Topics : Indonesia’s economy shrank by 5.32 percent year-on-year (yoy) in the second quarter as economic activity fell after the government imposed large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) to curb the spread of COVID-19.Indonesia’s total investment still grew by 1.8 percent yoy in the first half of 2020 to Rp 402.6 trillion (US$27.5 billion), although foreign direct investment (FDI) fell by 8.1 percent yoy over the same period, according to Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) data.Meanwhile, the data also showed that the FDI in Riau Islands from January to June this year dipped 15.3 percent yoy to $767.5 million from the same period last year.Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) Singapore committee chairperson Michael Goutama echoed the sentiment, stating that the government should solve the underlying problems in the Batam FTZ.Seaport infrastructure development in Batam should be the government’s top priority, followed by human capital development, the electricity cost and social stability in the region, according to Michael.“Investors see Batam as a promising place to do business. However, we need to solve the underlying issues in the region to lure investment,” he said.In January, state port operator PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II (Pelindo II) signed an agreement with BP Batam, the authority of the Batam FTZ, to develop Batu Ampar Port, with work slated to begin this year.The development will see the container stacking area of the port expanded from the current 2 hectares to 12 ha, while the container loading and unloading performance would see an upgrade to 20 containers per hour from an average of 5 containers per hour.Susiwijono Moegiarso, the secretary of the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister, said the government was planning to place the FTZ authorities of Batam, Bintan, Tanjung Pinang and Karimun Island—all located in Riau Islands—under a unified council led by the coordinating economic minister, in order to simplify licensing processes.Bintan, Tanjung Pinang, and Karimun Island’s FTZ authorities are currently under the leadership of the Riau Island governor, unlike BP Batam, which is directly led by the coordinating economic minister, Susiwijono explained.“We are currently mulling the masterplan for FTZ authorities’ integration. Through the integration, we could reduce the bureaucratic complexity and unify FTZ asset ownership,” he said.Besides the integration of FTZ authorities, the government is planning to establish six special economic zones (KEK) within the Batam FTZ. It has recently approved the establishment of maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) at the Hang Nadim KEK and the Nongsa Digital Park KEK with estimated investment of Rp 6.2 trillion and Rp 16 trillion, respectively.Additional investment incentives, such as 100 percent corporate tax holiday, value added tax (VAT) and luxury tax exemptions for imported goods and import duty deferment for raw materials, will be provided for companies operating inside the KEK, according to Susiwijono.“We will also allow 100 percent foreign ownership of companies within the enclave [KEK] and apply a zero-percent duty for products with at least 40 percent local content,” he added. High costs for logistics and electricity in Batam are burdensome for business, hampering the government’s effort to attract investors to the free trade zone (FTZ) in Riau Islands, business players have said.Abidin Hasibuan, the president director of publicly listed electronics manufacturer PT Sat Nusapersada, said on Thursday that container shipment costs from Batam remained uncompetitive given the poor infrastructure and inefficiency of the area’s main seaport, Batu Ampar Port.“Shipping containers from Jakarta to Hong Kong is around 50 percent cheaper than from Batam. That doesn’t make sense, as Batam is closer to Hong Kong than Jakarta,” he said during an online discussion held by Media Indonesia. Furthermore, high electricity and labor costs on the islands also make Batam less competitive than other countries, and that is especially dire for industries relying on exports, according to Abidin.“We are lucky that the rupiah is still relatively weak compared to the US dollar. If the rupiah strengthens to Rp 12,000 per dollar, then we are done,” he said.The rupiah gained slightly against the US dollar on Monday at Rp 14,547, an improvement from its steep depreciation in March at around Rp 16,500 per US dollar, the lowest since the 1998 crisis.The government has taken measures to woo investors with new regulations and tax deals for the Batam FTZ that it expects to aid the region and national economic rebound after the pandemic.
