Category Archives: News

Five Popular Indonesian Products to Feature During China’s Biggest Online Shopping Festival

alibabaNusa Dua. Indonesia will feature five selected food products during China’s biggest online shopping festival on Nov. 11, in a follow-up agreement between President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Jack Ma, executive chairman of the Alibaba Group.

jakma Jokowii

Indonesia has been looking for ways to narrow its trade deficit with China, which between January to August, rose to $12 billion. The government signed Ma up as an advisor last year to provide input on ways to tap potential in the digital economy and how the country can use digital platforms to reach the broader Chinese market.

alibaab group

Indonesia will offer Kapal Api Luwak Easy Drip coffee, Richeese Nabati cheese wafers, Papatonk Premium Shrimp Crackers, Indomie instant noodles and Yan TyTy edible bird’s nests for sale during Alibaba’s Double Eleven Singles Day Shopping Festival. Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf) chairman Triawan Munaf told reporters over the weekend that these products are Chinese favorites.

“We have selected five established food products that are already available on Alibaba’s platform and in its warehouses. The Double Eleven Shopping Festival is popular with Chinese people, and it gives us an opportunity to feature our competitive and high-quality products,” Triawan said.

The Double Eleven Singles Day Shopping Festival was established by the Chinese e-commerce giant in 2009. The 24-hour online shopping festival includes an extravagant live-broadcast gala, fashion show and virtual games.

“In the future, the promotion will be expanded to various main export products through the Indonesia Pavilion – a special portal on Alibaba’s website that offers various Indonesian products – as the part of efforts to enter China’s consumer market,” the Indonesian Embassy in Beijing said in a statement.

The Indonesia Pavilion features authentic products, such as coffee, tea, garments, clothing and furniture from the archipelago.

Triawan said competition will be tough during the festival as there will be 10 million products in offer on the platform. He said the government may send at least 1 million products to next year’s event.

The government will also promote Indonesian products and tourism through the website, in cooperation with the Alibaba Group, the Indonesian Embassy, Indonesian Chamber of Commerce in China and several other stakeholders.

The Double Eleven Singles Day Shopping Festival generated about $25.3 billion in sales last year.

(Jakarta Globe)

Discover the Best of Rome

rome 1

Here are ten must-dos in the Eternal City.

National Park

The Appian Way Regional Park is a protected area of around 3,400 hectares, linking the center of Rome to the Alban Hills. One of the earliest and most important of the ancient Roman roads, the Appian Way boasts impressive pine forests, tombs, and monuments commissioned by the emperors as well as the Park of the Aqueducts. An ideal spot for a bike ride.

Archeological Site

The Roman Forums and the Sacred Way is where one of the most advanced societies man has ever witnessed began. The ancient Roman senate and religious buildings stand alongside incredible freshly restored highlights, such as the House of Augustus and the House of Livia on the Palatine Hill and the recently cleaned Colosseum, all available with a single archaeological ticket.

UNESCO Site

The entire historical center of Rome is UNESCO-certified. The holy site of St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican City was consecrated in 1626 and is the largest church in Christendom, built by Donato Bramante, Carlo Maderno, Michelangelo, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. It contains Michelangelo’s magnificent 136-meter-high dome, his “Pieta” statue, the sacred ancient burial ground and tomb of St. Peter, and capacity for 60,000 people.

Cultural Experience

Whether you are Catholic or not, attending the weekly ritual in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican City is an interesting cultural experience. See the Pope, the local crowds, and the famous Swiss Guards. The event is free every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Tickets to guarantee a seat can be obtained from the Swiss Guards.Best Day Trip

Visit Ostia Antica, and have the ruins all to yourself.

Located 30 kilometers southwest of Rome, it is bigger than Pompeii and allows visitors to enter a world of bakeries housing 1,800-year-old mills made of volcanic stone, fishmongers, and restaurants dating back 2,000 years. Standing eerily empty but well preserved, and a short train ride away, it is very much worth the effort and has its own museum, too.

Off the Beaten Path

Villa Maxentius is one of the most beautiful Roman ruins to visit. Once the plush mansion of the Emperor Maxentius, it boasts three major ruins: the palace, the circus, and a mausoleum. It is a green oasis in the center of Rome on the Appian Way, and best of all, it is completely free. Take a picnic!

