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NEWS

ISSUE 29

2009 LOOKS BRIGHT IN LOMBOK!

LOMBOK NEW YEAR OFF TO A HAPPY START!

RINJANI CURRENTLY CLOSED TO CLIMBERS

TRAWANGAN-BALI FAST BOAT SINKS

GARUDA EXPANDS REGIONAL NETWORK

LOCAL SCENE

DOZENS HURT IN EARTHQUAKES

AGENTS LOBBY FOR FOREIGN PROPERTY RIGHTS

BALI CHALLENGES ANTI-PORN LAW

WEIRD WORLD

NEW FISCAL TAX POLICY

PRESIDENT'S PARTY SHOOTS UP IN POLLS

EXPECT DROP IN SPENDING THIS YEAR

AN ECONOMIC STRATEGY FOR 2009

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2009 LOOKS BRIGHT IN LOMBOK!

Welcome to The Lombok Guide – Lombok's complete tourism paper and your guide to the best that the island has to offer. The Lombok Guide is published on Lombok every two weeks and contains valuable information for all visitors to our magical island.

What a wonderful Christmas and New Year season Lombok has had this year! Thousands of people visited our enchanted island and enjoyed the festive celebrations organised by Lombok's hotels, restaurants and bars. It was a great start to what looks like being a bright new year in Lombok.

Looking back over 2008, there are many things to be positive about as we head into 2009.

Construction is going ahead on the Lombok International Airport and both national and regional governments are committed to making the airport vision a reality in 2010. The announcement of major investment by Dubai-based development group, Emaar Properties, on Lombok's south coast sparked a wave of land investment not only in the south, but around the island. Talk of more major developments being proposed in the coming year can only drive Lombok's popularity higher.

Despite talk of a global recession, many are predicting a good year for this special island. While European holidays and long-distance airfares may be off the agenda for most, Indonesia remains an affordable and good value holiday destination and Lombok, with its stunning natural beauty and laid-back charm, is one of the best destinations in South East Asia to escape the recession woes.

To find out more, pick up a copy of The Guide from the locations listed on page 30 or visit us at www.thelombokguide.com and discover the magic of Lombok for yourself… like thousands of others, you'll be enchanted!

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LOMBOK NEW YEAR OFF TO A HAPPY START!

Thousands of foreign and domestic tourists flocked to Lombok to celebrate island-style over the Christmas and New Year period. Many hotels on the island reported full bookings, especially at New Year, and the popular island of Gili Trawangan was packed with partygoers and holidaymakers, as usual.

In the main tourism centre of Senggigi, crowds of people turned out on the streets on New Year's Eve to dine at the restaurants and bar hop through the parties taking place along the main strip. Traffic was backed up for hours, although there were no problems and the crowds were all quick to wish each other a “Happy New Year!”

Despite the unseasonal hot and sunny days Lombok enjoyed over Christmas, many event organisers were worried that a return to the usual December monsoon rains would spoil the parties, most of which took place outdoors in hotel gardens and along the beaches. As it was, continual rain started the day before and New Year's Eve was a bit wet, with on and off showers; but not enough rain fell to deter the happy crowds.

Later in the evening, popular nightclubs and bars such as Happy Café, Papaya and Sahara Club were packed with partiers enjoying the music by live bands, while the annual New Year's Eve party at Marina Café drew huge crowds and had everyone partying until the wee hours of New Year.

One of the biggest parties in town was held on the beachfront at the Senggigi Beach Hotel. Several hundred people joined in the festivities on Senggigi Beach, where the adjacent Santosa Villas and Resort and the Sheraton Senggigi Resort were also hosting large parties. The entire bay was lit up at midnight, with each hotel competing for the best fireworks display.

The Senggigi Beach Hotel set up a fantastic venue, with decorated tables on the soft sand of the beach and a large stage and dance floor specially erected for the night. Lanterns and candles lit up the beachfront, with tented pavilions surrounding the area, each featuring a different type of cuisine to be enjoyed by the guests. BBQ stations served a dazzling selection of fresh seafoods and imported meats, while other stations featured pastas, curries, salads and a huge array of other festive foods.

Early in the evening, the regular Senggigi Beach Hotel house band kept guests entertained during their meal with acoustic music, featuring popular songs and Indonesian melodies. There were also special door prizes awarded to lucky guests, who received accommodation packages and airline tickets from Garuda Indonesia.

