AmCham Update
AmCham Update Vol. 2 #32
Death Toll, Beware Dodgy Masks, Global Growth at Risk, More Investment in EV Batteries
Apr 05, 2021 | AmCham Indonesia


Daily Covid-19 Deaths Highest Since January

A total of 427 Covid-19 deaths were recorded yesterday, April 4, the second-highest daily death toll on record and the highest since January. Some 6,731 new cases were also recorded on the same day. Banten was by far the largest contributor to the daily death toll with 338 deaths (79 percent of all fatalities), far higher than Central Java with 28 deaths. Banten also had the highest number of new cases with 3,501 (52 percent of new cases) – much higher than Jakarta at 736 new cases.

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New Covid-19 Variant Detected in Indonesia

The Ministry of Health has announced that a new variant of the Covid-19 virus, the E484K variant, has been detected in Indonesia, according to a report from GISAID, an organization that conducts genome sequencing tests to track Covid-19 mutations. Originally from Japan, this variant is a mutation of the B117 variant and is more infectious than previous variants.

Director of Prevention and Mitigation of Vector and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases Siti Nadia Tarmizi said the ministry is still investigating the location and status of the case. Head of the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology Amin Soebandrio said that when new virus strains are detected, the government must not only manage them within the area where the cases are found but also expand into all other areas.

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Beware of Counterfeit Medical Masks

The Ministry of Health has issued a warning that counterfeit medical masks are circulating both online and in physical shops. Acting Director-General of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Arianti Anaya advises buyers to check if the medical masks they purchased have valid registration numbers from the Ministry of Health. Buyers should check if the registration number matches the product information listed in

Other ways to check the safety of your masks are:

  • Open or rip a mask in half to check if they have three layers as claimed. Real 3-ply masks are composed of a translucent outer layer, a white middle layer, and a colored layer.
  • Fold a mask in half and pour water over it. Real surgical masks repel the water, as they are designed to be waterproof so as not to let droplets out. 
  • Ensure the middle layer of the mask is a real filter, not plain paper.

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AmCham Cares: Nike

Nike has published the FY20 Nike, Inc. Impact Report, sharing its vision for a more environmentally friendly future with ambitious 2025 Targets.

The company has made significant gains over the last five years in key focus areas of carbon, waste, water, chemistry, and people. Nike has also worked with its suppliers, including Indonesian-based factory partners, to create an engaged workforce and support the needs of workers both inside and outside suppliers’ facilities. Below are some FY20 highlights:

  • Achieving a 30 percent reduction in textile dyeing and finishing supplier freshwater use per kilogram of material, which translates to a cumulative 40 billion liters of freshwater avoided by our suppliers since FY16.
  • Footwear suppliers have achieved a nearly 10 percent reduction in energy consumption per pair produced.
  • 99.9 percent of manufacturing waste at its Tier 1 finished goods footwear suppliers was diverted from landfills.
  • To improve in-factory worker engagement, Nike developed the Engagement & Wellbeing (EWB) Survey, a comprehensive and anonymous tool that captures the voice of the worker and provides actionable data for our suppliers. By the end of FY20, it had increased the reach of the EWB Survey to 64 factories in 13 countries.

Rapid Economic Growth at Risk

The global economy is on its way to grow at its fastest pace in more than 50 years, but there are factors that might prevent it from reaching its pre-pandemic level. While the US and China are playing their part by giving stimulus and other economic aid, growth remains under threat. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that while the outlook has improved overall, prospects are diverging dangerously between nations. This is because Covid-19 vaccines are not yet available to everyone and too many people continue to face job losses and rising poverty.

According to the IMF, world output in 2024 will still be lower than the 3 percent initially projected before the pandemic. Bloomberg Economics said that while the US economy is bouncing, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, and Japan are contracting. In emerging markets, Brazil, Russia, and India are outpaced by China.

JPMorgan Chase Chief Economist Bruce Kasman said the US and other developed countries are expected to outperform emerging markets, but he has not seen such a wide gap in 20 to 25 years. This is due to differences in vaccine distribution and the fiscal support choices of each country.

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Power Up! More Investment in Indonesia’s EV Battery Industry

Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) Erick Thohir has secured investment commitments from two large Chinese companies – China Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) and Caprolactam (CPL) – to develop electric vehicle (EV) batteries in Indonesia. The potential investments could reach up to $5 billion. They will partner with the Indonesia Battery Corporation (IBC), a holding company of state-owned enterprises such as MIND ID, Pertamina, PLN, and Aneka Tambang (Antam).

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Katadata D-insights offers a special rate for all AmCham members. The subscription for D-Insights are as follows:

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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.

JP Premium Digital Subscription Packages

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Yearly subscription – Rp 600,000

Now is the Time to Join AmCham!

Now is the Time to Join AmCham!

We offer a full slate of meetings, events, and information for 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!

Reach us at [email protected] or click below!



AmCham Office and Events

AmCham Office and Events

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 well

We urge you to send us press releases and other information that we can pass on to the broader AmCham community. If you have items of interest, please email material to [email protected]. Follow this link to information provided by the US Embassy

Stay safe, call a doctor if you have a high fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Stay healthy above all else.

AmCham Update is AmCham's regular newsletter on developments related to the pandemic crisis and other issues 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