and Gas Executing Body or BPH Migas).

He explained that now the State Electricity Company's (PLN) power plants buy gas at prices above US$4 per mmBtu on average.

Moreover, Tangguh gas sales price can cause price discrimination in LNG from Arun gas field in Aceh and Badak gas field in East Kalimantan.

“Up to now Japan buys LNG from Indonesia at between US$7 and US$8 per mmBtu on average,” said Effendi.

Purnomo Yusgiantoro, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister, disagreed that Tangguh gas sales price was too cheap.

His reason was that the US$3.5 per mmBtu price is the export price (free on board).

“When the goods reach the destination, the price can reach US$7 to US$9,” he told Nieke Indrietta from Tempo.

Purnomo went on to say that around 50 percent of Tangguh's LNG for Sempra is also transferred to other contract to gain a better price.

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My mind's unweaving/ 11:17 AM

Humpuss To Issue US$400 Million In Bonds


PT Humpuss Intermoda Transportasi Tbk. plans to issue bonds worth US$400 million to purchase five ships this year. Earlier, this company that runs a sea transportation business planned to obtain a banking loan to fund its expansion.

Agus Darjanto, President Director of Humpuss Intermoda, said that based on analysis the company has carried out, it had been decided not to obtain a banking loan.

“If we borrow from banks, there is little ‘room to move,’ despite us needing a large amount,” he said after holding a press conference following Annual and Extraordinary General Meetings of Shareholders in Jakarta yesterday (13/6).

Agus said the bonds that will be issued comprise of senior debt amounting to US$350 million with eight year period and junior debt of US$50 million with five year period.

The funds will be the sources of the company's expenditure up until to 2010.

He went on to say that after purchasing the new ships, the company plans to continue securing the company's assets in order to look for new loans.

The funds, said Agus, will be used for refinancing all the company's debts, including bond obligations.
Humpuss has allocated US$159.6 million (around Rp1.4 trillion) to purchase five new ships.

According to Agus, the five ships consist of Panamax ships and chemical tank ships.

As regards Panamax, those we are aiming at are that like the ships of Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and Korea,” he said.
In terms of chemical tank ships, the targets are 13,000 dead weight tons (DWT) ships.

The purpose is to meet the international market segment.

Earlier, Sapto Basuki, Humpuss Intermoda's Corporate Secretary, said that some of the funds for purchasing will be gained from the sales of two oil tank ships whose contract terms have ended and are worth US$36 million (Rp316 billion).

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My mind's unweaving/ 11:16 AM

13 June 2007
European Commission and Japan Grant US$15 Million for Bird Flu


The European Union and the Japanese government have given grants amounting to US$10 million and US$5 million respectively for handling the bird flu virus in Indonesia.

The grants were announced during a meeting between the Indonesian government and the donor countries at the “ HPAI in Indonesia: Latest Situation and Future Steps to Control H5N1 Virus” as the theme, at the Gran Melia Hotel, Jakarta, today (13/6).

“The spread of bird flu virus in Indonesia is sporadic and doesn't show any certain pattern. The war against this virus must be applied in all directions, especially as regards animals as the source of infection,” said Bayu Krisnamurthi, Head of the National Team for Bird Flu Handling and Readiness to Face Pandemic Influenza (Komnas FBPI).

It is planned that the grants will be used for supporting activities such as vaccine quality, socialization of fowl vaccination, vaccination officer training, access to vaccine storage and vaccine procurement.

The grants will be divided, for the Agriculture Department US$9.56 million and the remainder for the Komnas FBPI for many activities.

The time to use the grants is between July, 2007 and July, 2009.

Many activities to handle bird flu on animals have been prepared.

However, Musny Suatmojo, Director of Animal Health at the Agriculture Department, refused to give the details.

“Now it's being discussed in the meeting. Tomorrow there'll be certainties as regards the activity details,” he said.

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My mind's unweaving/ 6:59 PM

Newmont's Lawsuit Against New York Times Postponed


The panel of judges at the Central Jakarta District Court postponed the civil claim of PT Newmont Minahasa Raya's President Director, Richard Bruce Ness, against The New York Times newspaper, yesterday (11/6).

The reason is, during the trial headed by judge Heru Pramono, only Newmont's legal adviser, Arief Surowidjojo, was present. As from The New York Times, the side was absent. “The trial is adjouned for a week,” said Heru, closing the trial.