The highlight of the evening was the performance by one of the most popular local bands in Lombok, “Not Bad Band”. Usually seen playing regularly at Happy Café, Not Bad Band have attracted a crowd of fans locally with their polished vocals and talented guitarists, drums and percussion. Playing a selection of top hits from the 70's, 80's and 90's, mostly rock and roll and blues, the band had the crowd up and dancing until 2 am.

The Holiday Resort in Mangsit had a party with a difference, starting the New Year with a celebration dedicated to the Earth with an environmentally-aware theme, called “We Are Living On The Same Earth, Save It For The Future Live.”

The celebration started with a cocktail party in the beautiful gardens and on the beachfront of the resort, incorporating a special baby turtle release and tree planting ceremony for guests. The young turtles, hatched from eggs rescued from local sellers and raised in the Resort's own hatchery, were released back into the sea with all the guests' best wishes for the New Year. Guests also participated in planting new trees in the Resort's garden, each displaying the guest's name and country of origin for future visits.

All this was followed by a Gala Dinner, held in the Holiday Resort's spacious Lobby, with a wide spread of delicious dishes and a lot of fun entertainment lasting until the early hours of 2009. The earth-friendly theme extended to the party in the Lobby, with all natural decorations from the Resort's nursery and gardens. At midnight, even the New Year “confetti” thrown by guests was not made from paper or plastic, but featured dried flowers and leaves, always keeping in mind the Resort's commitment to save the environment. It was a totally unique New Year celebration and a great night to remember.

Back out on the main street of Senggigi, the revelers partied on. Crowds spilled onto the streets outside the bars and clubs and cars stalled patiently in line for the slow drive home, drivers resigned to the wait and still calling New Year greetings to each other. All and all it was a good start to another peaceful and happy new year on the enchanted island… Lombok!

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RINJANI CURRENTLY CLOSED TO CLIMBERS

The National Park Authority (TNGR) has closed Mt Rinjani to climbers as from 2 January 2009, as a result of poor weather conditions. It is envisaged that the mountain will be out of bounds for climbers until the return of good weather, around March this year.

TNGR Chief, Arief Toengkagie, said that the rainy season has resulted in bad weather conditions on the mountain, similar to those experienced last year, and endangers the safety of climbers. Sudden storms, high winds and torrential rains have made the trails slippery and treacherous, and there are also threats of landslides. “The prohibition against trekking or climbing Rinjani at the moment applies to everyone,” he said
Signs notifying people of the mountain's closure have been erected at the Park entrances in Sembalun, Senaru and Desa Timbanuh.

Lombok's Mt Rinjani is the second highest mountain in Indonesia and is popular with climbers because of the stunning natural environment on the mountain and the existence of a volcanic crater lake at around 2000 m above sea level.

During the past eleven months, 4 281 foreign visitors and around 3 000 local climbers have trekked the demanding slopes of the volcano. In 2007, Rinjani attracted 6 269 foreign and 4 081 local climbers.

Pak Arief asked all potential trekkers not to risk trying to climb the mountain by alternative routes. In March 2007, seven local students from East Lombok lost their lives on the mountain when they disregarded warnings and illegally entered the Park to attempt to climb Rinjani in similar weather conditions.

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TRAWANGAN-BALI FAST BOAT SINKS

The New Year got off to a bad start locally with the sinking of the Lian Senggigi, a new fast boat service between Bali and Lombok.

Fast boats are a popular and convenient way to move between the two islands, however travellers should only choose boat operators with a good safety record and all the right equipment.

The Bali Post first reported that 35 foreign tourists and 5 local tourists had a close call with fate on Friday, 2 January, 2009, when the fast ferry boat carrying them from Gili Trawangan (just off Lombok) to Serangan Island at Bali sunk just miles off Bali's coast.

The relatively recent service, Lian Sengiggi lost power and started taking on water near the Watu Klotok Temple in the Klungkung Regency. Using life preservers, the crew and passengers abandoned ship and made it to shore, some with the help of local fishermen who came to their assistance.

The passengers and crew were brought to the Mapolsek police station to make statements necessary to authorities in their investigations.

According to Bali Post, a number of passengers rescued from the sea were not listed on the formal official manifest sent from Gili Trawangan, suggesting the ship was not in compliance with shipping rules.

