Connect with us

International

Indonesia removes palm oil export levy until Aug. 31

Published

on

Indonesia has scrapped its export levy for all palm oil products until Aug. 31 in a fresh attempt to boost exports and ease high inventories, finance ministry officials said on Saturday, adding the move would not disrupt government revenues.

The decision by the world’s biggest palm oil exporter could further depress prices , which have fallen by about 50% since late April to their lowest in over a year.

Indonesian palm oil producers have been struggling with high inventories since the country imposed a three-week export ban through to May 23 to reduce domestic cooking oil prices.

Since lifting the ban, Jakarta has implemented rules on mandatory local sales – known as the domestic market obligation (DMO) – to keep produce at home to be made into cooking oil.

At the same time, it has tried to clear up storage tanks by cutting export taxes and launching a shipment acceleration programme, but exports remained slow and companies have blamed the DMO rules, as well as problems with securing cargo vessels.

The levy removal is intended to further support exports, Febrio Kacaribu, the ministry’s head of fiscal policy agency, told reporters on the sideline of a G20 finance meeting in Bali.

“In the context of government revenues, (the impact) won’t be too big,” he said.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said a progressive palm oil export levy would be applied starting Sept. 1, with the rate set between $55 and $240 per tonne for crude palm oil, depending on prices.

High palm oil stocks have forced mills to limit purchases of palm fruits. Farmers have complained their unsold fruits have been left to rot.

There were 7.23 million tonnes of crude palm oil in storage tanks at the end of May, data from the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) showed on Friday.

GAPKI welcomed the new measure, but it recommended the DMO rules be removed too, its secretary general Eddy Martono said.

“For now remove the DMO … until stocks drop to 3 million to 4 million tonnes. Our problem now is the inventory is too high,” he told Reuters.

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/international/20220718/indonesia-removes-palm-oil-export-levy-until-aug-31/68154.html

International

Egypt dusts off pyramids for fashion, pop and art shows

Published

on

Egypt is using the ancient grandeur of its pyramids as a backdrop for modern pop concerts and fashion shows, hoping to boost its image, tourism and the luxury brand sector beloved by its moneyed elite.

French fashion house Dior debuted its latest collection Saturday at the Giza pyramids, after Italian designer Stefano Ricci held a show at Luxor’s dramatic Temple of Hatshepsut in October.

Dior CEO Pietro Beccari told AFP the fashion house chose the pyramids as far more than “just a useless background”, drawing on Egyptian astrology for the collection named “Celestial”.

Before that, American pop bands Maroon 5 and the Black Eyed Peas performed at the Giza Necropolis, where contemporary art was also recently shown at the latest Art d’Egypte exhibition.

The modern cultural push is a new direction for Egypt’s image.

Long a cultural powerhouse in the Arab world, with wildly popular singers and movie stars especially in its heyday in the 1950s-70s, Egypt has set its sights on its ancient heritage to attract the global spotlight once more.

A harbinger of the new embrace of ancient culture and history was a “golden parade” last year of 22 pharaohs that crossed Cairo from an old to a new museum in a carnival-style grand spectacle.

It was part of a push by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government to revive tourism, which accounts for 10 percent of GDP and some two million jobs but has been hammered by political unrest, economic upheaval and the COVID pandemic.

The modern cultural push is a new direction for Egypt's image. Photo: AFP

The modern cultural push is a new direction for Egypt’s image. Photo: AFP

‘Vital’ glamour

Showcasing Egypt’s heritage in a new context “will encourage other brands and international cultural figures to come to Egypt,” said art historian Bahia Shehab.

Fashion photographer Mohsen Othman agreed that such glamorous events are “vital”.

Big brands like Dior “come in with a huge budget,” employ local talent and “support young creators who can put Egypt on the global fashion map”.

Iman Eldeeb, whose agency cast two Egyptian models for Saturday’s show, told AFP it was a “long-awaited step for the fashion world in Egypt”.

Egypt’s luxury goods sector has grown despite years of economic turmoil that saw the pound lose half its value in a 2016 currency devaluation.

Despite the downturn, Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, is home to 86,000 millionaires, according to the bank Credit Suisse.

“The richest one percent are enough to create demand,” said public relations specialist Ingy Ismail, who advises luxury brands.

The boutiques in the shopping centres of Cairo’s chic new satellite cities, she said, are “up to the standards of international luxury brands”.

Egypt's luxury goods sector has grown despite years of economic turmoil that saw the pound lose half its value in a 2016 currency devaluation. Photo: AFP

Egypt’s luxury goods sector has grown despite years of economic turmoil that saw the pound lose half its value in a 2016 currency devaluation. Photo: AFP

‘Young creative talent’

Egypt’s bubble of super rich has helped create a home-grown fashion design scene whose pioneers have recently ventured onto the catwalks of Milan and Paris.