In the lawsuit, Ness regarded The New York Times as having contained the article that defamed his reputation and assassinated his character. The articles were written by the reporter Jane Perlez and were published three times: September 9, 2004; September 24, 2004 and October 7, 2004.

Ness, in his lawsuit, says that the news of The New York Times and several other media of its subsidiaries such as the International Herald Tribune and The Boston Globe, has caused Newmont to suffer loss as what was printed was not true.

The New York Times along with reporter Jane Perlez, contained articles with such headings as, “Spurred by Illness, Indonesians Lash Out at U.S. Mining Giant” on September 9, 2004 and “Gold Mining Company to Pay Indonesia $30 million” on February 17, 2006.

Ness wanted the recovery of his reputation and apology to be published as a first-page story in the newspapers and all media subsidiaries of The New York Times and www.nytimes.com website. He also asked The New York Times to pay immaterial compensation amounting to US$63.930 million.

Richard Bruce Ness was acquitted by the Manado District Court on April 26, 2007. As PT Newmont's President Director, Ness was found not guilty in environmental pollution in the Buyat Bay area.
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My mind's unweaving/ 6:59 PM

08 June 2007
BI Rate Down by 25 Base Points


At a meeting of the Bank Indonesia (BI) Governors Board on Thursday (7/6), it was decided to lower the BI rate once again, this time by 25 base points to 8.50 percent from the previous 8.75 percent.

Budi Mulya, BI's Director of Strategic Planning and Public Relations, said that the lowering of the BI rate was based on consideration of the prospects of this year's inflation target of six plus-minus one percent and next year's five plus-minus one percent.

“The decrease was also following our in depth study of the latest economic and financial developments,” he said in Jakarta.

He went on to say that in general, the economy will still continue with a more balanced pattern.

This is reflected in the economic growth target of 5.7 percent, higher than BI's initial projection.

In addition, the Rupiah exchange rate in May also strengthened from an average Rp9.093 against the US dollar in April to Rp8.838 against the US dollar in May, 2007.

“May's inflation was also still maintained.”

Core inflation was recorded at 5.62 percent year on year, the lowest rate in the last six years.

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My mind's unweaving/ 12:27 PM

Sarwono Awaits Constitutional Court's Decision


Jakarta Gubernatorial candidate, Sarwono Kusumaatmadja, acknowledged he could not register as gubernatorial candidate because he was not supported by a political party.

“I can't register anymore,” said Sarwono after attending the material review trial of the Regional Governance Decree at the Constitutional Court, today (7/6).

Now he is waiting for the decision of the Constitutional Court which is still in the middle of its Regional Governance Decree judicial review.

“Because I chose the independent lane,” said Sarwono.

The former Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister acknowledged the experts' statement during the Regional Governance Decree judicial review that there should be an opportunity for independent candidates to become regional leaders.

“A non-party lane is in fact needed,” said Sarwono.
He then made an analogy of his candidacy as the Regional Representatives Assembly (DPD) member.

At that time Sarwono did not need to have support from any political party in order to become a DPD member.

“I was elected by the people without going through any political lane,” he said.

The Jakarta Governor Election entered the last day today for the registration of gubernatorial candidates and the deputies at the Regional Election Commission (KPUD) Jakarta.

However, so far there has not been any candidate pairing who have registered at the KPUD.

As already reported, the pair of Sarwono and Jeffry who was previously put forth by the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the National Awakening Party (PKB) have canceled their participation in the Jakarta Governor Election because they did not have 15 percent of the votes of the Provincial Legislative Council (DPRD).
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My mind's unweaving/ 12:26 PM

07 June 2007
Former Rose Team Commander Wants Judicial Review of Human Rights Court Law


Former “Rose Team” Commander, Major (retired) Bambang Kristiono, filed a proposal for s judicial review of the Human Rights Court Decree at the Constitutional Court, yesterday (5/6).

Bambang, via his attorney Mahendradatta, asked the Court to correct Article 43 Point 2 of the Decree No. 26/2006.

“Bambang is worried because the articles can lead him being scrutinized again by the ad hoc Human Rights Court,” said Mahendradatta at the Constitutional Court, yesterday.

Bambang is a former Army Infantry Major who was Battalion 42 Commander Group 4 of Special Force Command (Kopassus) and concurrently “Rose Team” commander.

“Rose Team”was the team involved in kidnapping and making activists disappear by force cases of in 1997-1998.

