Jokowi Congratulates Biden, New Immigration Rules, PSBB Extended, Recession now Official
Nov 10, 2020 | AmCham Indonesia
Jokowi Congratulates Biden, Looks Forward to Stronger Partnership
President Joko Widodo says he looks forward to strengthening strategic partnerships between Indonesia and the US and working with President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, specifically in economics, democracy, and multilateralism. He also congratulated Biden and Harris on Instagram. “My warmest congratulations @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris on your historic election. The huge turn-out is a reflection of the hope placed on democracy.”
AmCham Indonesia, in cooperation with SSEK Legal Consultants and several foreign chambers, held a discerning virtual session with Agus A Majid, Deputy Director of International Cooperation at the Directorate General of Immigration, today, Nov 9. Led by Stephen Warokka, SSEK partner and AmCham Managing Director A Lin Neumann, the discussion was part of a regular dialogue between foreign businesses and the immigration department.
The purpose was to seek clarification on the visa and stay permit process for expatriates and foreigners following the new Minister of Law and Human Rights Regulation 26/2020 Concerning Visa and Stay Permits in The New Normal.
After giving a brief explanation of the Indonesian immigration system, Majid provided a more thorough explanation of the government’s efforts to simplify the system while paying attention to public health and safety, specifically the implementation of the new eVisa program which aims to simplify the process and eliminate the need to visit Indonesian embassies abroad to obtain most visas.
The main concern of the assembled chambers was expired residence permits. Majid assured the chambers that the eVisa system would handle applications quickly and with a minimum of fuss for those who are abroad and whose Kitas and Kitap have expired. Tourist visas are still not allowed.
A candid Q&A session followed where Majid further explained several new policies that foreign chambers need to comply with, such as Green Lane facilities, PCR requirements for eVisas and family reunification. Closing, he said the Directorate General of Immigration is more than happy to accommodate questions and concerns that are within its jurisdiction. If you have questions get in touch with AmCham and we can help put you in touch with Majid.
Immigration Issues Circular Letter on Visa and Stay Permits During COVID19
The Directorate General of Immigration has issued Circular Letter No. Imi-1555.Gr.01.01/2020, which contains instructions for immigration officials and relevant government officials on how to handle visa matters during the New Normal. The circular was issued Oct 15.
The letter provides step-by-step instructions for officials on granting visas and other permits. It regulates new requirements for applying for visas and visa extensions, such as the health certificate, required documents and travel insurance
Agus M Majid, Deputy Director for International Cooperation at the Directorate General of Immigration, told a discussion with AmCham Indonesia this morning, Nov 9, about the circular letter and related issues.
Jakarta has extended its transitional large-scale social distancing (PSBB) for 14 days from today, Nov 9, until Nov 22, as outlined in Jakarta Government Decree No. 1100/2020. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said the last two weeks of PSBB were able to control the transmission of COVID-19 in the capital. He urged the public to continue to be more careful and comply with the health protocol of 3M (wash hands, wear a mask, maintain distance). As of Nov 8, there was an increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases in Jakarta by 826 to 112,027.
Sampoerna Indonesia has undertaken a number of business continuity measures since the pandemic began. Sampoerna continues to apply good manufacturing practices and also implements strict safety, health and sanitation protocols as recommended by the government to ensure that its business continues to operate.
Sampoerna is also committed to ensuring the economic stability of all employees by providing full benefits during the pandemic.
Sampoerna has been working to overcome the pandemic with ongoing initiatives that involve monetary and in-kind donations to support employees and business partners, the communities in which it operates and national and local efforts.
Sampoerna continues to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Indonesia through 120,000 traditional retailers in the Sampoerna Retail Community (SRC) by assisting them to improve their capabilities to sustain store performance during these challenging times. This includes education on health and safety protocols, distributing masks and hand sanitizer, as well as cashier partitions to ensure physical distance with consumers.
Indonesia in First Recession Since 1998
The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) says Indonesia has officially entered an economic recession, as the domestic economy contracted 3.49 percent. This is the first time the nation has been in a recession since the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis.
BPS Head Suhariyanto said seven sectors are still growing positive annually: information and communication (10.61 percent); agriculture (2.51 percent); government administration (1.86 percent); education services (2.44 percent); real estate (1.98 percent); healthcare (15.33 percent); and the water supply, garbage management and waste sector (4.31 percent).
The largest growth was from the information and communication and healthcare sectors. Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said information and communication growth was due to the high demand for communication services and the digital economy during the pandemic, while the healthcare sector significantly grew due to increased public spending on healthcare and government spending focused on handling the pandemic.
She said the worst impact of COVID-19 has passed and Indonesia is entering the recovery phase.
Almost 30 Million from Working Population Affected by COVID-19
The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) says 29.12 million people from the working-age population have been affected by COVID-19 in some way. Due to the spread of the virus, 2.56 million people became unemployed and 1.77 million people are temporarily unemployed. Some 24.03 million experienced a reduction in working hours and 760,000 are no longer part of the labor force.
BPS Head Suhariyanto said the government is imposing national and regional restrictions on population mobility, which will reduce the number of commuter workers to decrease the spread of the virus.
As part of its plan to boost the domestic sharia economy and ultimately become a sharia leader on a global scale, Vice President Ma'ruf Amin announced the government will form a special halal directorate concerned with developing Islamic economics and finance in Indonesia.
The Vice President said the government will build a sharia financial ecosystem that can accommodate a wide range of customers. One such effort was the recent merger of three state-owned sharia banks.
Support Independent Journalism: Subscribe to The Jakarta Post
In these difficult times, our hometown English language newspaper, The Jakarta Post, is more important than ever. Given the difficulties of physical circulation and the economic slump, the Post needs to boost its online subscribers – a goal we heartily support at AmCham Indonesia. Quality English language news is vital for our businesses, our home offices and the flow of information out of Indonesia. It is for this reason, that we are urging all of our members and readers to subscribe to JP! Information is what will help get us through this crisis. Below is information about how to sign up.
We Still Need Your Support to Shelter the Front Line
AmCham Indonesia and Habitat for Humanity have joined forces in an initiative called Sheltering Those Who Care for Us, a program to provide temporary quarters in hotels for Indonesian medical workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our program has helped not only medical workers in Jakarta, but also Tangerang and Surabaya; we are now planning to expand to Sulawesi.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still spreading, medical workers are working a lot harder than before. In these difficult times, they often cannot go back home for fear of infecting family members or being rejected by their local communities. As a result, they are forced to sleep in hospitals without a proper bed, also increasing the possibility of getting infected.
By donating, we will increase the overall capability of Indonesia to treat COVID-19. Habitat will match individual hospitals with hotels on an as-needed basis.
We are continuing with a full slate of meetings, events and information offered to our community online. But we can only do this through the support of our members. If you are not yet an AmCham member, please join now!
AmCham Indonesia is open to all companies with an interest in US business relations and we have many non-American members. We are a community and we welcome you!
The AmCham Office is on work from home status and all face-to-face meetings and events have been postponed. We are having a number of meetings online using the Zoom platform. You will be notified of virtual meetings as they are scheduled.
What is Your Company Doing on COVID-19?
Please let us know what measures your company may be taking in the form of donations and other assistance to help Indonesia during this time of confusion and concern. Contact [email protected] with your news. We would like to publicize the ways that our AmCham companies are pitching in.
Stay safe, call a doctor if you have a high fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Stay healthy above all else.
COVID Update is AmCham’s regular newsletter on developments related to the pandemic crisis in Indonesia. It is edited by AmCham Managing Director A Lin Neumann and written by the AmCham Staff. Paul L Goddard is the Managing Editor