The ship reportedly left Gili Trawangan at 12 noon and, after two hours into its journey, lost power and began to take on water. The ship quickly sank and the passengers jumped into the sea where they held onto each other, forming three separate groups.

Two of the groups managed to swim to shore at Jumpai, while the third group was carried by strong current to Kusamba beach where local fishing boats came to their rescue.

The ship's captain, Agus Purnomo, refused to comment to the press on the circumstances surrounding the loss of his ship, saying, “Frankly, I panicked. I can't explain anything. What's clear, the water suddenly rushed in. I don't remember anything more.”

The ship carried a crew of 4, with the 40 tourists hailing from Indonesia, Sweden, Australia, Switzerland, Great Britain and Germany.

For the record, Gilicat has been servicing the Padangbai - Gili T route daily since July, 2007 without mishap. This incident highlights the importance of solidly engineered vessels outfitted with complete state-of-art safety equipment, managed by professional crew with appropriate certification and experience, in compliance with Indonesian safety regulations.

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GARUDA EXPANDS REGIONAL NETWORK

Garuda Indonesia will open 18 new regional routes commencing 16 January, 2009, including a new Garuda connection between Bali and Lombok.

Pujobroto, the Airline's Corporate Vice-President, depicted the opening of the new routes as part of Garuda's overall growth plan. “The development of the new routes will be supported by 14 new Boeing 737NG that will begin gradually arriving in mid-2009,” he explained.

Garuda currently operates 54 aircraft, including six new 737-NGs delivered last year. By 2013, Garuda plans to have 128 planes in its fleet, including 50 new 737-NGs and 10 new 737-300ERs that are currently under construction.

Garuda launched its Yogyakarta - Singapore route on 16 December, and its Jakarta - Shanghai - Denpasar - Jakarta route on 20 December 2008, to cash in on market opportunities over the holiday season.

Garuda also provides flights to international destinations including Japan, Australia and the Middle East. Garuda operated international flights to six European cities before mid-2007, when the European Commission (EC) banned all Indonesian aircraft from entering European airspace on safety concerns following a spate of fatal accidents.
In other positive news for the airline, the Garuda maintenance facility received top marks from the US Transportation Security Administration last year. PT GMF AeroAsia, the aviation maintenance wing of Garuda Indonesia, announced on 2 January 2009, it had received international certification from the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

That Garuda has passed rigorous standards for aviation security systems was confirmed after an inspection visit to the GMF facility by the TSA in Jakarta.

A spokesperson for GMF said “the TSA statement will help GMF in gaining trust from US customers.”

Garuda's new routes for 2009 include: Jakarta - Tanjungkarang (Lampung), Jakarta - Malang (East Java), Jakarta - Makassar - Kendari (Southeast Sulawesi), Jakarta - Makassar - Gorontalo, Jakarta - Makassar - Sorong (Papua), Jakarta - Makassar - Ambon (Maluku), Jakarta - Makassar - Palu (Central Sulawesi ), Jakarta Jambi, Jakarta - Manado - Ternate (Southeast Maluku ), Jakarta - Balikpapan Tarakan, Jakarta - Pangkal Pinang, Denpasar - Lombok (West Nusa Tenggara), Denpasar - Kupang (East Nusa Tenggara), Denpasar - Adelaide (Australia), Denpasar - Hong Kong, Surabaya - Hong Kong, Jakarta - Shanghai (China) - Denpasar - Jakarta (commenced 20 Dec, 2008) and Yogyakarta - Singapore (commenced 16 Dec, 2008).

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LOCAL SCENE

THE SENGGIGI BEACH HOTEL CELEBRATED
NEW YEAR’S EVE WITH A GALA PARTY ON THE BEACH

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DOZENS HURT IN EARTHQUAKES

A string of powerful earthquakes rocked a remote area of Indonesia on Sunday, 4 January, leaving at least one dead and dozens injured. The quakes didn’t affect Bali or Lombok.

Indonesian authorities cancelled a tsunami alert issued after the first of several strong quakes early Sunday morning, but by then thousands of people had fled their homes and were thronging roads leading from the coast.
A 7.6-magnitude quake hit before dawn about 150 kilometres (100 miles) northwest of Manokwari, the main city in the province of West Papua, which lies on the Pacific Ocean in the far east of Indonesia's island chain close to Australia. A 7.5-magnitude aftershock and a procession of smaller quakes, one as strong as magnitude 6.1, later rattled the region, according to US and Indonesian seismological authorities.

