Sunday, October 31, 2010

Indonesia Oct CPI +5.67% On Year; +0.06% On Month

By Joko Hariyanto
JAKARTA (Dow Jones)--Indonesia's annual consumer inflation edged down to 5.67% in October from 5.80% in September, the official Central Statistics Agency said Monday.
The latest reading is likely to give Bank Indonesia another reason to keep interest rates unchanged when it meets Thursday.
Compared with a month earlier, the agency said that the consumer price index rose 0.06% in October, after rising 0.44% in September.
The median forecast of 10 regional economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires was for the consumer price index to rise 5.81% on year in October. Meanwhile the median forecast of seven economists who came up with on-month comparisons was for the consumer price index to gain 0.20% in October.
Core inflation, which excludes volatile food prices and prices controlled by the government, edged up to 4.19% on year from 4.02% in September, the agency said.
-By Joko Hariyanto; contributing to Dow Jones Newswires; 62 21 39831277. (
Click here to go to Dow Jones NewsPlus, a web front page of today's most important business and market news, analysis and commentary: You can use this link on the day this article is published and the following day.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 01, 2010 00:18 ET (04:18 GMT)

Foreign Investment in Indonesia Up 32%, With Property Leading Way

Shirley Christie | October 31, 2010
BKPM chairman Gita Wirjawan, right, with board officials M. Azhar Lubis, middle, and M Yusan at Sunday’s announcement. (Antara Photo) BKPM chairman Gita Wirjawan, right, with board officials M. Azhar Lubis, middle, and M Yusan at Sunday’s announcement. (Antara Photo)
Indonesia. Indonesia saw foreign direct investment jump 32 percent to Rp 111.1 trillion ($12.4 billion), excluding oil and gas, and banking, in the first nine months of the year, with the property sector attracting the most investment.

“The investment realization figures are very promising,” Gita Wirjawan, chairman of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), said at the board’s headquarters in Jakarta on Sunday.

He said the increase had been supported by improvements in investment regulations and better coordination between the central and regional governments.

“If we continue to work hard to further enhance these synergies, I firmly believe this will continually be reflected in the investment figures,” he said.

Eric Sugandi, an economist from Standard Chartered in Jakarta, backed Gita’s assessment. “In 2009, investors might have had doubts, but this year they are confident,” he said

The BKPM on Sunday announced investment figures from foreign and domestic investors. Foreign and domestic investment came to Rp 149.8 trillion this year through September.

Among notable recipients of foreign funding were the real estate, industrial estate and office- building sector, with $800 million. It was followed by mining ($700 million; 88 projects); transportation, storage and telecommunications ($600 million); foodstuffs ($400 million); and plantations ($300 million).

The BKPM also released data on domestic investment showing it had risen 36.5 percent to Rp 38.5 trillion from a year earlier.

The top five sectors were plantations (Rp 4.5 trillion); transportation, storage and telecommunications (Rp 3.1 trillion); foodstuffs (Rp 2.8 trillion); chemicals and pharmaceuticals (Rp 1.4 trillion); and other services (Rp 1.1 trillion).

“Besides a significant increase in the total investment figures, two positive outcomes must be underlined,” Gita said. “The first is the increase in domestic investment, and the second an increase in investments outside of Java.”

Investments outside Java, Indonesia’s most populous island and economic hub, contributed 37.7 percent, or Rp 21.4 trillion, of the nation’s total. Regional investment more than tripled from Rp 5.9 trillion a year earlier.

Foreign investors have been drawn by the country’s resilience in the face of the global economic downturn. Indonesia’ strong domestic market, paired with a lack of reliance on exports, saw the economy grow 4.5 percent last year as many of its regional rivals were mired in recession.

Indonesia’s relatively high key interest rate of 6.5 percent has also drawn attention from investors seeking higher returns. Growing political stability and the prospect of gaining investment-grade ratings for sovereign debt have also reassured investors.

“Considering the realization through the third quarter of 2010, we are sure that the target of Rp 160.1 trillion is going to be accomplished. We might even surpass Rp 180 trillion by the end of year,” said the BKPM’s deputy chairman, M Yusan.

According to Fauzi Ichsan, another Standard Chartered economist, the key to making Indonesia more attractive is improving infrastructure, including roadways, power plants and harbors.

Beginning this year, investment figures have been gathered by a data collection agency, Investment Activity Reports (LKPM), which requires all companies to report investment realizations every quarter.

Last year, the calculation method was based on the issuance of permanent business licenses, under which companies reported investment only after the project was completed. The BKPM said the 2009 and 2010 figures were not directly comparable as a result.

The BKPM data excluded investment in the oil and gas sector, banking, non-banking financial institutions and leasing.

Amercians Vent Their Anger in 48 hours.

Editors Note: In 24 hrs Americans will vent their anger over the current administration in 48 hrs. Americans the answer is not to vote in republicans . The answer is to vote anyone who has a plan to get Americans back to being competitive otherwise it is the end of this empire and in a few decades Americans will look back and wonder how they became a second world country.

The mid-terms
Angry America
Barack Obama and the United States are both doing a little better than Americans seem to believe

Oct 28th 2010

IT TAKES an effort these days to recall the thrill that surged through the world when Barack Obama was elected America’s president. It was not only that he was the first black person to assume the globe’s greatest office. He seemed to be preternaturally thoughtful, dignified and decent; a man who could heal America’s wounds at home and restore its reputation abroad. Though too many were swept away in a collective longing to see hope triumph over experience, none of it seemed wholly unreasonable at the time. Yes, many thought, he can.

Two years later, the magnitude of the let-down is palpable everywhere; and at home the president is caught in a vice. To many on the left, he is a cowardly compromiser, whose half-baked plans to get America back to work have done little to help those who voted for him, and whose health-care and financial reforms were gutted at the behest of special interests. To many on the right, he seems a doctrinaire spendthrift who has squandered trillions of dollars on wasteful bureaucracy, mortgaging the future while failing to grapple with the present. To centrists who backed him, including this newspaper, he has been a disappointment, his skills as a president falling far short of his genius as a campaigner.

Awaiting a thumping
Related items

* The mid-terms: A gathering stormOct 28th 2010

It looks as though an angry America is about to exact its revenge, giving Mr Obama’s Democrats a painful kicking in the mid-terms on November 2nd. The likeliest outcome (see article) is that the Republicans will take back the House of Representatives and make solid gains in the Senate, where, though falling short of majority control, they will effortlessly be able to block any bill they wish. But, in our view, the rage directed at Mr Obama is overdone.

Consider the main reason why Americans are angry: the economy. The slow pace of job re-creation is primarily the result of consumers and companies trying to rebuild their finances. Balance-sheet recessions always take time to recover from. Mr Obama is guilty of promising that the pain would be over sooner than was ever likely. But he did not cause the bust, and he deserves more credit than he is getting for steering America clear of a much worse fate, especially considering the constraints of a political system designed to make big changes difficult. He was right to go for a big, bold and immediate stimulus plan. He has been right to resist, with minor exceptions, calls for a wave of protectionism. He is guilty of having no credible medium-term plan to reduce the deficit. But then nor do the Republicans; and it was they, after all, who oversaw the tax cuts, the entry into two wars and the financial collapse that are the source of most of America’s gigantic deficit.

In other policy areas, too, Mr Obama has got some big things right. He was correct to try to deal with a dreadful system that leaves tens of millions of Americans without access to health cover, though he should probably have postponed doing so until the economy had recovered. In foreign policy, he has made generally sensible decisions about Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of the people he has retained or put in place have done well, including his ex-rival, Hillary Clinton.

So what went wrong? The answer is a series of smaller things—rhetoric, details, execution, even an aloof vagueness—that have cumulatively undermined his presidency. He has made enemies of the businessmen who are needed to drive forward America’s recovery, haranguing them as fat cats and speculators. He has even, as we report here, forfeited the goodwill of America’s most dynamic and entrepreneurial asset. Silicon Valley, which once saw Mr Obama as a promising start-up, now sees him as a bad investment.

His decision to leave details to others has also cost him dearly. By choosing to subcontract the stimulus, health reform and finance reform to the Democratic leadership, he ended up with shoddy bills that Republicans could safely vote against and that many Democrats are now anxious to distance themselves from. A more accomplished president would have controlled that process better, and found ways to make the Republicans offers that they could not refuse. Mr Obama’s macroeconomic soundness has been undermined by the Democrats’ tendency to meddle with microeconomics, leading to a health bill that imposes onerous requirements on business and a stimulus bill larded with pro-union giveaways.

America is now an uncharacteristically uncertain place. Abroad it seems unsure of who its friends and enemies are. At home there are too many imponderables: over how the health bill will play out in practice; over what might happen to energy prices if carbon-pricing is resurrected via executive action; most of all, over what Mr Obama can do about those yawning deficits. People do not like uncertainty; so if Americans are angry, it is hardly surprising.

Cheer up

Mr Obama seems curiously unable to perceive, let alone respond to, the grievances of middle America, and has a dangerous habit of dismissing tea-partiers and others who disagree with him as deluded, evil or just bitter. The silver tongue that charmed America during the campaign has been replaced by a tin ear. Some blame this on an emotional detachment his difficult upbringing forced on him, others on the fact that he has lived all his life among tribal Democrats. Whatever the reason, he does not seem to feel America’s pain, and looks unable either to capitalise on his administration’s achievements or to project an optimistic vision for the future.

