Posts tagged ‘Jakarta’


Forest fires and logging threaten India’s progress on climate goals | Reuters

Since the end of April, fires in parts of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have destroyed or damaged 26,000 hectares of forests, and killed three people, officials say.

The forest fires, touched off by timber smugglers, poachers and farmers, have been a particular problem this year as a result of high temperatures and low rainfall, experts say.

Nationwide, the country is losing an average of a million hectares to fires each year, according to a 2014 report from the government’s National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM).

The losses, combined with those from surging illegal logging, mean India has lost 2,511 square kilometres of dense and moderately dense forest since 2013, according to the Environment Ministry’s 2015 Forest Survey of India report.

That loss is a significant worry for a country trying to dramatically reduce its climate-changing emissions. As part of pledges made toward a new global deal to curb climate change, agreed in Paris in December, India has said it will increase its ability to store carbon in forests and land by up to 3 billion tons by 2030.

But criminal activity, extreme weather and flawed data all stand in the way of India’s quest to go greener, experts say, and the problem in Uttarakhand illustrates how hard achieving those goals may be.

Source: Forest fires and logging threaten India’s progress on climate goals | Reuters


China plans to cut number of big state firms to 40: state media | Reuters

China will likely cut the number of its central government-owned conglomerates to 40 through massive mergers, as Beijing pushes forward a sweeping plan to overhaul the country’s underperforming state sector, state media reported on Monday.

The consolidation will first take place in commercial sectors, especially in competitive industries, said the official newspaper Economic Information Daily, quoting an anonymous authority.

“Resources will be increasingly concentrated on large enterprises to avoid cut-throat competition, like what CSR Corp Ltd and China CNR Corp Ltd did when competing against each other for projects overseas,” the newspaper said.

The restructuring plan is critical to President Xi Jinping‘s broader push to raise the performance of China’s lumbering state sector, at a time when Beijing struggles to find the right policy mix to support the world’s second-largest economy that grew in the first quarter at its slowest pace in six years.

The policy-directed merger of state-owned CNR and CSR, China’s top two train makers, created a $26 billion company able to win global rail deals from rivals such as Germany’s Siemens AG and Canada’s Bombardier Inc.

SOEs‘ non-core businesses, particularly in tertiary industry, will be sold publicly on the capital market,” the newspaper quoted the authority as saying.

Avoiding the loss of state assets will be “the most important and core requirement” when mergers that involve sensitive assets take place, the newspaper said.

Earlier this month, Beijing committed to stepping up public scrutiny of state firms’ financial and performance information as well as changes of enterprise leadership, to increase transparency and fight corruption.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the ruling Communist Party’s top graft-buster, is also intensifying its two-year inspections of state firms in strategic sectors.

In recent weeks, China FAW Group Corp Chairman Xu Jianyi, Baosteel Group Vice President Cui Jian, and a general manager at China National Petroleum Corp were put under investigation for corruption.

Currently, the central government owns 112 conglomerates, including 277 public firms listed on the Shanghai or Shenzhen stock exchanges with a market capitalization of more than 10 trillion yuan ($1.61 trillion), according to the newspaper.

via China plans to cut number of big state firms to 40: state media | Reuters.


Indonesia to China: Stop Buying Our Stuff – Businessweek

Indonesian mines account for about 20 percent of the world’s nickel supply and a hefty chunk of the bauxite (used to make aluminum). China has been importing ever-larger amounts of these and other minerals from its Asian neighbor. Ironically, the more the Chinese buy, the angrier Indonesians become: Rather than purchasing refined minerals from Indonesia, China imports the raw rocks and does the processing itself, thus depriving Indonesians of jobs and tax revenue. Miners took more than 250,000 tons of nickel out of Indonesian mines last year but processed only about 16,000 tons in-country, exporting the rest. Meanwhile, China refined more than half a million tons.

A miner sprays water over tin ore at the PT Timah operations in Sungai Liat, Bangka Island, Indonesia on Nov. 19

To make matters worse, through much of last year, China stockpiled Indonesian ore to hedge against any action the government in Jakarta might take to encourage more of the value-added work to stay home. The stockpiling makes Indonesian officials even more irritated. “I just returned from China, and I saw with my own eyes there are 3 million tons of bauxite and 20 million tons of nickel over there,” Industry Minister M.S. Hidayat told reporters on Jan. 8. “That’s what we want to stop.”

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is taking action do just that. On Jan. 12 a new rule took effect prohibiting companies from exporting nickel ore and other raw minerals—while allowing miners to ship minerals that first go through processing or refining in Indonesia. The goal is simple: “No more ore exports,” Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik said last month. “There should be refining or smelting.”

via Indonesia to China: Stop Buying Our Stuff – Businessweek.

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El Indio: The French Pivot

The Jarkarta Globe: “During his recent visit to Jakarta for a bilateral with Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, France’s top diplomat, Minister Laurent Fabius, dropped by the Asean Secretariat and there announced to a regional audience that his country had made a “pivot” to Asia. Smart move.

Laurent Fabius during Ségolène Royal and José ...

Laurent Fabius during Ségolène Royal and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero’s meeting in Toulouse on April, 19th 2007 for the 2007 presidential election. Français : Laurent Fabius pendant le meeting de Toulouse du 19 avril 2007 de Ségolène Royal et José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero pour l’élection présidentielle de 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The French foreign minister: explained “France wants to be present where tomorrow’s world is [being] built.” That’s savoir-faire.

France, he stressed, is part of the Asian-Oceania space through its history. At least 1 million French citizens have Asian origins. And more than half a million more live in its Pacific territories.

The French pivot looks fairly more sophisticated than the American model. The US pivot jiggles you with the roar of its military component. Perhaps that can’t be helped. The United States has been global cop for so long, people forget it’s also an economic player. And they take its cultural influence for granted. The French also have a military presence in Asia but since the demise of Napoleon, their reputation for soldiering has been eclipsed by their fame for concocting sauces.

And they’re taking care to emphasize that their pivot is diplomatic, economic and “human,” meaning sociocultural. They affirm that no global problem can be solved without China’s participation, or at least its acquiescence. They want to strengthen their already strong security relations with India. They seek to re-engage with Japan and South Korea.

They’re bent on boosting their neglected relationship with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations — especially Indonesia, which represents 40 percent of the population and about as much of the Southeast Asia’s economy. They see Indonesia as a crucial partner on the global stage on such issues as peacekeeping, climate change and the battle against terror.

It’s not only France but also probably the rest of Europe that feels the need for robust partnerships in this part of the world. Although Europe is in deep economic trouble, some countries there will always matter: heavyweights like France itself, Germany, Britain, Norway, Sweden. That’s why Umar Hadi, director for West Europe at the Foreign Office, is brainstorming an update of Indonesia’s European policy.”

via El Indio: The French Pivot – The Jakarta Globe.

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