A 10-year-old girl was killed when a wall collapsed and at least 52 people suffered a variety of injuries; 37 of them in Manokwari, according to an AFP tally of hospital figures. But Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told reporters that, based on “unofficial” information, four people had been killed in the quake. The figure could not be confirmed by local hospitals.

West Papua province's police chief Bagus Eko Danto confirmed that there was only one killed in the quake. “After collecting all information from affected places, we concluded that only one killed, the 10-year old girl,” he told AFP.
One of the main tourist hotels in Manokwari was toppled and at least three people were pulled out of the rubble alive. Electricity in the city was down, and elsewhere there were reports of flattened houses and damaged buildings.

“Three hotel guests returned to their room after the first big quake. They failed to evacuate after the second powerful quake struck and got trapped in the hotel rubble,” said the hotel staff. The three were pulled from the rubble and treated in hospital for light injuries, he said.

A doctor at Manokwari General Hospital, Andi Tatat, said three other people were being treated for broken bones and open wounds, including a man who broke his legs jumping from the fourth floor of his hotel.

“The man wanted to jump into the hotel's swimming pool to evacuate but missed his target,” Tatat said.
Manokwari police chief Piet Wahyu said it was unlikely the toll would rise. Two hotels, two banks, a warehouse and a home were also heavily damaged, news website Detikcom reported.

In the town of Sorong, around 350 kilometres west of Manokwari, at least four houses were levelled and 15 people injured. Military tents had been set up there to treat the injured outside a hospital in case it collapsed, hospital spokesman Ruslan said.

“There are some cracks in the hospital's walls,” he said. “We're afraid it could collapse if there are more quakes.”
Memories are still raw of the devastation wrought by the 2004 tsunami, which was set off by a massive undersea quake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The giant waves killed 168,000 people in Indonesia's Aceh province and Nias Island.

The Indonesian archipelago sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where continental plates meet and cause frequent seismic and volcanic activity. The Ring of Fire stretches along the western coast of the Americas, through the island nations of the South Pacific and on through Southeast Asia.

Small tsunami waves triggered by the series of quakes reached Japan's Pacific coast, the Japanese meteorological agency said, but there were no reports of damage.

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AGENTS LOBBY FOR FOREIGN PROPERTY RIGHTS

The Indonesian Real Estate Association (REI) chapter from North Sumatra told the national news agency Antara that there is a pressing need to extend the leasehold period for foreigners in Indonesia, in order to bolster the national real estate market. The Indonesian Constitution currently forbids property ownership rights to non-Indonesians.

The Chairman of REI in Medan, Rusmin Lawin, said, “the leasehold in Indonesia of 70 years – broken down into consecutive lease periods of 30, 25 and 20 years – is no longer in keeping with the current situation.” He explained that in Malaysia leasehold is now 99 years, with Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand now granting longer leasehold periods.

The real estate professional said that longer leasehold periods and accompanying rights for foreign investors would lure investment, especially in areas bordering Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
Lawin also argued that a liberalisation of leasehold rules would result in more revenues for the government through the elimination of “name-lending” arrangements in which property is held on behalf of a foreign owner by an Indonesian nominee.

Previous efforts to extend property ownership rights to foreigners, or to extend the period of leaseholds, have been rebuffed by the Constitutional Courts which insist foreign property ownership in Indonesia is specifically forbidden by the Constitution.

The REI have proposed a number of changes affecting foreign property ownership in Indonesia, including:
· Ownership of property by foreigners for a period of up to 70 years.
· Establishment of clear specifications for real estate products.
· The right for individual property ownership as opposed to current corporate ownership.
· The specification of a certain number of floors available for foreign ownership in apartment developments.
· A revision of Property Law No. 41 of 1996 regarding foreign land ownership and leasehold by foreigners in Indonesia.

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BALI CHALLENGES ANTI-PORN LAW

A group of Bali legal experts calling themselves the Bali's People's Component (KRB) has now finalized the draft of a judicial review against the new anti-pornography laws recently signed into law by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The 50-page judicial review is scheduled to be presented to the Constitutional Court on 9 January, 2009, and argues that the new anti-pornography laws robs large segments of the Indonesian population of cultural rights of self-expression guaranteed under the national constitution.