Which ought not to be so hard. Despite its problems, America has far more going for it than its current mood suggests. It is still the most innovative economy on earth, the place where the world’s greatest universities meet the world’s deepest pockets. Its demography is favourable, with a high birth rate and limitless space into which to expand. It has a flexible and hard-working labour force. Its ultra-low bond yields are a sign that the world’s investors still think it a good long-term bet. The most enterprising individuals on earth still clamour to come to America. And it still has a talented president who can surely do better than he has thus far.

Pakenham artist finds beauty in Bali women

31 Oct 10 @ 07:14am by Lisa Edgerton
Pakenham artist Elina Simbolon is staging an exhibition at Libran Dogma Gallery next month.JANE OLLERENSHAW. N18BL407

ARTIST Elina Simbolon is bringing a touch of Indonesian beauty to Narre Warren North.

The Pakenham mother, 38, will exhibit her oil paintings, many inspired by the beauty and strength of Balinese women, at the Libran Dogma Gallery from November 7.

Although she has considered Australia home since moving here in 2004, her works reveal a lot about her life, especially her memories of her birth country.

“Most of my paintings reflect the woman figure in some way,” Simbolon said.

“I love painting Balinese women because of their inner strength and I find a lot of beauty in the woman figure.

“Many of my friends and family believe I paint the woman figure because I can see myself in her.”

Simbolon’s love of art stemmed from watching her sister, now an illustrator, sketch pictures of women.

“When I was little I used to always look at my sister’s drawings and I was in absolute awe of them,” she said.

“But in Indonesia there weren’t any possibilities for artists so I stopped doing art until I moved here. I felt like I found myself again and I love this country and the amazing opportunities it gives us.”

Celebrating her first solo exhibition, Simbolon will be showcasing 15 of her paintings at the Libran Dogma Gallery & Studio, 62 A’Beckett Rd, Narre Warren North, on Fridays and Sundays from 11am to 4pm or by appointment.

Her exhibition opening will be on Sunday, November 7, at 3pm.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bali has long been one of the world’s most popular honeymoon destinations

Taking the healthy option in Thailand
GO HONEYMOON: After a hectic tour of honeymoon hot spots around the world, DENISE and MARK DUFFIELD-THOMAS – winners of the Ultimate Job in Ireland – chill out in Bali and Thailand

SUNBATHING under palm trees, sipping from cold fresh coconuts and testing hammocks on the beach . . . our life as the honeymoon testers is definitely living up to the promise of the job description. What a way to escape the approaching winter!

After a crazy four months of road trips, airports, a serious Guinness addiction and more than 70 wedding renewals, we needed a change of pace. We’re on our way to breaking the world record for Most Married Couple, but the champagne and wedding cake diet has taken its toll. Not that anyone is going to feel sorry for us, but a serious side effect of this job is our rapidly expanding waistlines and spotty (although admittedly smug) faces.

We desperately craved something to soothe the soul, calm the mind and most importantly, detoxify the liver. It was time to get serious about our health, but we still had honeymoon duties to perform. What to do? Solution Bali!

Bali has long been one of the world’s most popular honeymoon destinations, loved by everyone and suitable for every budget. It has incredible beaches, fresh tropical fruit and exotic spicy food, calming architecture and beautiful, friendly people. It also happens to have some of the best health and wellness resorts in the world.

Lifestyle Retreats, our hosts in Bali, own of three, very different and beautiful resorts which were just what the doctor ordered. Far from being austere or boring, the resorts combine the best of enjoyment and relaxation with an ethos for healthy cuisine, a variety of fun activities and welcome body pampering.

The Amala Wellness Centre in the heart of Bali’s trendy and vibrant Seminyak is an oasis with just 12 private villas, 24-hour butler service and a harmonious appreciation of nature. Our hidden villa had a private pool and sun loungers in our open-air lounge room, and every meal can be delivered in-room without extra charge, which made leaving our sanctuary very difficult.

The combination of luxurious villa appointments and living within nature was breathtaking. A less romantic admission is that I angled the large flat-screen TV so I could watch a trashy gossip show while taking a midnight swim under the stars.

The menu at the Amala is gorgeous – healthy salads and juices (the famous quinoa salad is unbelievable). Combine the faultless cuisine and calm atmosphere with a daily yoga class and we left feeling positively virtuous.

Within five minutes’ walk of the Amala, there are plenty of bars and restaurants as well as the best shopping on Bali, particularly clothes, furniture and artwork. It’s very easy to ship larger items home, but every shop will carefully wrap art pieces for the plane.

We’d love to come back with a giant crate to pick up a beautiful Balinese bed, outdoor furniture or a giant sculpture. Newlyweds could furnish their whole house here in one afternoon.

NEXT WAS A visit to the 700sq km West Bali National Park for a very different perspective of the island, far away from the typical tourist beaches. Combining a native bush retreat, adventure park, honeymoon oasis and beach hideaway, the Menjangan Resort is perfect for nature lovers, families and couples.

If you want complete seclusion, an unspoilt white beach and world class diving then we recommend exploring the secret Menjangan.

The park is home to thousands of unique flora and bird species, as well as wild monkeys and the resort’s stable of beautiful Australian horses. A ride through the park and onto the beach is completely memorable and not to be missed.

Our most unforgettable experience at the Menjangan was kayaking around the bay to a tiny island and watching the sun go down. No honeymoon would be complete without a special Balinese dinner on top of the Bali Tower, one of the tallest buildings on the island with a spectacular view at sunset.

Last but not least in the Lifestyle Retreats family was the truly stunning Balé resort in exclusive area of Nusa Dua, Bali. This impeccably designed and romantic resort is a maze of blinding white walkways, calm water features and chic chill-out restaurants. It’s a rare gem, perfect for the most stylish of honeymoons.

Our stunning villa boasted a luxurious outdoor rainforest shower, steps leading from the bathroom straight into the outdoor pool and our own backyard chill out area. Staff arranged a romantic candle-lit dinner outdoors with fairy lights strung from our own frangipani tree. Once again, we struggled to leave our own special compound.

Luckily, the restaurant was spectacular with a great combination of extremely healthy meals and local seafood. The local beach, just five minutes walk away, was the best we found on Bali, definitely worth leaving your private pool for.

BALI WAS A great start towards relaxation and rejuvenation, but we were ready to take it a step further. How about a seven-day yoga and detox retreat in Thailand? Yes, please!

The Samahita Wellness Retreat on the gorgeous tropical island of Koh Samui was an incredible experience and is recommended for anyone needing a pick-me-up from a busy or stressful lifestyle.

The retreat includes twice daily yoga classes, a simple diet of juices and salads and a customisable detox programme including colonic hydrotherapy and reflexology. There’s nothing like a coffee enema first thing in the morning to wake you up!

Set right on a stunning white sand beach and surrounded by palm trees, the Samahita resort was the perfect haven for relaxation, contemplation and rest. Your diet and wellness therapies are tailored to your health goals and can even be used to treat specific conditions or imbalances.

Our special diet involved cleansing raw salads, detoxifying vegetable juices, nourishing soups and two beautiful fresh coconuts every day.

Rather than just a simple detox programme, we joined a retreat with nine other guests meaning even when our energy levels were low and pre-liver flush trepidation was high, we had a lot of support and laughter.

It was a truly intense experience at times but we were supported by daily seminars and group meetings, and the end result was worth it. We were both thrilled to drop a couple of pounds and my skin has never been softer.

We were lucky to be able to “recover” from our detox and stay on Samui for another week in style at the beautiful Tongsai Bay, the original five-star hotel on the island.

The resort is built within the mountains surrounding the bay, with a fantastic green policy and relaxed luxury. We stayed in the Hideaway Cottage with an incredible wrap-around balcony. With a palm tree jungle behind and glistening ocean horizon in front, we were truly hidden away.

We filled the Jacuzzi with cold water to cool down from the incredible weather when we couldn’t be bothered heading down to the stunning quartz sand of the private bay. We also loved the games room where I kicked Mark’s butt at pool. All good honeymoons require some healthy competition!

Chef Chom’s restaurant serves absolutely beautiful authentic cuisine and the staff really personify the friendliness of the Thai people. Make sure you say hello to Jee for us, the cheerful juice and fruit lady who will scream with delight when you arrive for breakfast every morning. The Tongsai Bay was so welcoming; it was a perfect place to conclude our time on wonderful Koh Samui.

What a life-changing month! We feel light and cleansed on so many levels now. What a difference a healthy lifestyle makes. We also added another five wedding vow renewals to our record attempt and we only need 10 more.

Next up we’re staying at the Paresa Resort in Phuket and then the exclusive Sukhothai in Bangkok. What should we do? Get in touch and give us your tips at and see our full reviews of each place we have stayed.

* Mark and Denise Duffield-Thomas’s trip to Bali was supported by Lifestyle Retreats and China Airways, and organised by honeymoon and destination wedding experts, runawaybrideand

Top stars heading to the Bali Open

England's Miles Tunnicliff and Filipino Juvic Pagunsan will headline the inaugural Bali Open, the final leg of the Asian Development Tour.

The 42-year-year-old Tunnicliff will add a dash of European flavour at the New Kuta Golf Resort situated on the world famous holiday isle from November 3-6 while Pagunsan is no stranger to Indonesian fans as he secured his first Asian Tour victory at the Pertamina Indonesia President Invitational in 2007.

