WHO Delegates Kick Tobacco Reps out of Moscow Parley

WHO Delegates Kick Tobacco Reps out of Moscow ParleyTobacco industry allies tried their best to shortstop global tobacco treaty negotiations that began in Moscow earlier this week but they failed when their front group was kicked out of the meeting. “In a brazen move, the tobacco industry brought its agenda and its voice here to the heart of tobacco control,” said Dr Margaret…

Jokowi’s Sea of Troubles

Jokowi’s Sea of TroublesA month and a half before Indonesia’s president-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo takes office, he already faces considerable headwinds and is not getting much cooperation from outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who leaves office on October 20.  Last week, Yudhoyono refused to cut fuel subsidies, a political third rail that Jokowi had asked for help over.…

Indonesia Wins Gamble Over Ore Export Ban

Indonesia Wins Gamble Over Ore Export BanIndonesia appears to have won its gamble to force multinationals to raise the domestic value of their operations after a complete ban on raw mineral ore exports until the multinationals agreed to process their exports domestically.   The Denver, Colorado-based Newmont Mining Corp., parent of PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara, said in a printed statement earlier…

China Feels Pinch of Indonesian Ore Ban

China Feels Pinch of Indonesian Ore BanFour months after Indonesia cut off nickel exports in an effort to drive domestic investment in downstream processing, distribution pipelines to China have begun to break down, with prices surging and both supply and demand shrinking, according to Chinese media. The Indonesian ban, in tandem with Ukrainian unrest that has cut further into production, has…

Climate Change: Does Southeast Asia Care?

Climate Change: Does Southeast Asia Care?At a time when a major United Nations body produced a damning report that climate change is real and that human influence is the cause, in Southeast Asia nobody appears to be paying attention, except for a few NGOs and those whose eyes are smarting from haze. In long and nearly impenetrable bureaucratic language, the…

Indonesia’s Troublesome Economic Path

Indonesia’s Troublesome Economic PathIntegrating with the global market place was once Indonesia’s offensive strategic choice to accelerate economic reform and development. The country has benefited significantly from opening up to trade and investment. It responded without hesitation to plummeting revenues from oil exports in the early 1980s with sweeping reforms to reduce tariffs, non-tariff barriers, red tape in…

Indonesia May Force Web Giants to Build Local Data Centers

Indonesia May Force Web Giants to Build Local Data CentersThe Indonesian government could act as early as February on a long-feared threat to force electronic information providers including Internet search engine giants such as Google and Yahoo to begin building data centers in the country, critics say. A statement by Nonot Harsono, a member of the Indonesian Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, that he doubted that…

Indonesia Now Demands Fines from Miners Over Smelting Decision

Indonesia Now Demands Fines from Miners Over Smelting DecisionAfter agreeing temporarily to back away earlier this week from requiring mining companies to construct smelters domestically to process ore, delaying the requirement to 2017, the Indonesian government now will demand that the mining concerns pay punishing taxes if they don’t build the smelters. The target is companies that promise to build smelters so they…

Indonesia Climbs Down on Ore Ban

Indonesia Climbs Down on Ore BanAlthough an attempt by the Indonesian government to ban unsmelted mineral exports has ended in an embarrassing climb-down at the 11th hour, it isn’t going to go away.  A requirement that ores be smelted domestically has been put off until 2017, by which time a new government will have succeeded that of President Susilo Bambang…

Indonesian Export Ban Puts Mining in Chaos

Indonesian Export Ban Puts Mining in ChaosIndonesia’s four-year-old plan to ban the export of raw mineral ore in an effort to foster a domestic processing industry comes into effect on Jan. 12 with little preparation, to the frustration of the mining companies that control the export of gold, bauxite and other raw materials. Meetings last week with lawmakers failed to produce…