At this year’s Paris Fashion Week, Cairo-based luxury brand Okhtein showed a resin-made bustier that evoked Egyptian alabaster at French fashion house Balmain’s show.

It was a rare success story for Egypt’s creative sector, where “most people are self-taught, working hard with scarce resources to try and meet international standards,” said Othman, the photographer.

Ismail said the country’s luxury clothing and jewellery market “has gone from under 100 Egyptian brands to more than 1,000 today”, fuelled by “a huge pool of young creative talent”.

International events offer rare exposure, but getting them to the country is still a challenge.

“It is a big step for the government to authorise Art d’Egypte and Dior to organise events at the foot of the pyramids,” the art show’s curator, Nadine Abdel Ghaffar, told AFP.

Red tape and tight restrictions can still get in the way, she suggested, conceding that “the legislative framework is complicated”.

Showcasing Egypt's heritage in a new context 'will encourage other brands and international cultural figures to come to Egypt,' said art historian Bahia Shehab. Photo: AFP

Showcasing Egypt’s heritage in a new context ‘will encourage other brands and international cultural figures to come to Egypt,’ said art historian Bahia Shehab. Photo: AFP

Timeless marvels

But “promoting the country’s culture” must be a priority, added Abdel Ghaffar, who believes a dedicated government body could better promote exhibitions, concerts, shows and even film production.

Shehab, the art historian, said many realise that Egypt, known for its timeless architectural marvels in the desert, needs to project an updated image of itself.

“There’s more and more awareness about the need for soft power and for culture as a representation for the country,” she said, cautioning however that Egypt still requires “better infrastructure” to make this happen.

She even dared dream that Egypt could draw in Hollywood productions, if it only starts granting permits.

“We have lost count of the number of international productions that have resorted to shooting in Morocco, Jordan or Saudi Arabia,” she said.

The latest Egypt-themed production was a Disney+ TV miniseries, Marvel Comics’ “Moon Knight,” for which two entire Cairo city blocks were built from scratch — on a set in Budapest.

Long a cultural powerhouse in the Arab world, with wildly popular singers and movie stars especially in its heyday in the 1950s-70s, Egypt has set its sights on its ancient heritage to attract the global spotlight once more. Photo: AFP

Long a cultural powerhouse in the Arab world, with wildly popular singers and movie stars especially in its heyday in the 1950s-70s, Egypt has set its sights on its ancient heritage to attract the global spotlight once more. Photo: AFP

Egypt is using the ancient grandeur of its pyramids as a backdrop for modern pop concerts and fashion shows, hoping to boost its image, tourism and the luxury brand sector beloved by its moneyed elite.

French fashion house Dior debuted its latest collection Saturday at the Giza pyramids, after Italian designer Stefano Ricci held a show at Luxor’s dramatic Temple of Hatshepsut in October.

Dior CEO Pietro Beccari told AFP the fashion house chose the pyramids as far more than “just a useless background”, drawing on Egyptian astrology for the collection named “Celestial”.

Before that, American pop bands Maroon 5 and the Black Eyed Peas performed at the Giza Necropolis, where contemporary art was also recently shown at the latest Art d’Egypte exhibition.

The modern cultural push is a new direction for Egypt’s image.

Long a cultural powerhouse in the Arab world, with wildly popular singers and movie stars especially in its heyday in the 1950s-70s, Egypt has set its sights on its ancient heritage to attract the global spotlight once more.

A harbinger of the new embrace of ancient culture and history was a “golden parade” last year of 22 pharaohs that crossed Cairo from an old to a new museum in a carnival-style grand spectacle.

It was part of a push by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government to revive tourism, which accounts for 10 percent of GDP and some two million jobs but has been hammered by political unrest, economic upheaval and the COVID pandemic.

The modern cultural push is a new direction for Egypt's image. Photo: AFP

The modern cultural push is a new direction for Egypt’s image. Photo: AFP

‘Vital’ glamour

Showcasing Egypt’s heritage in a new context “will encourage other brands and international cultural figures to come to Egypt,” said art historian Bahia Shehab.

Fashion photographer Mohsen Othman agreed that such glamorous events are “vital”.

Big brands like Dior “come in with a huge budget,” employ local talent and “support young creators who can put Egypt on the global fashion map”.

Iman Eldeeb, whose agency cast two Egyptian models for Saturday’s show, told AFP it was a “long-awaited step for the fashion world in Egypt”.

Egypt’s luxury goods sector has grown despite years of economic turmoil that saw the pound lose half its value in a 2016 currency devaluation.

