For the first time, an Israeli business delegation has visited Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, to forge closer ties, the Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

The mission comprised representatives of eight Israeli companies and was organized by the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute and the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry’s commercial attaché in Singapore. It followed the visit by Indonesia’s Chamber of Commerce (Kadin) to Israel in 2006.

Officials from the Foreign Ministry and executives of Kadin did not return a call to confirm the visit. But Ana Katz, a commercial attaché in Singapore, confirmed the delegation has visited Jakarta.

Because Israel has no diplomatic ties with Indonesia, it took three years to build the necessary infrastructure for the creation of direct business relations that would be permitted by law in both countries, Katz said.

“We’ve been working consistently in the past few years to strengthen ties between the business sectors in both countries,” the newspaper quoted Katz as saying.

“In the past three years, we have focused on building the infrastructure for the creation of direct business relation systems between businesspeople on both sides, relations which are permitted by law in both countries.”

She added the infrastructure included creating ties with key officials on the Indonesian side, while setting in motion a process of hiring advisers working under the embassy’s commercial department and helping Israeli companies with their activities in Indonesia.

Trade volume between Israel and Indonesia stood at US$47.8 million in the first half of 2009 – a 60 percent drop from the same period last year. The volume of exports in the first half of the year totaled $5.2 million.

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unoVIVAnews – Kalangan pengusaha berharap pasangan Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono-Boediono mampu memberikan kebijakan ekonomi yang riil dan konkret, terutama untuk sektor usaha mikro, kecil, menengah (UMKM), dan koperasi.

Ekonomi di dalam negeri ke depan harus bisa mendukung UMKM, karena sektor ini merupakan tulang punggung ekonomi kerakyatan.

“Selama ini, yang ditakutkan oleh dunia usaha adalah tidak pernah ada kebijakan yang real (nyata) dan konkret di UMKM,” kata Wakil Ketua Umum Kamar Dagang dan Industri (Kadin) Indonesia bidang Usaha Mikro, Kecil, Menengah (UMKM) dan Koperasi Sandiaga S Uno saat dihubungi VIVAnews di Jakarta, Rabu 8 Juli 2009.

Sandiaga menambahkan, pengusaha UMKM menginginkan pemilihan presiden (Pilpres) kali ini menghasilkan kepemimpinan yang memberi pertumbuhan dan berpihak pada ekonomi kerakyatan.

Birokrasi reformasi serta pembangunan infrastruktur harus menjadi prioritas bagi pemerintahan baru. “Siapa pun yang terpilih tidak menjadi masalah,” tuturnya.

Dia menilai, Pilpres satu atau dua putaran tidak menjadi masalah bagi kalangan pengusaha. Bagi pengusaha, yang terpenting adalah tidak menunda program yang bermanfaat bagi sektor riil.

Hasil perhitungan cepat (quick count) beberapa lembaga survei yang menyatakan keunggulan SBY-Boediono memberi sinyal kondusif bagi iklim investasi dan kebijakan yang lebih ramah terhadap sektor riil.

Sandiaga menggunakan hak pilihnya di Brakislavia, Slovakia. Sandiaga mencontreng di kediaman Duta Besar Republik Indonesia untuk Slovakia bersama dengan sekitar 100 warga negara Indonesia lainnya di negara tersebut.

Dia terdaftar sebagai pemilih ke-36 di TPS tersebut. “Pilpres yang digelar di Slovakia berjalan lancar,” katanya.

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title : Malaysia Mulai Liberalisasi Ekonomi
summary : Neoliberalisme sedang dikecam di Indonesia. Namun Malaysia justru memutuskan untuk semakin meliberalisasi ekonominya, setelah negeri jiran tersebut terancam memasuki resesi.

The Yomiuri Shimbun

By Shinji Fukukawa

The credit crunch and economic depression are causing a chain reaction around the world. In January, the International Monetary Fund had predicted global economic growth in 2009 would be 0.5 percent, but it revised the figure on March 19 to between minus 1 and minus 0.5 percent. Japan’s economy, meanwhile, is expected to contract by 5.8 percent in 2009. The global economy is in very serious condition, and the future is uncertain. However, people are gradually seeing signs of improvement in the U.S. economy.

There also are indications of economic recovery in China, although there are still long-term problems to be resolved. The question of whether China can resolve the problems it faces will have a significant impact on the world economy. In addition, people are again questioning the relationship between governments and the market. There should, of course, be discipline in the actions governments take. But although some have been quick to point out market failures as one of the causes of the financial crisis, there also have been errors in judgment on the part of governments as the crisis has deepened.

Governments therefore need to clarify what they should and should not be doing in response to the crisis, and pursue policies in a way that the market can easily understand. Governments should also undertake comprehensive measures based on fiscal, monetary and structural considerations. According to the World Trade Organization, 17 countries already have shown movements toward protectionism. If a trend that prioritizes only single countries’ national interests spreads, the world economy will face serious problems in the future. Countries need to cooperate to prevent this trend from spreading. Stabilization of the international currency regime is an important issue, including bolstering the functions of the IMF. Meanwhile, there is growing concern about the growing U.S. budget deficit. Finally, I would urge Japan to act on its international potential and carry out policies from a global perspective.

Panelists have pointed out the necessity of the government investing significant effort into improving education, developing people’s skills and nurturing the most innovative minds. The Japanese government needs to focus the world’s wisdom through cooperating with other nations. Such wisdom is imperative now. Fukukawa is chairman of the Machine Industry Memorial Foundation. He has served as administrative vice international trade and industry minister and the vice chairman of Kobe Steel Ltd.

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