The review also identifies 21 separate professions that will suffer a curtailment of creativity under the new law. Among the “threatened” professions cited by the KRB as being “at risk” due to the new law are dancers, choreographers, poets, short story writers, novelists, actors, playwrights, directors, gymnastic instructors, tourism workers, photographers, painters, art gallery owners, sculptors, art shop owners, singers, composers, recording studio owners, models, designers, broadcasters and reporters.

The Bali legal challenge argues that at least 5 separate constitutional rights are trampled upon by the new anti-pornography legislation:

· The guarantee of a certainty under the law.
· The guarantee of equal treatment before the law.
· The right to live free of fear and intimidation.
· The right to derive benefit from art and culture.
· The right to employment and to earn a living from such employment.

A member of the KRB and the former Rector of the Bali Institute of Indonesian Arts (ISI), Professor Dr. I Made Bandem, is urging all Balinese artists to take an active role in proposing and supporting the judicial review. Badem explained:

“This is a historical moment with history in the making, as we prove that artists and those working in culture are courageous enough to oppose those trying to trample upon the national motto of 'United in Diversity'.”
One member of the KRB has estimated that the Constitutional Court will need 4 months to render a decision on the Bali appeal.

Because of the long journey ahead, Nusa Bali has published an appeal for people to donate funds to the KRB via I Wayan Juniartha at telephone ++62-(0)81236131311 or via email jiwabening@yahoo.com.

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Seen at Senggigi Beach

A little rain can't spoil dinner!

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NEW FISCAL TAX POLICY

As reported by balidiscovery.com, New Year's Day 2009 marked the introduction of a major change in the government's policy on the fiscal tax charges to local residents and Indonesian nationals.

The unpopular Rp 1 million (US $90) tax formerly charged to residents and Indonesian citizens has been eliminated for those in possession of an official tax number (NPWP) However, the bad news is that Fiscal Tax has increased to Rp 2.5 million (US $225) for those without a tax number.

According to the Jakarta Post, the tax office has been undertaking rehearsal drills to minimise inconvenience during the introduction of the change in fiscal tax policy. Separate channels have been set up for individuals who must pay the new tax rates and those eligible for the new exemption. According to the Jakarta Post, information pamphlets have also been prepared to guide the public.

The three channels in place at all international airports are:

· Registered taxpayers who are now exempt from paying the fiscal tax.
· Those under 21 years of age who are exempt from paying the fiscal tax.
· Those with supporting documents which exempt them from paying the fiscal tax.

A spokesman for the Tax department, Darmin, said, “After checking in at ports or airports, registered taxpayers will need to validate their tax numbers (NPWP) with the tax office (there), and bring a copy of their NPWP.”

Spouses and others claiming an exemption from the tax will need to bring a copy of their “kartu keluarga” or “family card” to show officials at the airport. Family members of an NPWP holder under 21 are also exempted from the fiscal tax, a change from the old policy that only exempted children under the age of 12.

Taxpayers wishing to qualify for the NPWP exemption should apply for tax registration a minimum of three days before departing abroad. This will allow the tax number registration to be conveyed to international gateways at airports and seaports across the country. In the event, however, that the NPWP was rejected by port officials, the traveller would have to pay the Rp 2.5 million tax, which can be claimed against future tax liability.

Those Exempt from Paying the Fiscal Tax

1. Tourist visitors to Indonesia.
2. People below 21 years of age.
3. Foreigners staying in Indonesia no more than 183 days within the last 12 months.
4. Diplomats and people working for the diplomatic corps.
5. International organisation officials, including families.
6. Indonesian citizens with residency permits from a foreign country
7. Haj pilgrims.
8. Indonesian citizens working abroad.
9. People departing Indonesia by land.
10. NPWP holders and their dependents.

Those exempt from paying Exit Tax (with supporting documents) include:

1. Foreign students in Indonesia.
2. Foreigners involved in research in science and culture, cooperation in technology, religious and humanitarian missions.
3. Foreigners working in Batam, Bintan and Karimun and liable to pay income tax as per Article 21 or Article 26.
4. Disabled and ill people seeking medical treatment abroad paid for by social organizations.
5. Members of art, culture and sport missions who are representing Indonesia abroad.
6. Students in a student-exchange program.
7. Indonesian citizens working abroad with approval from the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry.