Most Iconic Place

The Pantheon is unmissable. The best-preserved ancient Roman temple in the world, and the largest concrete dome in the world at 43 meters in diameter, it dominates the Roman skyline. Go early to see the light bursting through the oculus or in the evening to watch the guards closing the doors. Better still, go when the red rose petals are dropped through the oculus every year for Pentecost.

Historic Site

Palazzo Valentini is the next best thing to a time machine, transporting visitors 7 meters beneath street level to see the ruins of two lavishly decorated ancient Roman houses. The houses were discovered beneath a Renaissance palace, which has been the base of the provincial and prefectural administration of Rome since 1873. With original marble floors, bathrooms, and mosaics, it’s a true look at the lives of Roman nobility.

Neighborhood to Explore

Monti’s bistros and boutiques are tucked behind the wings of archaeological sites like the Trajan Markets and Nero’s Domus Aurea palace. Wine bars, vintage markets, and postcard-worthy buildings and balconies await you after a morning of walking around Rome’s main sites.

People-Watching Spot

Everywhere in Rome is good for people-watching but especially Piazza del Fico in the evening to watch the locals playing chess and smoking cigars or the Borromini Terrace overlooking Piazza Navona.

(National Geographic)

Soar Above One of the Most Awe-Inspiring Waterfalls on Earth

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(National Geographic)
Victoria Falls is among the most impressive natural wonders in the world.
THIS LEGENDARY WATERFALL is among the biggest, and most awe-inspiring, on the planet.
The Zambezi River is more than 1.25 miles (2 kilometers) wide when it cascades over the lip of a large basalt plateau and plunges as much as 354 feet (108 meters). The flow has been slicing slowly through this plateau for some two million years. During this time the river has slowly retreated and the remnants of earlier, ancient falls can be seen in the gorges downstream from the current cataract.
The falls generate mists that can be spotted from more than a dozen miles (20 kilometers) away. Famed Scottish explorer David Livingstone dubbed this waterfall Victoria Falls; its older, Kololo name, Mosi-oa-Tunya, means “the smoke that thunders.” The mists also sustain a rain forest-like ecosystem adjacent to the falls and on the opposite cliff that faces them like a dried-up mirror image, thick with mahogany, fig, palm, and other species of vegetation.
The national border between Zambia and Zimbabwe lies midstream, and national parks of both nations exist on either side of the Zambezi. The gorges and cliffs below the falls in these parks are prime territory for raptors, including falcons and black eagles.
Stone artifacts from the hominin Homo habilis have been identified near the falls and show that early humans may have lived here two million years ago. More “modern” tools also evidence far more recent—50,000 years ago—Middle Stone Age settlements.
Today several hundred thousand visitors from around the world trek to the falls each year; several hotels, restaurants, campgrounds, and other tourist businesses cater to them.
The beauty of the falls lies in their natural state, but the area is at some risk of runaway tourism-based development—more resorts, hotels, and even a possible dam below the falls that could flood several park gorges. Operators in the area offer everything from helicopter overflights to bungee jumping, and the management of these activities while preserving a quality visitor experience for all is an ongoing challenge.
How to Get There
Most visitors visit from either Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) or Maramba (Zambia), where complete tourist facilities exist. Each town is accessible by road, rail, and air.
When to Visit
The river is typically in full flood during February and March, when as much as 540 million cubic meters of water fall over the edge every single minute. During the rainy season, however, the spray plume can obscure the view of the falls themselves. By November, when the water is at low ebb, visitors may see the curtain split into many smaller channels of falling water.
How to Visit
The falls are massive and invite contemplation from many different viewpoints. Trails invite you to walk around the area and enjoy vistas. Unique views are also to be had from the Knife Edge Bridge and Victoria Falls Bridge. River-level views from below the falls are a good way to experience their power up-close. At certain times of the year the daring may even swim in pools on the very crest of the cataract.
(National Geographic)

Asian Games: Jakarta, Palembang pass the baton to Hangzhou

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Asian Games Parade

 

energy of asia

(Sindo.news)

Indonesia has officially passed the baton to Hangzhou, China, the host of the 2022 Asian Games, in a spectacular closing ceremony marred with heavy rain on Sunday that involved dozens of national and international artists.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, and watched the closing ceremony with victims of last month’s earthquake.