Upcoming Thai Thanyakorn Khrongpha, who won the Kariza Classic in Jakarta last month, will also feature in the Bali Open which will be the final chance for players to finish in the top-three of the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit.

Current leader S. Siva Chandhran of Malaysia is skipping the event as he cannot be caught due to his big lead on the merit list but Chinese Taipei's Hsu Chia-jen and Malaysia's Akmal Tarmizee, second and third respectively, will tee up at New Kuta to protect their positions where the top three will earn Asian Tour cards for 2011.

Korea's T.J. Kim, currently fourth on the list, and fifth-ranked Thanyakorn are in the field next week as they have a chance to finish in the top-three with a strong outing in the Bali Open.

With a top prize of US$10,500 on offer next week, the likes of 12th ranked Takafumi Kawane of Japan can upset the odds if he pulls off a victory but he will need Hsu and Akmal to miss the halfway cut.

Other prominent names who will compete in the Bali Open and have a mathematical chance of breaking into the top-three with a victory include Airil Rizman, one of three Malaysians to taste victory on the Asian Tour with his 2007 Pakistan Open triumph.

Myanmar veteran Zaw Moe, a former winner of the Singapore Open, Australian Richard Moir, England's Nick Redfern, who finished second in last year's King's Cup in Thailand, and Singaporean national amateur player Lam Zhiqun will also feature in the Bali Open.

All eyes will certainly be on Tunnicliff due to his stature in Europe. He achieved his first European Tour victory in 2002 when he completed one of the most heart-warming maiden triumphs in history when he won The Great North Open at the De Vere Slaley Hall.

The victory came only a fortnight after he lost his inspirational mother Pam to cancer. Two days before she died she told him to go and win a tournament for her, so the raw emotion was therefore understandable when he did just that.

Almost exactly two years later, he was again in the winners' enclosure after claiming his second title with victory in the Diageo Championship at Gleneagles. He came close to victory at the Maybank Malaysian Open last year but settled for tied second place.

With one of the best golf swings on the Asian Tour, Pagunsan will certainly be a threat in Bali. This season, he has enjoyed three top-five finishes and could well challenge for the title at New Kuta, which previously hosted the 2009 Indonesian Open on the Asian Tour.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mt. Merapi Volcanic Eruption Information

Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
Date: 27 Oct 2010

GLIDE no. VO-2010-000214-IDN
This bulletin is being issued for information only, and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation. The Indonesian Red Cross, better known as Palang Merah Indonesia (PMI) in the native Bahasa Indonesia language, will, however, accept direct assistance to provide support to the affected population.

One of the most active and well known volcanos in central Indonesia, Mount Merapi, erupted on Monday, 25 October 2010, shooting clouds of smoke and flames into the night sky. On the following day, it erupted again and has since affected many communities surrounding it. To date, official figures report 25 deaths, 14 severely injured and 20 people missing.

Some 2,900 people were evacuated and relocated at five planned camps including Jumoyo sports field, Dompol, Samiran village, Tlogolele village and Gedangan village. PMI has mobilized its staff and emergency response team to the affected areas. Its main activities include the evacuation of affected people and delivering first aid services to the injured. In between the evacuation process, PMI has also distributed masks, sleeping mats, and blankets to the affected people in the camps

Mentawai Tsunami destroys 179 houses

Written by Julie on 29 October 2010

According to West Sumatra Provincial Board for Disaster Mitigation (BPBD) reports showed that 179 houses, 4 schools and 10 bridges were greatly damaged in Mentawai islands because of a tsunami that crashed the areas on Monday.

Reportedly, five worship houses, two resort areas and 8 kilometer roads were also ripped by the wave, the data said.

On Thursday afternoon, along with the data showed that the death toll in Mentawai islands has reached 311, with 379 people missing.

In addition to that, 261 people were seriously injured.

Earlier,a 7.2-magnitude quake shook the floor of the sea near the islands and produced a 3 meter-high wave Monday night.

Top 5 reasons to visit Bali

Published: Thursday, Oct 28, 2010, 12:40 IST
By Prachi Kadam | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Fashion designer Mandira Wirk shares why her beach-side experience to this island destination made for a memorable time.

No boredom: I was in Bali for a couple of days and I could definitely see why people sometimes just don’t leave it. It is the type of place where you can honestly spend weeks and still have things to do and never be bored.

Surf, surf, surf: One of the first things I did when I got there was to scout around looking for a surf school. I was able to stand up after only a few tries and today I started catching some bigger waves and maneuvering a bit more.

Shopping: Besides the water fun, I did many fun things like shopping at flea markets. Bali has an awesome variety to offer. Silver jewellery, sarongs and other such things are value buys.

Food: Munching on some mouth-watering delicacies was also a major indulgence for me and I had a great time doing so here.
Meeting folks: The nightlife here is rocking. It is as anybody would want — wild and filled with fun and frolic. I was just sitting on the beach, and some teenagers just came up to me and started taking so many pictures! There was a rotation going on of people and cameras, it was hilarious!

Li Na, Ivanovic lead Bali field

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 10/26/2010 10:07 AM | Sports
A | A | A |

Chinese tennis icon Li Na and Ana Ivanovic of Serbia are among the eight world-class athletes set to play in Bali next week at the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions, the organizer’s final player-list release stated on Monday.

Ivanovic became eligible to play in Bali after her October triumph at the Generali Ladies in Linz, while Li secured her ticket after winning the AEGON Classic in Birmingham in July.

The line up also includes Aravane Rezai of France, who won the Collector Swedish Women’s Open in Bastad in July, Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium, who was the ASB Auckland Classic champion in January, Alisa Kleybanova of Russia, who won the Golden Horses Health Sanctuary Malaysian Open in February, and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, the winner of the Monterrey Open in March.

The two wild cards are 40-year-old Japanese tennis veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm and Daniela Hantuchova. Date-Krumm earned the distinction as the oldest finalist when she played a marathon three-hour final at the HP Women’s in Japan two weeks ago.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Tourism Figures Show That the Number of Australians Travelling to Bali is Increasing

SFGate October 26, 2010 04:00 AM Copyright SFGate. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(PRWeb UK) October 26, 2010

Recent figures released by the Bali provincial statistics office showed that Australia was the biggest source of foreign tourists visiting the island in the first half of the year. According to Ida Komang Wisnu, the head of the Provincial Statistics Office, a total of 399,988 Australian nationals visited Bali in the months leading up to August 2010. The figure is said to be due to the number of readily available cheap flights to Bali

Darin Walters, MD of Australian travel experts Jetabroad, says: "These figures show a growing trend in Australian tourists choosing Bali as their holiday destination. But what's really interesting about this information is the discovery that most of the Australian tourists who travelled to Bali this year got there by a direct flight, while by comparison, only 8,407 holidaymakers chose to arrive by cruise ship."

The figures revealed that Australian tourists made up 23.83% of the overall tourist arrivals in Bali in the first eight months of this year, accounting for 1,678,170 tourists overall. While this number is impressive, it also represents a 9.11% increase in visitors to the island compared to the same period of time in 2009.

Walters continues: "People in the travel industry have noted that the demand for holidays and cheap flights to Bali has steadily risen over the past year, and these statistics prove this to be the case. Bali holidays offer so much for tourists, whether they want to relax and unwind or indulge, so it's no surprise that more Australians are choosing to holiday there."

Jetabroad is a Sydney-based, global online flight specialist and travel agency. The best flight options are just a click away with the ability to search, combine and ticket over 450 of the world's commercial airlines. Jetabroad's unique flight search technology allows for bookings in multiple currencies from anywhere, to anywhere else in the world. All inclusive pricing is displayed upfront in Jetabroad's flight results - no extra charges or credit card fees are added at the end of the booking process when completing your online payment.

Based in Chatswood in Sydney's northern suburbs Jetabroad is led by a executive team with extensive international experience in both offline and Internet-based travel and consumer marketing. Supported by a highly skilled team of online professionals and travel consultants they offer an exceptional customer experience at a competitive price.


For the original version on PRWeb visit:

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

DJ Indonesia Parliament Approves 2011 Budget, Sets Wider Deficit

JAKARTA (Dow Jones)--Indonesia's parliament Tuesday approved the 2011 state budget, allowing for a wider deficit than earlier proposed to help support a higher economic growth target.
The parliament approved a budget deficit of 1.8% of 2011 gross domestic product, or IDR124.7 trillion, wider than the initial proposal of 1.7% of GDP and compares with an estimated deficit this year of 1.5% of GDP.
Parliament also set an economic growth target of 6.4% next year, higher than the government-proposed 6.3% target. It expects the dollar to average IDR9,250 next year, against an initial projection of IDR9,300.
It set next year's fuel subsidy at IDR95.9 trillion, compared with IDR88.8 trillion this year, while cutting electricity subsidies to IDR40.7 trillion, from IDR55.1 trillion this year.
-By Joko Hariyanto, contributing to Dow Jones Newswires; 62 21 39831277;
Click here to go to Dow Jones NewsPlus, a web front page of today's most important business and market news, analysis and commentary: You can use this link on the day this article is published and the following day.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 26, 2010 03:42 ET

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rezai Set to Defend Bali Title

Sandy Pramuji | October 25, 2010
Daniela Hantuchova received a wild-card entry into the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in Bali on Nov. 4-7. Eight of the top women’s players will see action in the WTA’s season-ending event.  (AP Photo) Daniela Hantuchova received a wild-card entry into the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in Bali on Nov. 4-7. Eight of the top women’s players will see action in the WTA’s season-ending event.  (AP Photo)

Be the first to write your opinion!