Bambang was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment by the Supreme Military Court in 2000 and was also dismissed from the Army because of the case.

Mahendratta said Article 43 Point 2 of the law states that the ad hoc Human Rights Court was formed based on the House of Representatives' (DPR) suggestion with the President's decision.

The article's explanation states that the ad hoc Human Rights Court was formed after the House deemed there had been a severe human rights violation during a certain event in a certain time and place prior to the Human Rights Decree being effective.

According to him Mahendratta in the activists kidnapping case, the Human Rights National Commission sent a letter to the House on December 27, 2006, and Bambang's name is in the letter.

The letter states that Bambang can be asked for statement as regards activists kidnapping cases.

“The nebis in idem principle may not be valid for our client,” said Mahendratta.

The trial began with preliminary questioning by the panel of judges led by judge H.A.S. Natabaya.

Constitutional judge Natabaya asked the applicant which constitutional right of him that was infringed due to the decree.

He asked the applicant to strengthen the legal standing of the judicial review.

“The constitutional loss suffered by the applicant is not clear,” he said.

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My mind's unweaving/ 4:31 PM

Tax Directorate General Oversees Indosat Tax Problem


The Tax Directorate General has acknowledged that there has been a decrease in the tax deposits from PT Indosat Tbk.'s revenues during the last couple of years.

However, tax officials have not yet carried out an investigation as there are not any indications of tax manipulations by Indosat, in which Singapore Technologies (ST) Telemedia owns the majority shares.

“We've collected the dossiers but they are insufficient as there must be indications of (tax) manipulation,” said Darmin Nasution, Tax Director General, Jakarta yesterday (5/6).

Signals of the state's losses due to Indosat's tax income and dividend shortfalls amounting to around Rp323 billion were brought up by Dradjad H. Wibowo, a member of the House's Banking and Finance Commission.

According to him, the potential income tax losses are Rp196 billion, the potential loss of revenue from dividends Rp65 billion and the potential loss of income tax from dividends Rp62 billion.

The losses were due to Indosat's mismanagement in carrying out derivative transactions.

Darmin asked that Indosat's tax manipulation allegation not to be taken for granted as it must be proved first.

“It's really a loss or a manipulation. Those must be differed. If it's a loss, we (Tax Directorate Genera) can't do anything. But the Capital Market Supervisory Board (Bapepam) might,” he said.

Wong Heang Tuck, PT Indosat Tbk.'s Finance Director, stated he was ready to be checked by Bapepam regarding Indosat's loss and tax deposit potential loss due to derivative transactions.

However, he denied that the losses were because of mismanagement or foreign currency speculation activities.

“Moreover, derivative transactions are not against tax rules,” he said after the nnual General Shareholders' Meeting (AGM) in Jakarta yesterday.

According to him, Indosat's derivative transactions were included in the financial statement submitted to Bapepam and the United States Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Indosat will continue carrying out derivative transactions until the end of Indosat's Dollar bonds I and II issuing terms.

“Indosat has the obligation of hedging at least 50 percent of the total long-term debt obligation.”

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My mind's unweaving/ 4:30 PM

06 June 2007
Government Prepares CPO Export Duty Increase


The government will monitor the development of cooking oil price before increasing the export duty on crude palm oil (CPO) export duty.

CPO and cooking oil producers are regarded as not yet having been optimum in terms of market operations.

“If (the ideal cooking oil price) isn't reached, we'll certainly implement (the export duty increase0” said Boediono, Coordinating Minister for the Economy, in Jakarta yesterday (5/6).

Earlier, the government had threatened that it would the raise export duty, which has been 1.5 percent up until now.

This is stated in an agreement between the government and producers that if by June 1, 2007, cooking oil prices have not reached an ideal price of between Rp6,500 and Rp6,800 per kilogram.

However, the price stabilization program, which has been carried out since March, has not yet been successful in decreasing cooking oil prices.

Currently, cooking oil prices are still between Rp8,000 and Rp9,000 per kilogram.

The government planned to implement the domestic market obligation (DMO) policy if cooking oil prices remain high.

According to Boediono, CPO producers are not yet optimum in carrying out market operations (procuring the product in markets).

This is seen from the high CPO export volume, uncontrolled domestic supply and high cooking oil prices.
“Due to increasing CPO prices abroad, we want the players in the business to hold more effective market operations,” he said.

CPO producers circle stated they are ready to procure 150,000 tons for cooking oil price stabilization program this June.