“The [Asian Games] ended today, but the energy of Asia will not fade away. Thank you all nations of Asia. This is the true energy of Asia, which unites us to bring goodness to the world,” he said in a video streaming.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla also took the stage to deliver a few words, thanking all parties involved in the Games.

“Thank you for giving us such a beautiful competition. Thank you for giving us these thrilling moments. And thank you for giving us the strong spirit and energy of fair play. You are the heroes of Asia,” he said.

Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) president sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah expressed his appreciation of Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra, for successfully hosting the Games simultaneously.

“Thank you Jakarta, thank you Palembang. You made the Asian dream of ‘Energy of Asia’ come true,” he said.

The passing of the Asian Games baton was made official by the raising of China’s flag, which was followed by a performance of Chinese dancers and singer Jackson Yi of popular group TFboys.

Jack Ma, billionaire co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, made a special appearance during the show to invite the audience to Hangzhou, the city where he was born. “Hangzhou is a beautiful city. I will wait for you in Hangzhou in 2022.”

Asian Games 2018 Medal Tally

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 China 132 92 65 289
2 Japan 75 56 74 205
3 Republic of Korea 49 58 70 177
4 Indonesia 31 24 43 98
5 Uzbekistan 21 24 25 70
6 IR Iran 20 20 22 62
7 Chinese Taipei 17 19 31 67
8 India 15 24 30 69
9 Kazakhstan 15 17 44 76
10 DPR Korea 12 12 13 37
11 Bahrain 12 7 7 26
12 Thailand 11 16 46 73
13 Hong Kong, China 8 18 20 46
14 Malaysia 7 13 16 36
15 Qatar 6 4 3 13
16 Mongolia 5 9 11 25
17 Vietnam 4 16 18 38
18 Singapore 4 4 14 22
19 Philippines 4 2 15 21
20 United Arab Emirates 3 6 5 14
21 Kuwait 3 1 2 6
22 Kyrgyzstan 2 6 12 20
23 Jordan 2 1 9 12
24 Cambodia 2 0 1 3
25 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 1 2 3 6
26 Macau, China 1 2 2 5
27 Iraq 1 2 0 3
28 Korea 1 1 2 4
28 Lebanon 1 1 2 4
30 Tajikistan 0 4 3 7
31 Lao PDR 0 2 3 5
32 Turkmenistan 0 1 2 3
33 Nepal 0 1 0 1
34 Pakistan 0 0 4 4
35 Afghanistan 0 0 2 2
35 Myanmar 0 0 2 2
37 Syria 0 0 1 1
– Total 465 465 622 1552

(The Jakarta Post)

Garuda Indonesia Set to Cut Direct Flights to London in October

Garuda

(Garuda Indonesia)

Jakarta. National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia will terminate its non-stop flights between Jakarta and London on Oct. 28 to cut costs and reverse declining financial performance.

The airline will still serve the London route via Amsterdam, six times per week.

“We will work closely with our airline partners to assist our valued passengers affected by this change to ensure that we are able to rearrange their itineraries and re-accommodate them through our Amsterdam-Jakarta route or other alternative flights,” Garuda Indonesia said via its official UK Twitter account on Thursday (30/08).

Garuda Indonesia commenced three weekly direct flights between Jakarta and in October last year, aimed at attracting more customers and helping the carrier’s image in Europe.

But the route has proven to be unprofitable for the airline, which forced it to reconsider.

Besides Jakarta-London direct flights, the company also plans to terminate 10 other unprofitable routes this year.

Garuda managed to increase its operating profit in the first six months of 2018 by 5.9 percent to $1.9 billion after cutting 17 routes last year, in addition to increasing passenger numbers and improvement in the performance of its subsidiaries.

As a result, the flag carrier booked a smaller net loss of $114 million, compared with from $284 million in the same period a year ago.Garuda Indonesia chief executive Pahala Mansury expects the airline to turn into profit this year, but a weakening rupiah could hamper the effort.

He said the company needs to open new international routes to receive more income in United States dollar. Up to 65 percent of Garuda’s revenue is in rupiah, while most of its expenditure, such as fuel, spare parts and debt payments, are in dollars.

Jakarta Globe

TransNusa to Expand Fleet of ATR Turboprop Aircraft

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Jakarta. TransNusa Aviation Mandiri, a private airline based in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, plans to acquire three new ATR 72-600 turboprop aircraft this year to serve more domestic destinations.