Jakarta. Aravane Rezai will return to Bali to defend her title at the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions, organizers confirmed on Monday.

Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia and Japan’s Kimiko Date- Krumm were given the two wild cards in the event to be played at the Bali International Convention Center, Nusa Dua, on Nov. 4-7.

The tournament features the top women’s players who won at least one title on the WTA tour this year, and are not competing in the WTA Championships in Doha this week.

Li Na of China, the world No. 11, is the Bali tournament’s top seed. She earned a berth after winning the Aegon Classic in England in July.

The other players scheduled to appear at the $600,000 event are former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium, and Russians Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Alisa Kleybanova.

Rezai won the inaugural tournament last year after her opponent, Marion Bartoli, withdrew with a thigh injury in the final. The French-born player booked a ticket to Bali after winning the Swedish Open in Bastad in July.

Wickmayer qualified for the Tournament of Champions after clinching the ASB Classic title in Auckland in January.

The Belgian hopes to make up for a controversial appearance last year when she withdrew from the competition following a dispute back home over anti-doping procedures.

But the biggest draw in Bali will be Ivanovic, who earned a spot in the tournament after winning the Generali Ladies title in Linz, Austria, last week. The Serb defeated Patty Schnyder 6-1, 6-2 for her first WTA title in two years and ninth overall.

Prior to her victory, the 22-year-old Serbian’s last title was at the same event in Austria in 2008. That same year she won the French Open and was the top-ranked player in the world for 12 weeks.

Ivanovic has played once before in Bali, at the Wismilak Tournament in 2006.

Forty-year-old Date-Krumm has had a recent impressive run of form.

She nearly became the oldest singles champion in WTA history when she reached the final of the Japan Open in Osaka last week.

She eventually lost in three tough sets to Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand.

Hantuchova will compete in Indonesia for the first time since 2008.

She also took part in the Generali Ladies but lost to Schnyder in an earlier round.

Maria Sharapova had been invited to Bali, but the Russian informed organizers that she was pulling out of the tournament to take a break from the court.

Sharapova, one of the most recognizable athletes in the world, had qualified for the Bali event by winning the Cellular South Cup in Memphis in February.

“Maria said she has had a difficult year coming back from injury and has decided to rest and try to recover with a view of being ready for the 2011 season,” Kevin Livesey, the director of the Bali Tournament of Champions, said in a statement.

JCI at Record Close, Rupiah at 40-Month High After G-20 Meeting

October 25, 2010
After two weeks of consolidation, the Jakarta Composite Index jumped 45.75 points, or 1.3 percent, to close at 3,643.49. (Antara Photo) After two weeks of consolidation, the Jakarta Composite Index jumped 45.75 points, or 1.3 percent, to close at 3,643.49. (Antara Photo)

Jakarta. Indonesia’s benchmark stock index closed at a record high on Monday, and the rupiah hits its strongest level in more than three years, following the Group of 20 meeting in South Korea.

After two weeks of consolidation, the Jakarta Composite Index jumped 45.75 points, or 1.3 percent, to close at 3,643.49. About 5.9 billion shares worth Rp 5.1 trillion ($571.6 million) changed hands. Gainers outnumbered decliners 135 to 78.

Fauzi Ichsan, of Standard Chartered Bank, said investors were encouraged by the efforts of G-20 members to avoid a currency and trade war.

He said the JCI was projected to reach 3,800 by the end of the year, and perhaps climb to 4,500 next year.

Meanwhile, the rupiah traded at 8,896 versus the US dollar as of Monday night, its strongest level since June 2007, on optimism that Bank Indonesia will tolerate further appreciation after the G-20 members pledged to avoid weakening their currencies to support growth.

The currency has gained 5.2 percent this year.

Member countries of the G-20, including Indonesia, agreed to refrain from “competitive devaluation” and let markets set foreign-exchange values at a weekend meeting in Seoul.

“The rupiah gained as a result of the G-20 outcome,” said Enrico Tanuwidjaja, an economist at OSK-DMG Group in Singapore.

“That suggests this currency war concern should not be over-emphasized and competitive devaluation will not be desirable.”

On the stock exchange, Astra Agro Lestari, Indonesia’s biggest plantation stock, rose 6.2 percent to Rp 25,800.

It was its highest close since July 2008, as palm oil for January advanced to the highest level in 27 months, rising 2.5 percent to 3,079 ringgit ($996) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange.

Bakrie Sumatera Plantations rose 2.5 percent.

Thomas Arifin, treasury director of Bank Mandiri, said the company had agreed to take over the Domba Mas Group’s debt owed to Bank Mandiri.

Bank Danamon Indonesia, owned by Singapore Temasek Holdings and Deutsche Bank, advanced 6.4 percent to Rp 6,700, the highest since November 2007.

Danamon was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” by UBS’s Joshua Tanja, who cited stronger-than-expected loan growth.

Petrosea, an engineering construction and mining services company, rose 3.8 percent to Rp 41,500.

The company said it would provide mining services to Kideco Jaya Agung under a five-year contract worth $200 million. 

Bloomberg & JG

Fears of Worsening Floods as Rain Cripples Jakarta

Editors Note:

I think I've discovered what hell must be like it's very similar to driving from the Jakarta international Airport to my hotel last night for four hours with gridlock traffic the whole way on the freeway as a result of the worst floods in history.

Thank God I was in a Silver Bird Mercedes which had live television feed in the back otherwise I would've went as nuts as my driver who at one point I thought it was a walk out of the door and never come back.

Jakarta government. You must do something about this ongoing problem or Jakarta will be another Angkor and deserted by its citizens in the future.

Ulma Haryanto | October 26, 2010
Motorists stranded on a flooded Jalan Thamrin in Central Jakarta. Inundated streets citywide caused huge delays as a rainstorm hit at the commute hour. (JG Photo/Yudhi Sukma Wijaya) Motorists stranded on a flooded Jalan Thamrin in Central Jakarta. Inundated streets citywide caused huge delays as a rainstorm hit at the commute hour. (JG Photo/Yudhi Sukma Wijaya)

6:55am Oct 26, 2010

Why dwell upon such piffling infrastructure issues when we can all celebrate the imprisonment of popstars & magazine editors?

6:19am Oct 26, 2010


And Greenpeace is banned from entering Indonesian waters to protect the activities of companies like Sinar Mas.

Ron Luke
3:59am Oct 26, 2010

Jakartans, are you happy to live like this? Start fixing the PROBLEMS now.

1. fire the governor and choose the better one

2. throw garbage into trash

3. urge regional government to build qualified water system and qualified-MRT for the residents soon

4. use public transportation and behave as smart people

3:37am Oct 26, 2010

Stop the MPR / DPR disappearing on overseas trips and spend some money on the drainage system!!

Jakarta. In what is becoming an increasingly nightmarish routine, Jakarta was once again crippled as a torrential rainstorm pounded the city on Monday afternoon.

Jakarta’s traffic management center and crisis center Web sites reported that up to 50 centimeters of water had inundated several parts of main traffic arteries, including Jalan Sudirman, Gatot Subroto and Kemang Raya in South Jakarta, and Jalan Wahid Hasyim and MH Thamrin in Central Jakarta.

The deepest flood reported as of press time was in front of the Pondok Pinang complex of Dutch telecom KPN, which was under two meters of water.

The Mintoharjo Navy Hospital in Bendungan Hilir was under a meter of water, while parts of Kapuk Muara subdistrict in North Jakarta reported water reaching up to 80 centimeters.

The traffic management center’s Web site reported the three-in-one rule had been lifted due to the heavy traffic.

Inundated roads in Warung Buncit also paralyzed the TransJakarta busway route between Ragunan and Mampang. Traffic on Jalan Rasuna Said was at a standstill, with commuters reporting that cars did not move for more than two hours.

Many people opted to walk, sloshing through the water next to the gridlock of traffic and paralyzed busway routes.

“I usually take public transportation such as buses or the busway, but none of them are available right now,” said one commuter, Dinto Pramudyo.

It took Deni Ferdian four hours to get home to Depok from his office in Mampang, normally a 45-minute trip.

“My parents, who both work in Slipi, left for their home in Kelapa Gading at 5 p.m. and they’re not there yet,” Angela Beata Yachya said at 10 p.m.

The Jakarta crisis management center reported that the surge against the floodgates in Karet, South Jakarta, had reached the critical level of 630 centimeters at the peak of the storm, with other flood channels at or near capacity citywide.

Trains from Tanah Abang in Central Jakarta to Serpong were delayed for four hours after water from the West Flood Canal inundated several sections of track as well as stations in Palmerah, Kebayoran and Pondok Ranji.

“Water started to flood in at 4:10 p.m. We have notified all the passengers at our stations and suggested they try to take alternative means of transport,” said Mateta Rizalulhaq, the Jakarta region spokesman for state-owned rail operator Kereta Api.

However, many opted to wait, discouraged by the traffic outside, he said.

Ade Pudjiati, who operates a learning center at her home in Pancoran, South Jakarta, said her house was flooded, ankle deep, for the first time in 46 years.