Despite the downturn, Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, is home to 86,000 millionaires, according to the bank Credit Suisse.

“The richest one percent are enough to create demand,” said public relations specialist Ingy Ismail, who advises luxury brands.

The boutiques in the shopping centres of Cairo’s chic new satellite cities, she said, are “up to the standards of international luxury brands”.

Egypt's luxury goods sector has grown despite years of economic turmoil that saw the pound lose half its value in a 2016 currency devaluation. Photo: AFP

Egypt’s luxury goods sector has grown despite years of economic turmoil that saw the pound lose half its value in a 2016 currency devaluation. Photo: AFP

‘Young creative talent’

Egypt’s bubble of super rich has helped create a home-grown fashion design scene whose pioneers have recently ventured onto the catwalks of Milan and Paris.

At this year’s Paris Fashion Week, Cairo-based luxury brand Okhtein showed a resin-made bustier that evoked Egyptian alabaster at French fashion house Balmain’s show.

It was a rare success story for Egypt’s creative sector, where “most people are self-taught, working hard with scarce resources to try and meet international standards,” said Othman, the photographer.

Ismail said the country’s luxury clothing and jewellery market “has gone from under 100 Egyptian brands to more than 1,000 today”, fuelled by “a huge pool of young creative talent”.

International events offer rare exposure, but getting them to the country is still a challenge.

“It is a big step for the government to authorise Art d’Egypte and Dior to organise events at the foot of the pyramids,” the art show’s curator, Nadine Abdel Ghaffar, told AFP.

Red tape and tight restrictions can still get in the way, she suggested, conceding that “the legislative framework is complicated”.

Showcasing Egypt's heritage in a new context 'will encourage other brands and international cultural figures to come to Egypt,' said art historian Bahia Shehab. Photo: AFP

Showcasing Egypt’s heritage in a new context ‘will encourage other brands and international cultural figures to come to Egypt,’ said art historian Bahia Shehab. Photo: AFP

Timeless marvels

But “promoting the country’s culture” must be a priority, added Abdel Ghaffar, who believes a dedicated government body could better promote exhibitions, concerts, shows and even film production.

Shehab, the art historian, said many realise that Egypt, known for its timeless architectural marvels in the desert, needs to project an updated image of itself.

“There’s more and more awareness about the need for soft power and for culture as a representation for the country,” she said, cautioning however that Egypt still requires “better infrastructure” to make this happen.

She even dared dream that Egypt could draw in Hollywood productions, if it only starts granting permits.

“We have lost count of the number of international productions that have resorted to shooting in Morocco, Jordan or Saudi Arabia,” she said.

The latest Egypt-themed production was a Disney+ TV miniseries, Marvel Comics’ “Moon Knight,” for which two entire Cairo city blocks were built from scratch — on a set in Budapest.

Long a cultural powerhouse in the Arab world, with wildly popular singers and movie stars especially in its heyday in the 1950s-70s, Egypt has set its sights on its ancient heritage to attract the global spotlight once more. Photo: AFP

Long a cultural powerhouse in the Arab world, with wildly popular singers and movie stars especially in its heyday in the 1950s-70s, Egypt has set its sights on its ancient heritage to attract the global spotlight once more. Photo: AFP

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/international/20221205/egypt-dusts-off-pyramids-for-fashion-pop-and-art-shows/70343.html

Continue Reading

International

New Zealand plans law to require Facebook, Google to pay for news

Published

on

The New Zealand government said it will introduce a law that will require big online digital companies such as Alphabet Inc’s Google and Meta Platforms Inc to pay New Zealand media companies for the local news content that appears on their feeds.

Minister of Broadcasting Willie Jackson said in a statement on Sunday that the legislation will be modelled on similar laws in Australia and Canada and he hoped it would act as an incentive for the digital platforms to reach deals with local news outlets.

“New Zealand news media, particularly small regional and community newspapers, are struggling to remain financially viable as more advertising moves online,” Jackson said. “It is critical that those benefiting from their news content actually pay for it.”

The new legislation will go to a vote in parliament where the governing Labour Party’s majority is expected to pass it.

Australia introduced a law in 2021 that gave the government power to make internet companies negotiate content supply deals with media outlets. A review released by the Australian government last week found it largely worked.

The New Zealand government said it will introduce a law that will require big online digital companies such as Alphabet Inc’s Google and Meta Platforms Inc to pay New Zealand media companies for the local news content that appears on their feeds.

Minister of Broadcasting Willie Jackson said in a statement on Sunday that the legislation will be modelled on similar laws in Australia and Canada and he hoped it would act as an incentive for the digital platforms to reach deals with local news outlets.