“We're ready to procure 150,000 tons. All producers are committed that the price stabilization program in June will lower prices,” said Akmaludin Hasibuan, General Chairman of the Indonesian Palm Oil Businesspeople Association, when contacted in Jakarta yesterday.

Benny Wahyudi, Director General of Agriculture and Chemical at the Industry Department, said the government will increase export duty and implement DMO policy in July, after the price stabilization program evaluation in June.

Unsuccessful price stabilization program in May was because a lot of suppliers didn't fulfill the procurement commitment,” he said.

Out of the commitment to procure 97,000 tons of CPO, around 35,000 tons had not been realized.

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My mind's unweaving/ 3:29 PM

Foreign Languages on Radio to be Regulated


The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) will regulate the use of foreign languages in radio programs.

This is because up to now no such regulation has yet been made.

Currently, the government only regulates the use of foreign languages on television.

M. Izzul Muslimin, a KPI member, said that there were possibilities that the use of foreign languages in radio programs will be the same as for television, that is 30 percent.

“However, perhaps there will be special criteria for radio stations that broadcast programs in foreign languages, for instance Indonesian radio programs specially broadcasted,” said Izzul yesterday (5/6).

It is expected that the regulation will be completed soon and that it does not deviate from the material in the Broadcasting Decree.

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My mind's unweaving/ 3:29 PM

05 June 2007
Entrepreneurs Push for Fuel Oil Tax to be Abolished


Industry players hope that the government is serious in responding the proposal to abolish the industry fuel oil value-added tax (VAT) of 10 percent per liter.

The proposal for the fuel oil tax abolition was in response to the possibility of fuel oil price hikes in line with the increase of the Mid Oil Platts Singapore (MOPS) rate.

“Fuel oil price hikes would clearly put pressure on the industry's position. Therefore, we need policy alternatives to help smoothen the industry's cash flow,” said Thomas Darmawan, Head of Food and Beverages Businesspeople Association Chairman, yesterday (3/6).
On June 1, 2007 Pertamina increased fuel prices.

Diesel is up five percent from the previous level of Rp5.522 per liter to Rp5.797 per liter.

Pertamina increased the price in accordance to the price standard in Singapore of between 2.9 and 12.0 percent compared to the previous period.

The abolition of industry fuel oil tax, said Thomas, would not lower the state's revenues.

The reason for this is that 10 percent VAT will be imposed on ready-goods products.

“With production being smoother, the amount of production goods and the government's VAT will also increase,” said Thomas.

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My mind's unweaving/ 9:30 AM

New Economic Policy Package Being Prepared


The government will cut the time it takes to issue a business license to 30 days from the previous 197 days.

This decision is one of the policies included in a new economic package that will be launched in a few days’ time.

This package is a development of the economic package that was issued last year.

Boediono, Coordinating Minister for the Economy, explained there are four important points in the package.

These are: investment climate improvement, infrastructure development, financial sector repair and small- and medium-scale enterprise (SME) development.

“In terms of investment climate, there is a reduction in the time involved in processing business licenses,” said Boediono during the Investor Forum II in Jakarta yesterday (30/5).

The Gadjah Mada University (UGM) Economy Faculty Professor emphasized that this economic package was better compared to the previous one, especially in terms of regulations, license processing and taxes.

Financial and non-bank sectors, such as capital market and insurance, will also be improved.

Unlike the previous package, the new one will also discuss SMEs.

M. Ikhsan, a special member of staff of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, said that previously SME development was discussed in separate package.

However, this time the government will discuss it in one package.

M. S. Hidayat, Head of the Indonesian Chamber of Trade and Industry (Kadin), said he hoped that the new economic package would be more concrete and could be realistically implemented.

“If the government has issued policies, it must be ready to realize them,” Hidayat when contacted by Tempo yesterday.

He also he hoped that the economic package was not like the previous one, which was only a concept.

On the occasion, Boediono also focused on the flow of funds in the capital market.

According to him, flow of funds in the capital market must not always be separated from the real sector.

He cited the State Debt Securities (SUN) and Bank Indonesia Certificate (SBI) trade transactions.

Funds withdrawn by the government from these bonds trades were used for infrastructure development.

Boediono also said there was no need to worry about the capital market's fund flow reversal trend.

The reason for this was because Indonesia's current economic system was already more prepared compared to the time of the economic crisis in 1997.

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