Ery Basworo, who heads the Jakarta Public Works Office, said work was still ongoing at several main drainage systems. “But since it’s the rainy season I think it’s going to be delayed,” he said.

Yayat Supriatna, an urban planning expert from Trisakti University, said Monday’s floods were worse than the normal annual floods.

“The annual floods happen at regular places, so people can take precautions, but this one happened at main roads and took everyone by surprise, effectively paralyzing the city,” he said.

“Officials time and time again blame this on the rain, and act like there is nothing they can do, which is very fatalistic,” he said.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pricey Indonesian Tax for Overseas Travel to Expire Next Year

Dion Bisara & Ririn Radiawati Kusuma | October 24, 2010

Jakarta. The “fiscal” tax charged to Indonesian citizens traveling overseas will be a thing of the past next year after the policy expires on Dec. 31, a spokesman from the directorate general of taxation said on Sunday.

The tax, which was increased in 2009, was an attempt by the government to boost revenue by charging non-taxpaying citizens a fee for leaving the country.

Before 2009, all overseas travelers were compelled to pay the tax, known as a fiscal, of Rp 1 million ($112) before proceeding to their boarding gate.

Following a tax law that became effective Jan. 1, 2009, tax card holders were exempted from that fee, while those without a tax card had to pay a fiscal of Rp 2.5 million.

“Fiscal exemption would [now] apply to everyone at the airport,” said Iqbal Alamsyah, director of outreach and public relations at the directorate.

The provision, which was aimed at persuading more people to register on the tax rolls, has been hailed as a success.

The number of registered taxpayers increased by more than 5.23 million in 2009 to 15.9 million — the fastest annual growth recorded, data from the tax office showed.

But the airport tax provision is only valid until Dec. 31, and beginning in the new year, the government will cease collecting fees from travelers whether they are card-carrying taxpayers or not.

According to Iqbal, the abrupt ending of the fiscal policy will result in a loss of some Rp 39.57 billion in tax revenue next year.

“It’s roughly what we would lose next year,” Iqbal said.

But not all agree that ending the policy means less tax revenue for the government.

Tax analyst Darusalam said that if the government didn’t accrue revenue through taxes, it would get it through other means.

“In theory, a fiscal tax is an upfront payment of one’s income tax, so in the end the government will get their share,” Darusalam said.

Still, he acknowledged that the fiscal tax policy had been an effective tool in swelling the number of registered taxpayers.

“That was a good incentive, attracting more taxpayers, which in turn increased revenue,” he said.

“But from now on, the tax office is going to have to work harder to promote tax compliance. It may also impose more rigorous checking of individual tax reports to ensure that nothing escapes from the government.”

Mount Merapi’s Swelling Signals Huge Eruption, Scientists Warn

Candra Malik | October 24, 2010
Buried under ash fall in 2006 after Mount Merapi erupted, this bunker was previously used to observe volcanic activity. (JG Photo/Boy T Harjanto) Buried under ash fall in 2006 after Mount Merapi erupted, this bunker was previously used to observe volcanic activity. (JG Photo/Boy T Harjanto)

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Yogyakarta. Lava from Mount Merapi in Central Java began flowing down the Gendol River over the weekend, signaling an eruption could be imminent, a geologist said on Sunday.

The volcano, one of the world’s most active, last erupted in June 2006 shortly after the Yogyakarta earthquake, when a pyroclastic flow, or a fast-moving cloud of superheated gas, ran down its slopes and killed two people.

But Surono, head of the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency (PVMBG), said the distension of the mountain’s slopes was much more rapid this time around, indicating a higher-pressure build-up of gas and hence a much more explosive eruption.

“We believe Merapi will erupt explosively, as it did in 1930, and not just spew gas like in 2006,” he said.

“However, that scenario is only a guess. No one really knows when Merapi will erupt and how much volcanic material it will spew out.”

The eruption in 1930 wiped out 13 villages on the slopes of the mountain, killing around 1,400 people.

The alert status for Merapi is currently “standby,” just one level below the alert for an eruption.

Sri Sumarti, the Merapi section head at the Volcano Investigation and Technology Development Institution (BPPTK), said thick clouds and mist over the weekend had prevented her team from measuring the mountain’s distension.

On Thursday, the volcanic cone was observed to be expanding by 8.5 centimeters a day, while on Friday the rate had picked up to 16.4 centimeters a day.

“We’ve also seen a dramatic increase in the number of multiphase volcanic earthquakes, from 321 on Friday to 525 on Saturday,” Sumarti said, referring to the tremors from volcanic activity.

“Lava spurts have also increased, from 93 on Friday to 183 on Saturday. We’re now on standby mode around the clock.”

She said there were two types of eruption, the first a Pelean eruption that has a pyroclastic flow with lava streams.

The second is a Plinian or Vesuvian eruption, which is far more explosive, throwing ash and rock more than 25 kilometers into the atmosphere, but does not always have a pyroclastic flow.

“Whichever we get, we must prepare for the worst,” she said.

Djarot Nugroho, head of the Central Java Regional Disaster Management Board, said about 53,600 people in the districts of Magelang, Boyolali, Klaten and Sleman were at risk and would have to be evacuated.

He added that 22 temporary shelters had been set up.

Hadi Prabowo, the Central Java provincial secretary, said Rp 25 billion ($2.8 million) had been allocated to respond to an eruption.

“We’re working with the police and the military, and we’re ready to face the threat from Merapi, which is quite frequent,” he said.

“We hope residents are ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice, to minimize casualties.”

Yogyakarta’s governor, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, said there was no evacuation order yet.

“We’re going to see the latest developments with the volcanic activity before issuing an evacuation order,” he said.

“The mountain never really fully erupts, it just kind of melts. I hope Mount Merapi doesn’t erupt this time. But we’ll still prepare evacuation plans for residents.”

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Singapore Architectural Wonders

I am writing this newsletter in my hotel room on the 39th. floor of the spectacular, brand new Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore.
It is by far the most beautiful hotel I have ever stayed in my 50 years of traveling and thousands of hotel stays.
The Marina Bay Sands is an integrated resort fronting Marina Bay in Singapore. Developed by Las Vegas Sands, it is billed as the world's most expensive standalone casino property at S$8 billion, including cost of the prime land.
With the casino complete, the resort features a 2,560-room hotel, a 120,000 convention-exhibition centre, The Shoppers mall, an Art & Science museum, two Sands Theatres, six "celebrity chef" restaurants, two floating pavilions, a casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines.
The complex is topped by a 340m-long SkyPark with a capacity of 3,900 people and a 150m infinity swimming pool, set on top of the world's largest public cantilevered platform, which overhangs the north tower by 67m.
Unfortunately the view which is magnificent is currently tarnished by a thick seasonal haze which is coming from slash and burn fires in neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia.
The rooftop swimming pool at the sands leads me admire the genius of the Architect Moshe Safdie Architects. The local architect of record was Aedas Singapore, and engineering was provided by Arup and Parsons Brinkerhoff (MEP).
The lobby is like a city within a city and walking along the corridors is like walking on a major Singapore mall.
I have not had a chance to sample the food downstairs this trip but the room service was exquisite and on time at a reasonable price (for Singapore).
Marina Bay Sands features three 55-storey hotel towers which were topped out in July 2009. The three towers are connected by a 1 hectare sky terrace on the roof, named Sands SkyPark.In front of the three towers include a Theatre Block, a Convention and Exhibition Facilities Block, as well as the Casino Block, which have up to 1000 gaming tables and 1400 slot machines. The Art-Science Museum is constructed next to the three blocks and has the shape of a lotus. Its roof will be retractable, providing a waterfall through the roof of collected rainwater when closed in the day and with laser shows when opened at night. The Art-Science Museum opens in December 2010.

The SkyPark is home to the world's longest elevated swimming pool, with a 146-metre (478-foot) vanishing edge, perched 191 meters above the ground. The pools are made up of 422,000 pounds of stainless steel and can hold 376,500 gallons (1424 cubic meters) of water. The SkyPark also boasts rooftop restaurants, nightclubs, gardens hundreds of trees and plants and a public observatory with 360-degree views of the Singapore skyline.
Hats off to the President & CEO Thomas Arasi for taking on what must have been one of the most difficult hotel operations in the world and making it the success it is today. 
One of the major changes in Singapore over the years has been a dramatic rise in prices and one reason is the Singapore dollar (which I am very bullish on) has been rising dramatically.
I had a talk with some major international bankers the other day and asked them “are you receiving a lot of the money that is coming out of Switzerland since many who put their money into Switzerland don't feel safe keeping their money there anymore. Especially Americans".
Their answer was a definite yes.
I then I asked "what's the money going into?" Are they keeping it in foreign currencies or are they putting it into Singapore valued assets. They answered mostly Sing. dollar denominated assets .
Although the Singapore government has been very successful in controlling the value of the Singapore dollar I see it as a near impossible task to prevent the Singapore dollar from rising dramatically in the near future as much as the Australian and Canadian dollars (which I recommended heavily the last two years) have also done.
Singapore has certainly changed a lot over the last 14 years since I've been coming here. The architectural marvels are eye boggling. I've never seen more building cranes in one place my life before.