The exemption from paying the fiscal tax will remain in place as an incentive to those participating in the tax system via an official tax number until 31 December 2010, at which time the policy will be reviewed.

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PRESIDENT'S PARTY SHOOTS UP IN POLLS

A new poll has found rising support for the political party of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in the lead up to elections this year.

Yudhoyono's Democratic Party, currently a minority player in his governing coalition, has strengthened its lead as the most popular party among voters, according to a poll by the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI), cited by the Jakarta Post on 5 January 2009.

The Democratic Party won 23 percent support, surging ahead of the opposition Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) of former President, Megawati Sukarnoputri, which won the support of 17.1 percent of voters, it said. The largest party in Yudhyono's multi-party parliamentary coalition, Golkar, won 13.3 percent support.

“The Democratic party continues to widen its lead, while Golkar continues to fall behind, and the PDI-P is meanwhile stagnant,” LSI director Saiful Mujan said. An October LSI poll also found the Democratic Party in the lead, with 16.8 percent support.

“The Democratic Party's rise has been driven by the success of Yudhoyono and his administration in the eyes of the people, as the party is known as the government's party,” Mujani added.

Yudhoyono, who is seeking re-election in the middle of this year, has seen his popularity bounce back after reversing his administration's unpopular fuel price hikes late last year.

The President, who ran on a platform of reform and anti-corruption, needs to secure a strong showing for his party and assemble a strong coalition to take on key rivals – including Megawati – in the presidential poll.

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EXPECT DROP IN SPENDING THIS YEAR

Indonesia's Tourism Ministry said last week that it expects a decline in tourist spending in 2009 because of the global economic crisis, but sees visitor arrivals in a similar range to 2008.

Tourism accounts for about 3 percent of the gross domestic product in Southeast Asia's biggest economy but some areas, including the resort island of Bali, are heavily dependent on tourism for jobs and growth.

A recent shortage of alcohol in Jakarta and Bali, and concerns over Indonesia's new anti-porn law – seen by some as a threat to artistic, religious and cultural freedom in the diverse archipelago – have led some tourists to complain or even threaten to stay away.

”I understand that for foreigners alcohol is like tea or coffee for us; if there's no alcohol then tourists are reluctant to come here,” Culture and Tourism Minister, Jero Wacik, told a press briefing, adding that the issue was being resolved, particularly in top-tier hotels.

Importing alcohol has become prohibitively expensive following a clampdown by the authorities on widespread smuggling and under-invoicing of wines and liquor.

Earnings from tourism are forecast to fall to $6.5 billion next year, from an estimated $7.57 billion in 2008, the Ministry said in a statement; with the average tourist expected to spend $1,000 per visit to Indonesia, compared with $1,178 per visit in 2008, and $970 in 2007.

The ministry also forecast that foreign arrivals would be between 6.25 and 6.5 million in 2009, compared with a preliminary figure of 6.4 million in 2008, when the government launched its “Visit Indonesia 2008” campaign.

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AN ECONOMIC STRATEGY FOR 2009

A discussion of Bali's economy for 2009 was convened on 24 December, 2008 by Bisnis Bali and included leading academics, banking officials, government officials and local business leaders.

Among the highlights of those discussions:

· Bali's economy will slow in 2009, growing at a rate of 4.5% down from a current rate of growth of 6%.
· The ailing US Economy will have direct negative impact on Bali's exports for furniture and handicrafts.
· Local income will decline as tourist arrivals to Bali are expected to shrink in 2009.
· Declining tourism numbers may be offset, in part, by lower fuel costs dipping from highs of US $140 per barrel to US $40.

Those in attendance called for unified thinking and action on the part of the government, stakeholders and the people to minimize the negative impact of the current financial crisis.

· Business participants complained that government policies were out of step with the current situation. While interest rates are down worldwide, they remain high in Indonesia.
· Plans to increase regional minimum salary levels by 11% in 2009 may represent a non-viable burden for local entrepreneurs.
· Tourism workers should focus their attention on markets less affected by the current economic downturn, such as Japan, China, the Middle East and India.
· Businesses should avoid borrowing funds denominated in US dollars because of the weak exchange rate of the rupiah at present.
· Emphasis should be placed on using local products to reduce reliance on imports.
· Provincial economies should be stimulated by higher spending on local development projects.
· Zoning and development rules must be enforced to pave the way for future development.

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