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…

Oil Palm Growers Ignore Human Rights, Study Alleges

Oil Palm Growers Ignore Human Rights, Study AllegesA human rights organization representing indigenous peoples charged today that the palm oil industry is continuing to ignore human rights and environmental standards despite standards set by the industry organization Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil The NGO, the Forest People’s Program, issued a book, Conflict or consent? The oil palm sector at a crossroads, in…

UN Forest Protection May Not Be Working

UN Forest Protection May Not Be WorkingA United Nations mechanism that purports to involve forest-dependent communities in preventing forest loss to curtail greenhouse gas emissions is failing to do so, finds a new study. The study, released days ahead of UN climate change talks in Warsaw, has prompted the authors and environmental activists to call for the international community to define…

Strike Demonstrates Indonesian Labor’s Clout

Strike Demonstrates Indonesian Labor’s CloutThe 2 million-odd workers on the streets across Indonesia, demanding a 50 percent minimum wage increase, are an indication as 2014 elections approach of the growing strength of the country’s labor movement. There is even talk of a Labor Party being formed for the 2019 general elections. In Depok, south of Jakarta, three retailers —…