While sipping a cocktail at Ku De Ta last night with a friend of mine who has lived here for probably close to 20 years and is a major mover and shaker he agreed with me that Singapore real estate prices are probably way over priced in comparison to the rentals you can receive.
Much like Sydney which I visited two weeks ago there may be a bubble developing here in the very near future.
When the bubble bursts there will be huge decreases as has had happened many times in the past in Singapore.
 While driving around a Singapore taxi cab driver discovered that I was from Bali and started asking questions about what it's like to live in Bali?
When I told him about the cost of living especially that he doesn't have to pay $40,000 just for the right to drive a car he became interested  in retiring there. Retiring  Singaporeans may be one of the biggest movers in real estate in Bali in the future as they, along with the rest the world reach the retirement age next year when 25% of the population, the baby boomers reach 65 for the first time. It would make good sense for Singaporeans, especially those on limited incomes, to move to Bali and live on a retirement visa.
They will have no problem having their friends and relatives fly two  hours on low cost airlines like Air Asia for as little as $70 and come visit them.
Everything has become much more expensive here in Singapore and prices are similar to Sydney last week with an average breakfast costing S $30 and a nice dinner costs S $70 or S $80 which is about 200 % more expensive than Bali.
 It's been an exhausting two weeks for me having spent one week in Sydney with over 500 travel industry leaders at the annual Skal club convention and then the following week last week in Lombok with our rentals manager Yanthi who did an extremely good job meeting with over 40 pre-set appointments with travel agents from around the world.
She mentioned one interesting comment was that several times mainland Chinese travel agents, when passing our booth stopped and recognized our brand name which has become very popular with Chinese travel agents.
This week I spent three days at the Sun Tech convention Center at the International Travel Bourse where again there were several hundred travel agents from around the world especially throughout Asia who attended the event. I picked up some very powerful contacts with some largest travel agents in Europe, Middle East and Asia.
It's been a great month so far for those in the markets especially the investments I recommended at the beginning of the year such as Palladium which is up 40 % and gold which is up 21%. Even the investments I thought I may have made a mistake on mid-year are now turning very bullish such as wheat which has risen 21 % in just the last few months.
Currently the G. 20 nations are meeting and discussing what they should do with the currencies specially with China who many believe is artificially controlling their currency.
At the end of the trading day on Friday it was obvious that most likely nothing will come out of this meeting and that currencies will continue on their trends with most foreign currencies rising against the U.S.D.
After all there's nothing wrong with the Chinese currency rising because it will make imported food and minerals less expensive to their people at a time when one of their biggest fears is higher inflation.
Another item my friend and I agreed on while having cocktails last night was most likely that the huge increases, especially the last 12 months in  basic metals such as copper, iron ore and precious metals plus the huge increases recently in wheat, corn, soybeans and rice will eventually funnel down to consumers and we may see huge rises in consumer prices in the new year.
This will lead many countries to raise interest rates, such as Australia which may be the stimulus that kills their real estate market. Even in Singapore you can still borrow money at those 2%. If they are forced to raise interest rates to curtail inflation it may kill their real estate market here as well.
Fortunately Bali is immune to that because 95% of all investments in real estate in Bali are done with cash with literally no or little financing for foreigners so it doesn't matter what happens to interest rates.
Tomorrow I’m off to Jakarta to attend another travel show again with our rental manager and am also running two investment seminars there where I will talk about my predictions for the balance of this year and 2011 for most major markets.
I will especially talk about Bali real estate and the great opportunities.
By the way Bali real estate is very hot I was only my office for one day in the last few weeks and concluded two sales contracts.
The bottom line is life is good if you're in the right markets at the right time.
 I highly recommend you attend my seminars and you too can perhaps discover what to do with your money in this world of low extremely low interest rates at banks.

The Dollar sat tight on early trade on Friday as the G20 meeting commenced

The Dollar sat tight on early trade on Friday as the G20 meeting commenced, as investors doubt will yield much progress on the problematical issue of currency depreciations. The Dollar appeared weaker though, after the U.S Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner commented on what G20 finance officials can do to fix economic imbalances and currency devaluations. Geithner stated that G20 nations should not weaken or prevent appreciation of undervalued currencies and that emerging economies with undervalued currency and solid reserves must adjust their currency value with fundamentals. Euro climbed after the comments, touching an intra-day high of 1.3971 from 1.3925 versus the dollar.

Dollar versus the Yen slipped to 81.09, still holding above its latest 15-year low of 80.84 yen set this week and keeping away from its record post-war low of 79.75 set in 1995. The market is unsure about what Japan’s tactics are on the currency and how afraid it should be. But clearly investors are not comfortable with putting fresh short positions from here.

The forex trading prices of the Australian Dollar rose against a weaker U.S dollar on Friday as G20 finance ministers met. The Aussie climbed to a high of 0.9839 from 0.9783 versus the dollar, after Tim Geithner said to the G20 finance chiefs that nations should neither try to weaken their currencies or stand in the way of gains. The rise of the Aussie was also helped by Friday’s data that showed a surprisingly strong 7.8 percent rise in export prices in the third quarter, even though buoyant trade emphasized on inflationary risks and argued for higher interest rates in the following months.

Gold bounces on Friday, after hitting a two-week low on Thursday as a drop in U.S initial jobless claims and a stalled euro rally spurred selling. Gold was about 4 percent below a lifetime high around 1,387 an ounce hit last week, losing its appeal as a safe investment as the dollar regained strength despite anticipation of further U.S monetary easing.

Your Scene: Monkey business in Bali

Harvey Jordan of Toluca Lake took this shot of macaque monkeys last year while visiting Indonesia. "Bali visitors are almost required to venture into the Monkey Forest to feed the monkeys," Jordan says of his visit to the site on the edge of Ubud. "On this trip, there were many newborns." He used a Canon FE-220.

Harney Jordan /,0,

Harvey Jordan of Toluca Lake took this shot of macaque monkeys last year while visiting Indonesia. "Bali visitors are almost required to venture into the Monkey Forest to feed the monkeys," Jordan says of his visit to the site on the edge of Ubud. "On this trip, there were many newborns." He used a Canon FE-220.

Bali to be free from plastic waste by 2013

Denpasar, Indonesia, October 21 - Bali`s provincial government has set to make the tourist destination are free from plastic waste in 2013, Anak Agung Gede Alit Satrawan said here Wednesday.

“The plastic garbage which contaminating environment is expected to be sorted and processed, so it could contribute local income for the people,” the Head of Environmental Board (BLH) Bali said here Wednesday.

He said the plastic waste is predicted for 10 to 15 percent from whole garbage produced by local people, markets and industrial businesses in Bali.

“Production of the garbage in Bali which is noted in Final Shelter (TPA) is 5.049 meter square per day,” Alit said.

Alit added 750 meter square of the product is coming from the plastic one.

The rubbish, after sorted and processed, will give additional values for the local people, as well as accelerate in fulfilling people`s rights to get better and healthy environment.

The effort is in line with the declaration of Bali Green Province launched by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the end of last February in Nusa Dua, Bali.

“Therefore, we are incessant in campaigning Bali plastic free. It has been being our shared commitment from both the government and stakeholders in realizing Bali clean, healthy, green and sustainable,” Alit added.

He mentioned Bali province government will soon make regional regulations draft (Ranperda) on garbage processing system which involving prevention and control of plastic waste in the God Island.

The draft which will be discussed by The Provincial Legislative Assembly is supposed to be accomplished immediately and can be applied in 2011. In the draft, several points about plastic waste reduction will be ruled.

Every business activity which is producing plastic garbage, its owner is obliged to handle individual control on the plastic waste produced, including providing fund to deal with sanction if the owner violates.

“While we are waiting for realization of the draft, the local government has campaigned in front of all local people, in shopping centers, traditional markets and shops, to reduce the use of plastic bags and the like,” Alit said.

Two Eateries Put Bali on the Map in Foodie Stakes

Lisa Siregar | October 20, 2010 Jakarta Globe

Jakarta. Two Indonesian establishments have scored coveted spots on the annual Miele Guide’s Top 20 Restaurants in Asia.

Mozaic came in at No. 6, while Ku De Ta followed down the list at No. 18.

Mozaic’s general manager, Nicola Scaramuzzino, said it was the third time the restaurant had made it on the list.

She said securing a spot again was a big deal as it proved they were maintaining standards.

“This is the result of so much work from every section – the kitchen, the bar. It is all about keeping our standards,” Scaramuzzino said.

The Miele Guide is a respected arbiter of Asian culinary excellence. The top 20 list is decided after four rounds of voting by a panel of food and wine critics, as well as a public poll and a vote by Miele’s contributing editors.

This year the list was dominated by six Hong Kong and four Singapore restaurants, with a growing number of entries coming from Taiwan and Korea.

Voters and the jury judge restaurants based on the quality of the food, ambience and service.

The Miele Guide has its own shortlist panel, whose responsibility is to create a shortlist of restaurants which later will be voted through a public poll.

Members of the panel this year included food writers and restaurant critics from countries including Laos, Myanmar and Nepal.

Five Indonesia-based foodies participated in the panel: James Watling, Jason Tedjasukmana, Laksmi Pamuntjak, Petty Elliott and Sophie Digby.