The company currently operates seven aircraft, including three ATR 72-600s and one ATR 42 turboprop, manufactured by French-Italian plane maker Aerei da Transporto Regionale. It plans to phase out the three remaining aircraft, which include two short-haul British Aerospace 146 passenger jets and a Fokker 70 jet.

“ATR aircraft have proven to be very popular with passengers,” TransNusa managing director Bayu Sutanto said in a statement on Tuesday (31/07), noting the aircraft’s huge overhead bins and ergonomic seats.

“The aircraft are also important to our operation, because ATR aircraft can land and take off from runways where jet aircraft are unable to access,” Bayu said.

The airline, which mainly operates in the provinces of East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara, plans to expand its flight routes to 30 destinations by the end of this year from 16 currently, Bayu said. Among these are destinations in Kalimantan.

“ATR aircraft have the lowest operating costs and excellent short-field performance. The ATR turboprop aircraft perfectly suits the Indonesian market. TransNusa has successfully used this product advantage to steadily expand its air services network,” ATR sales director Lim Kian Hui said in the statement.

Indonesia is the largest market for ATR with 99 aircraft currently in operation across the archipelago, the aircraft maker says on its website. Among the manufacturer’s clients in the archipelago are budget carrier Lion Air and national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia.

TransNusa’s decision to switch to more economical aircraft comes in a time of difficulty for local airlines.

Tengku Burhanuddin, secretary general of the Indonesian National Air Carrier Association (Inaca), said the aviation industry is facing higher costs as the rupiah weakens against the United States dollar. At the same time, a low floor price set by the government incited a price war that limits airlines’ ability to boost revenue.

“The current situation in the aviation industry is tough. Everything’s tough. If anyone says otherwise, I’d really doubt them. All of it, it’s tough. Even though traffic growth is improving… the costs are climbing higher than our revenue,” Tengku said.

The government said earlier that it is looking at raising the price floor on local airfares to help airlines survive.

(Jakarta Globe)

Vienna tops Melbourne as world’s most liveable city: Economist survey

474599800px-Naturhistorisches_Museum_Vienna_June_2006_241

VIENNA (Reuters) – Vienna has dislodged Melbourne for the first time at the top of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Index, strengthening the Austrian capital’s claim to being the world’s most pleasant city to live in.

The two metropolises have been neck and neck in the annual survey of 140 urban centres for years, with Melbourne clinching the title for the past seven editions. This year, a downgraded threat of militant attacks in western Europe as well as the city’s low crime rate helped nudge Vienna into first place.

Vienna regularly tops a larger ranking of cities by quality of life compiled by consulting firm Mercer. It is the first time it has topped the EIU survey, which began in its current form in 2004.

At the other end of the table, Damascus retained last place, followed by the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, and Lagos in Nigeria. The survey does not include several of the world’s most dangerous capitals, such as Baghdad and Kabul.

“While in the past couple of years cities in Europe were affected by the spreading perceived threat of terrorism in the region, which caused heightened security measures, the past year has seen a return to normalcy,” the EIU said in a statement about the report published on Tuesday.

“A long-running contender to the title, Vienna has succeeded in displacing Melbourne from the top spot due to increases in the Austrian capital’s stability category ratings,” it said, referring to one of the index’s five headline components.

Vienna and Melbourne scored maximum points in the healthcare, education and infrastructure categories. But while Melbourne extended its lead in the culture and environment component, that was outweighed by Vienna’s improved stability ranking.

Osaka, Calgary and Sydney completed the top five in the survey, which the EIU says tends to favour medium-sized cities in wealthy countries, often with relatively low population densities. Much larger and more crowded cities tend to have higher crime rates and more strained infrastructure, it said. London for instance ranks 48th.

Vienna, once the capital of a large empire rather than today’s small Alpine republic, has yet to match its pre-World War One population of 2.1 million. Its many green spaces include lakes with popular beaches and vineyards with sweeping views of the capital. Public transport is cheap and efficient.

In addition to the generally improved security outlook for western Europe, Vienna benefited from its low crime rate, the survey’s editor Roxana Slavcheva said.“One of the sub-categories that Vienna does really well in is the prevalence of petty crime … It’s proven to be one of the safest cities in Europe,” she said.

(Reuters)