A busy weekend for area cross country teams began with West Genesee making its way to last Friday’s Bob Greene Invitational at Newark Valley, where the boys Wildcats finished second and the girls took third place.WG’s boys, who had 143 points to Elmira’s first-place 75, included Matt Bartolotta going 16 minutes, 53.5 seconds to finish second in the individual race behind Windsor’s Josh Stone, who won in 16:16.7.Peter McMahon claimed sixth place, in 17:16.3, with Aiden Walsh getting 20th place in 18:12.3. Ryan McMahon finished 55th in 19:04 flat, just ahead of Ewan Moran (19:11.0) and Joe Parisi (19:20.6). In the girls race at Newark Valley, WG had 120 points, tied with Lansing, but behind Delhi (70) and Elmira Notre Dame (77). Individually, Natalie Buckhout fared best, getting to sixth place in 20:51.9.Liz Morey, in 22:15.7, edged out Abby Kuppinger (22:23.1) for 23rd place, while Lauren Puchta finished 30th in 22:39.4. Faith Knox made her way to 37th place in 22:53.8.Then other local teams found themselves at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx for the annual Manhattan Invitational, competing in various races throughout Saturday afternoon. Tags: cross countryJ-EskaneatelesWest GeneseeWesthill Skaneateles would see Caleb Bender nearly win the boys Varsity B race, tearing to the line on the 2.5-mile Van Cortlandt course in 12:54.4, less than two seconds behind the 12:52.7 from Riverdale’s Jacob Ireland.Overall, the boys Lakers were 12th in the 29-team field as Matt Persampieri and Joe Norris also posted top finishes, Persampieri getting 25th place in 13:55.5 and Norris finishing 29th in 13:59.6.The Skaneateles girls were 15th out of 28 teams in its Varsity A race, but that was one spot ahead of the Cazenovia side it lost to by one point in a first-place OHSL Liberty National division clash earlier in the week.With just five runners, the Lakers had Sarah Tallerico take 37th place in 16:55.6. Hope Cross-Jaya was 86th in 18:07.6, with Lillian Yengo (18:32.5) just ahead of Sophia Aureden (18:32.8) and Ellie McSwain finishing in 20:25.7.Westhill earned sixth place out of 14 teams in the boys Varsity G race, led by Jacob Fricano, who just missed out on the top 10 as he got 11th place in 13:47.7.Mike Ferrara gained 19th place in 14:04.9, while Will Thornton got to 23rd place in 14:13.6. Brian Allen had a 39th-place time of 14:36.8, just ahead of Brandon Mulholland (14:41.7), Justin Nowicki (14:47.6) and Angelo Carr (14:57.8).Earning ninth place out of 16 in the girls Varsity F race, the Warriors had Liz Kessler leading the way as she got 32nd place in 16:59.4, while Addie Lowery was 48th in 17:39.6. Angie Mesa-Espinosa, in 18:12.4, beat out Katherine Evans (18:18.6) and Kylie Nowicki (18:18.9) as Emily O’Reilly (18:54.9) and Ashley Heffernan (19:53.9) followed.Jordan-Elbridge, in boys Varsity Race A, finished 15th, with Sean Dristle going 14:03.3 to finish 46th. The only other top-100 finishes came from Derek Quigley, who was 77th in 14:24 flat, and Lee Jewell, four spots behind Quigley in 14:28.8.The girls Eagles had a 20th-place finish in its Varsity A race out of a field of 28, with Vassianna Klock getting to 40th place in 16:38 flat as Hannah Fichter (17:47.6) was just in front of Coral Uhle (17:53.3).Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story read more
This week at the Regent Theater: “Lego Movie” (Movie trailer is below).When: Friday 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.Rated: PG. Time: 1 hour 41 minutes.Movie Synopsis: “The LEGO (R) Movie” is the first-ever, full-length theatrical LEGO (R) adventure. The original 3D computer animated story follows Emmet (Chris Pratt) an ordinary, rules- following, perfectly average LEGO minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared. (c) Warner BrosRotten Tomatoes rating (movie critics collective approval ratings): 96%. Audience review: 92% approval.Movies ahead at Regent Theater:Feb. 28 –The Monuments Men.Coming soon:Frozen – Sing a Long read more