Indonesia will step up sales of state-owned hotels such as Ja-karta's Hotel Indonesia, as well as pharmaceutical and phone companies, officials said. It also wants investment ratings for more than 300 of its regions. \n"I don't think the state should own very competitive sectors like hotels because it cannot compete with the Hiltons or Grand Hyatts," Laksamana Sukardi, Indonesian minister for state enterprises, said in a speech to business executives in Bali. \n"Pharmaceuticals is another very competitive sector," he said. "The other is telecommunications, which requires continuous capital expenditure." \nIndonesia needs to win back foreign investors and tourists after last year's Bali bombing. \nOverseas investment approvals last year fell 35 percent to a nine-year low of US$9.7 billion. \nSoutheast Asia's biggest economy also needs to step up sales of state assets, many of them acquired after the 1997 Asian financial crisis, to help plug the government's US$4.1 billion budget deficit. \nHe didn't name the companies the government is planning to sell. \nSingapore Telecommunications, the region's biggest phone com-pany, owns a 35 percent stake in the cellular phone service of state-owned PT Telekomunikasi Indone-sia. Last week, Singapore Telecom said it would be interested in gaining control of its overseas ventures. \nThe government also wants to build up its fledgling aircraft industry and will invite investments from other nations, Sukardi said. \nPT Dirgantara Indonesia, the country's only state-owned aircraft manufacturer, has never made a profit since its inception in the 1970s. It is struggling to pay more than 3 trillion rupiah (US$357 million) it owes the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency. \nThe government had once mulled selling the company to foreign investors but held off a decision in the wake of internal opposition to the sale. \n"We're inviting Malaysia, Brunei and Thailand to invest in our aircraft industry to broaden our leverage and our market," Sukardi said. \nMeanwhile, the University of Indonesia is appraising the investment climate of 360 so-called regencies so investors can make better judgments about the risks and returns of investing in the country, Theo Toemion, chairman of the government's Investment Coordinating Board, said. \n"We expect the first report early next year," Toemion said.
‘FREEDOM WINE’: Taiwanese are empathetic of Australians, the president said, while lawmakers called on their constituents to drink Australian wine to show their support Taiwan would take action to back Australians at a time when they are “under tremendous pressure,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, as tensions between Australia and China heated up. Taipei and Canberra have been mutually supportive in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in exchanging critical medical materials in the early stages, Tsai said, before chairing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Central Standing Committee meeting in Taipei. Taiwan and Australia are like-minded nations, sharing the common values of democracy, freedom and human rights, while their economic and trade relations have also become close, she said. Canberra has been voicing support for Taiwan’s international
VIGILANCE: From tomorrow all arrivals must provide the result of a PCR test issued within three days of boarding, and the CECC asked people to report anyone who has faked their result The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) expects an increase in the number of returning travelers in the coming days, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, adding that the varying qualities of COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test reports from other countries is a big concern. Chen, who heads the center, was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders scholarship award ceremony in Taipei. “As the global COVID-19 situation is worsening, and with some holidays coming up, there might be an increase in the number of overseas Taiwanese returning to Taiwan,” he
SKIN, ENTRAILS: Placards also dotted the legislative chamber, with slogans such as ‘Oppose ractopamine pork — not US pork’ and ‘Much ado about nothing’ Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday pelted Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) with pig skin and entrails as he addressed the Legislative Yuan on pork imports for the first time since the KMT’s boycott began on Sept. 18. Opposition lawmakers have been demanding an apology from the government for its decision to lift its ban on the importation of US pork containing residues of the livestock drug ractopamine. After Su arrived at 10am for his 13th attempt to deliver a regular policy report, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus moved to change the agenda to accommodate the premier. The motion resulted in cries of
CECC RULES: The autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program, including mandatory mask wearing in eight types of public venues and indoor facilities, begins today A temporary, two-week ban on Indonesian migrant workers entering the nation is to begin on Friday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday as it reported 24 new imported cases of COVID-19. Twenty of the new cases are Indonesian migrant workers who arrived between Nov. 11 and Friday last week, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. The cases were discovered during a special project on Friday to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on all 939 recently arrived Indonesian migrant workers in centralized quarantine facilities, as the majority of imported cases in the past