The top 20 restaurants in Asia for 2010/2011 are – Iggy’s (Singapore), L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (Hong Kong), Robuchon a Galera (Macau), Jaan (Singapore), Antonio’s (Cavite, Philippines), Mozaic (Bali), Cilantro, (Malaysia), L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo), Caprice (Hong Kong), Les Amis (Singapore), Yung Kee (Singapore), Yung Kee (Hong Kong), Gunther’s Modern French Cuisine (Singapore), Bukhara (New Delhi), Tippling Club (Singapore), Nobu (Hong Kong), Dum Pukht (Mumbai), Ku De Ta (Bali), Bo Innovation (Hong Kong) and Beijing Da Dong Roast Duck Restaurant (Beijing).

This year, the Miele Guide recognizes four newcomers. They are Malaysia’s decade-old Cilantro, India’s Dum Pukht, Singapore’s gastro bar Tippling Club, and Hong Kong’s Bo Innovation.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bali, Ethiopia students have benefactors in Boynton

By Samantha Frank

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
What started as a yoga retreat in Bali, Indonesia for Boynton Beach High School teacher Geri Grocki has turned into a program in which about 75 students are helping children overseas.

Grocki, who teaches health and leadership classes at Boynton High, saw firsthand the struggles that children in Bali are going through to get an education during her yoga retreat five years ago. Families there have to pay to send their kids to school, and education is only mandatory through the ninth grade, she said, at which time many students opt to leave school and instead work in the rice fields to help support their families.

"I thought to myself, 'If we could take the burden off them, maybe that could break the cycle of poverty,'" Grocki said.

She and Linda Lake, a Delray Beach-based Realtor who also went on the yoga retreat, started Education Rocks, a program that pairs up students at Boynton High with students in Bali and Ethiopia who are struggling to pay for their education.

Grocki said that the program is as much about helping students overseas as it is about teaching her students leadership skills.

"They're learning about commitment and responsibility," she said.

Students signed a "promise statement" at the beginning of the school year saying that each one is committed to raising $365, which is the cost to send one child to school in Bali or Ethiopia. They plan to send letters back and forth with their students, and Grocki also is trying to set up a Skype video chat with them.

Grocki partnered with the nonprofit Bali Children's Project to find needy students in Bali, and Teibe Mesfin, a Palm Beach State College student who moved to the U.S. from Ethiopia four years ago, found the students from Ethiopia.

Mesfin, 22, knows how difficult it is for those students to get an education. If it wasn't for a family from the U.S. that chose to pay for her education in Ethiopia and recently adopted her, she said that she would probably be on the street.

"Without education, there is no hope," she said. "Life is just about survival."

In Grocki's classroom, the Boynton High students have their photos displayed on large poster boards next to the photos of each student they are sponsoring overseas.

Seeing the photos of the students they are sponsoring had a profound effect on the Boynton High students.

"It made it real," said Herold Altidor Jr., an 18-year-old senior. "You can see the pain in their eyes."

For Caprisha Hendrix, also an 18-year-old senior, hearing about her student overseas put things into perspective.

"We really take education for granted," she said. "When I wake up, I want to stay in bed, but they wake up at the crack of dawn ready to go to school."

Lake, who often comes to Boynton High to work with Grocki and the students, said that it's amazing to see what the program has given students already.

"It bridges nations," she said.

She and Grocki hope to expand the program to other schools in the Palm Beach County School District and eventually take it nationwide.

Not to be Missed, in Bali

Not to be Missed, in Bali
By Robert Tobin
October 21, 2010

When you hear the same name over and over, you know it’s a place you have to go. In New York it’s Broadway, in Tokyo it’s Tsukiji market to see the tuna auction. In Bali, all of the artists I met told me I had to go to the Tony Raka Gallery in Ubud. Once I got there, I understood why.

The gallery at Jl. Raya Mas No. 86 Mas in Ubud is huge. Imagine an art gallery the same size as the large automobile showrooms found in North America. It must be more than 600 metres long, with high ceilings and show windows that look out onto the street. But it’s not the size of the place that's most impressive—it’s the art. Ida Agus Putu Purwa, whom I wrote about last week, had a one-man show there, as have many of the top names in Indonesian art. If you want to see what's going on in Indonesian art, this is the place to go.

On the day that I visited, there were three one-man shows going on at the same time. (This can only happen in a huge space.) I saw works by I Made Arya Palguna, Peter Dittmar and Stefan Buana—who was my favourite. Buana is from Yogyakarta, has shown throughout Indonesia, Singapore and this past year had a show in New York City. My first thought when I saw his work was ‘this guy can do everything.’

In his show, there were portraits of people, abstract works and paintings of animals. It’s very rare to see someone who does such a variety of works simultaneously. Usually, artists have periods where they paint abstract or figurative and then change to other styles. The texture of Buana’s works is impressive. All of the works were on canvas, but these were works with raised shapes, ridges and scratches.

Stefan Buana

They are all in a muted palate that draws you in. The colours are subtle but the works can't be passed over. They are like a lion stalking in the grass—pass over them at your own peril. These are works you need to get up close to fully see and appreciate.

In the brochure that accompanied the show, I saw a photo of the artist at work, stapling on the canvas in order to create the ridge effects. Several of his works reminded me of the Indonesian artist Yunizar, whose works we had in our gallery and who is now a star in contemporary Indonesian art. But when I looked at the show’s price list, I saw one big difference—the works of Stefan Buana are still very affordable.

I was lucky enough to meet Tony Raka himself when I visited as well. He designed the gallery space and the entire compound where he lives with his family. Tony is one of those gallerists who loves all kinds of art and has a great eye not only for contemporary art, but for design and antiques as well. When we toured the grounds, he showed me some older pieces, including a large selection of Indonesian ceramic works that that had a very contemporary look and were priced at only about $200-$300.

Tony is true to his curatorial vision too—he chooses works from which you can really feel the emotion emanating. We talked about several Indonesian artists that have become popular in the auction sales, but Tony told me honestly that they ‘lack heart.’ Undoubtedly he could easily exhibit these works in his large space, but he sticks with what he knows and loves—works that move him and his clients. This kind of approach is what makes a great gallerist—choosing works that fit with a particular vision, not choosing works only because they'll sell.

After spending time at Tony Raka Gallery, I also made a stop at a newer gallery with a growing reputation, Kendra Gallery in Seminyak. This is another must-see place for those interested in the best of Indonesian art. On the day that I visited, there was a show of artists from Bandung, including Irman A Rahman, whose works we will feature in our Indonesian show in January.

Tony Raka Gallery

I left Bali satisfied with my visit. I’d met interesting people and seen some great art.

My next stop: Jogjakarta, known as the art capital of Indonesia.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Investors sentiment index ISEE is now at highest level in 5o days

Investors sentiment index ISEE is now at highest level in 5o days


135 10/20/2010
10-Day Moving Average 128 10/7/2010-10/20/2010
20-Day Moving Average 125 9/23/2010-10/20/2010
50-Day Moving Average 114 8/11/2010-10/20/2010
52-Week High 185 4/15/2010
52-Week Low 59 5/7/2010

Mick Jaggers Ex- Jerry Hall recalls psychedelic omelette In Bali

Published: 8:24PM Tuesday October 19, 2010

Jerry Hall and Sir Mick Jagger had a terrible experience after eating a psychedelic omelette.

The former couple - whose nine-year marriage was annulled in 1999 - were left paranoid and ill after being served a hallucinogenic meal on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Hall recalled: "Mick and I were served omelettes in Bali which had psychedelic mushrooms in and made us have a really terrible, vomiting, paranoid trip."

However, the former model admits this experience seemed pleasant compared to the time she was tricked into eating bulls' testicles as a youngster.

She said: "Worse was when I was 12 or 13 and my sisters and I were out with some cowboys who castrated steers. As a joke they said, 'Try these Rocky Mountain oysters'. The taste was horrible. I still cringe when I think of eating bovine testicles."

These days Hall finds male genitals amusing and, admits one of her favourite things is a raunchy apron which features a fake penis and reminds her of an old friend, the late artist Andy Warhol.

She told Food Monthly magazine: "One of my sisters gave me a special apron that I've worn for cooking. When you unzip a little panel in the front a stuffed c**k comes out. It's the sort of thing Andy Warhol would have enjoyed. We were close friends for many years and I thought he was a generous, gentle, sweet guy. In the cupboards of his kitchen there were just lots of cans of Campbell's tomato soup - it's all he ate at home."

THE trick to winning a bikini competition "The bikini was $2 from Bali,"

Bali bikini strikes again


October 20th, 2010

Miss V8 Supermodel Grace Brenton at the Vic Hotel. Picture: SHANE EECEN

THE trick to winning a bikini competition may come as a shock to Territory model-comp followers.

It's not about the bikini - but about how it's worn.

Busty Grace Brenton told ConfideNTial the swimwear she won her latest competition in was a bargain find.

She was named Miss V8 Supermodel in the search for the 2011 Utes and Beauts calendar at The Vic.

"The bikini was $2 from Bali," she said.

"It's the biggest joke among my friends."

Brenton, 20, manages Bardot and has notched up three bikini competition wins - one of which landed her in a national calendar for 2011.

The now infamous coral bikini has been partly responsible for two of those wins. "It seems to be my winning bikini," she said.

* * * * * * *

BRENTON wasn't just a standout in the Zoo Weekly calendar because of her bikini, but also because of a slip that saw her surname spelt incorrectly with a 'D'.

"They were really apologetic," she said.

ConfideNTial predicts the slip won't deter would-be calendar fans.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Arrest of Foreigners in Bali Up 25% So Far This Year

Made Arya Kencana | October 17, 2010
Australian boxing trainer Michael Sacatides sits next to the 1.7 kilograms of methamphetamine he is alleged to have attempted to smuggle into Bali. Bali Police say they have arrested 41 foreign nationals so far this year, compared with 31 for the same period last year. (AFP Photo) Australian boxing trainer Michael Sacatides sits next to the 1.7 kilograms of methamphetamine he is alleged to have attempted to smuggle into Bali. Bali Police say they have arrested 41 foreign nationals so far this year, compared with 31 for the same period last year. (AFP Photo)

Jakarta. The number of foreigners arrested for committing crimes in Bali has risen 25 percent this year, most of it drug-related, and the numbers are climbing.

Police said on Sunday that from January through September, 43 foreign nationals had been arrested, mainly for drug offenses, compared with 31 for the same period last year.

“Narcotics-related crime dominates and it seems to be a continuing trend,” Bali Police chief Insp. Gen. Hadiatmoko said.

The latest tourist to be arrested was Michael Sacatides, 43, an Australian national accused of attempting to smuggle 1.7 kilograms of methamphetamine into the country on Oct. 1.

Sacatides is just the latest in a string of foreigners connected to the drug trade.

The case of Australian Schapelle Leigh Corby has generated endless attention. She was caught smuggling 4.2 kg of marijuana in 2005 that she claimed was planted in her luggage.

Corby has filed a request for clemency to the president, pleading to have her 20 years sentence reduced on the grounds she is suffering from mental illness.

But a justice official has said she shows no signs of mental illness.

Another high-profile narcotics case involves the so-called Bali Nine group. Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran and Scott Anthony Rush from Australia have been sentenced to death for their role in smuggling 8.2 kg of heroin into the country. The results of a review of their case is still pending.

Police said a rise in theft cases included that of ancient sacred Hindu statues called pratima . A French national has been put on the police’s wanted list after authorities found 16 pratimas in a warehouse. He fled after the raid.

The operation followed the arrest of Italian Roberto Gamba, whom police say was caught with 144 of the statues.

“It is important that the police, immigration and tourism authorities be more vigilant,” Hadiatmoko said.

He urged Balinese to be careful about what foreigners they rented their properties to and ascertain what their intentions were.

Jakarta Post

Saturday, October 16, 2010

PT. Bali Luxury Villas Big Hit at Annual Tourism Indonesia Mart & Expo (TIME)

Pt Bali Luxury Villas exhibited last week at Indonesia’s annual travel mart, the Tourism Indonesia Mart & Expo (TIME) or Pasar Wisata Indonesia, which was be held again Sentosa Villas & Resort Lombok from October 12th. to 15th.

Our sale manager Yanthi Purwanthy was keep very busy with personal appointments with over 35 travel agents from throughout the world.

Most gave verbal or written commitments to promote our Bali Luxury Villa Rentals after they were impressed with our low prices and great services.

Entering its 15th year of conduct, TIME was organized by the Indonesian Tourism Promotion Board (ITPB) and supported by the entire tourism components in Indonesia.
This includes Indonesia's Mnistry of Culture and Tourism, West Nusa Tenggara Provincial Government, West Nusa Tenggara Tourism Office, Lombok Sumbawa Tourism Promotion Board, Garuda Indonesia as the Official Airline Association of Indonesian Tours & Travel Agencies (ASITA), Indonesia Hotels and Restaurant Association (PHRI), Indonesian Conference and Convention Association (INCCA), and Pacto Convex as the event organizer.

TIME 2010 chairwoman and member of the steering committee, Meity Robot, said the conduct of TIME also supports the government program of “Visit Indonesia Year,” which continued this year, as TIME is aimed at promoting Indonesia as a tourist destination in the international market and at the same time raising the country image as one of global travel destinations.
“TIME is the only international travel mart in Indonesia with a business-to-business concept. The event is a meeting place for those who sell tourism products and services in Indonesia (seller) to the international market (buyer). TIME has been listed in the calendar of international travel marts together with ITB Asia, PATA Travel Mart, and WTM in London.

The previous TIME 2009 in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, successfully attracted total attendants of 127 buyers from 25 countries, with top five buyers consisting of Malaysia, Korea, India, and Indonesia. They met some 250 delegates from 102 companies and 14 provinces of Indonesia, mostly originating from Jakarta, South Sulawesi, Bali, North Sulawesi, West Nusa Tenggara, Yogyakarta, East Kalimantan, and Papua. The percentage of sellers based on industry are hotel, resort & spa (22 percent), NTO (4 percent), tour operator/travel agent (9 percent), adventure/activity holiday (5 percent), airline (3 percent), and others (hotel management, tourism board, tourism organization, and travel portal (37 percent).

TIME is firmly achored as an exchange mart with tranasctions exceeding US$17 million last year, up by 15 percent over 2008.
For Lombok, the event is of great importance as it exposes the destination to the world. A new airport is due to open by December after suffering from numerous construction delays. With its 2,750-meter runway, it will be able to welcome new international flights and accommodate up to 2 million passengers in its first phase.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Energy and Emotion in Bali

Energy and Emotion in Bali
By Robert Tobin

Bali has a vibe all of its own, and most people I know love it. The natural beauty of the island grabs you. And you just can’t beat the friendliness of the local people—they reach out to you with big smiles and engage you in conversation so easily. It’s no wonder that it’s a popular holiday spot with people of all ages, from everywhere.

During my recent visit there, after visiting the studio of Nenga Sujenah, I hurried to the other side of Ubud to see the work of Ida Bagus Putu Purwa. When I entered Purwa’s studio, I saw (and felt) a range of emotions.

I was excited to be surrounded by so much of his work. We sat and had coffee first, but I couldn’t keep my eyes off of all of the work in the room. There was a huge painting over the table that I nicknamed his ‘Guernica’ (sorry no picture of this one), not because of any war references, but because of its strength—there are so many figures expressing a range of emotions and feelings. And it's huge—it looked to be about 4 x 6 meters. There are many other magnificent works too, and I literally couldn’t concentrate at all when Purwa and I talked, because my eyes were darting around his studio. It’s filled to the brim with his artworks, including some small drawings that he created in 2005 when he began his current painting style.

To me, and many others, Purwa’s work is pure emotion. There's usually one figure in his paintings, a version of himself that portrays the emotions that we all feel during a given day, but are often reluctant to show. But there's no holding back in his work. When he expresses fear, it's fear that we've all known. When he expresses joy, it’s like the joy an athlete feels when she wins a gold medal. And there are other things I see in his paintings, including the tentativeness we feel when we try something new.

Purwa - Blown Away

Purwa is best known for his paintings on a white background. He uses blue, black, brown and red acrylic paint and charcoal. The solitary figures in his work almost always look like they've just moved, or will move. There's a purity and clarity to his work, and there's never any need to ask what his paintings are about—it's all clear. This clarity is why his work has an almost universal appeal. We know what the artist is feeling because we have felt it as well.

Purwa's painting, ‘Blown Away’ is in our gallery now. It’s 160 x 180 cm and we used it on a postcard announcing our new show. Over 200 people came to the new gallery’s openings and many wanted to see this painting. I love the way the figure shows that he's ‘blown away’ by happiness. There is a lot of blank space on this canvas that seems to put the painting in context—something happened before that evoked the emotion.

One recent visitor to our gallery told me that Purwa’s work reminded him of the famous prints of American artist Robert Longo. These works were very popular more than 20 years ago and still are well-known among contemporary art collectors in Japan. (Longo had a show at the LaForet Museum in Tokyo in 1986.) It’s not clear whether Longo’s figures are dancing, shot or being pushed, but it appears an external event caused the movement in his works. Purwa’s figures and Purwa himself are on more of an internal emotional journey and his journey is one that fully embraces life.

Purwa doesn't hold back from portraying aggression or fear in some of his works. Many clients avoid these paintings and my partner Hitoshi tells me that they are scary, but Purwa and I both agree that it's important to show these paintings. It's not easy for any of us to face our own anger and fears, but when we don’t face our fears in whatever we do, we are also held back from expressing a full range of emotions.


I’ve chosen several of his paintings for our next Indonesian show, along with the works of Agus Bagul Purnomo and Irman A. Rahman.
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Asian Collection, Contemporary Art, Contemporary Artists, Ida Bagus Putu Purwa, Robert Tobin, Tobin Ohashi Gallery

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New Emissary AUTHORS

Ulara Nakagawa
Ulara Nakagawa

Ulara Nakagawa is associate editor of The Diplomat. Now based in Tokyo, she has worked in related fields for organizations including the The Ministry of Education, The Economist Group and has written for publications including The Japan Times. In addition to her current line of work, she is interested in finding pathways to contribute positively to the world community, the Internet, photography, cross-cultural topics, oral tradition, nature programs, sustainable food and more.
Robert Tobin
Robert Tobin

Robert 'Bob' Tobin, is a writer, teacher, gallerist and art consultant. Originally from Boston, he is now based in Tokyo where he has lived for more than 20 years. He is a professor at Japan's Keio University, where he teaches courses on creative business and also blogs and tweets as 'Tokyo Art Guy.' He and his partner Hitoshi Ohashi founded the Tobin Ohashi Gallery ( in Tokyo which showcases the works of Japanese and Asian young artists.