“New Zealand news media, particularly small regional and community newspapers, are struggling to remain financially viable as more advertising moves online,” Jackson said. “It is critical that those benefiting from their news content actually pay for it.”

The new legislation will go to a vote in parliament where the governing Labour Party’s majority is expected to pass it.

Australia introduced a law in 2021 that gave the government power to make internet companies negotiate content supply deals with media outlets. A review released by the Australian government last week found it largely worked.

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/international/20221205/new-zealand-plans-law-to-require-facebook-google-to-pay-for-news/70340.html

Continue Reading

International

Indonesia evacuates villagers as volcano erupts on Java island

Published

on

A volcano erupted in Indonesia on Sunday spewing a cloud of ash 15 km into the sky and forcing the evacuation of nearly 2,000 people, authorities said, as they issued their highest warning for the area in the east of Java island.

There were no immediate reports of any casualties from the eruption of the Semeru volcano and Indonesia’s transport ministry said that there was no impact on air travel but notices had been sent to two regional airports for vigilance.

“Most roads have been closed since this morning and now it is raining volcanic ash and it has covered the view of the mountain,” community volunteer Bayu Deny Alfianto told Reuters by telephone from near the volcano.

Semeru, the tallest mountain on Java, erupted last year killing more than 50 people and displacing thousands.

Volcanic ash is seen from Candipuro district following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Photo: Antara Foto/Samsul Arifin via REUTERS

Volcanic ash is seen from Candipuro district following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Photo: Antara Foto/Samsul Arifin via REUTERS

Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) said 1,979 people had been moved to 11 shelters and authorities had distributed masks to residents. The eruption began at 2:46 a.m. (1946 GMT on Saturday) and rescue, search and evacuation efforts were going on.

The volcano’s plume of ash reached a height of 50,000 feet (15 km), said Japan’s Meteorology Agency, which had initially been on alert for the possibility that the volcano could trigger a tsunami. It later ruled that out.

The eruption, some 640 km (400 miles) east of the capital, Jakarta, follows a series of earthquakes in the west of Java, including one last month that killed more than 300 people.

Volcanic ash is seen from Pronojiwo following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022.  Photo: Antara Foto/Eri/ via REUTERS

Volcanic ash is seen from Pronojiwo following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022. Photo: Antara Foto/Eri/ via REUTERS

Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, PVMBG, raised the level of volcanic activity to its highest level and warned residents not to approach within 8 km (5 miles) of Semeru’s eruption centre.

Hot ash clouds had drifted nearly 12 miles (19 km) from the centre of eruption, it said.

PVMBG chief Hendra Gunawan said a bigger volume of magma could have built up compared with previous eruptions of the volcano, in 2021 and 2020, which could mean greater danger for a bigger area.

“Semeru’s hot clouds could reach further and at a distance where there are many residences,” he said.

Gladak Perak Bridge is seen following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022. Photo: Antara Foto/National Disasters Mitigation Agency (BNPB)/ via REUTERS

Gladak Perak Bridge is seen following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022. Photo: Antara Foto/National Disasters Mitigation Agency (BNPB)/ via REUTERS

In a video sent to Reuters by police in the area, villagers were seen moving away from the slopes of the volcano, some with belongings stacked on motor bikes. A damaged bridge was covered in volcanic ash.

With 142 volcanoes, Indonesia has the world’s largest population living close range to volcano, with 8.6 million people within 10 km (6 miles) of one.

The deadly late-November quake that hit in West Java was 5.6 magnitude but at a shallow depth. A 6.1 quake struck at a deeper depth on Saturday sending people running from buildings but it did not cause major damage or casualties.

A woman holds a child as they shelter at a district office after being evacuated following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Photo: Antara Foto/Umarul Faruq/ via REUTERS

A woman holds a child as they shelter at a district office after being evacuated following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Photo: Antara Foto/Umarul Faruq/ via REUTERS

A volcano erupted in Indonesia on Sunday spewing a cloud of ash 15 km into the sky and forcing the evacuation of nearly 2,000 people, authorities said, as they issued their highest warning for the area in the east of Java island.

There were no immediate reports of any casualties from the eruption of the Semeru volcano and Indonesia’s transport ministry said that there was no impact on air travel but notices had been sent to two regional airports for vigilance.

“Most roads have been closed since this morning and now it is raining volcanic ash and it has covered the view of the mountain,” community volunteer Bayu Deny Alfianto told Reuters by telephone from near the volcano.

Semeru, the tallest mountain on Java, erupted last year killing more than 50 people and displacing thousands.

Volcanic ash is seen from Candipuro district following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Photo: Antara Foto/Samsul Arifin via REUTERS

Volcanic ash is seen from Candipuro district following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Photo: Antara Foto/Samsul Arifin via REUTERS

Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) said 1,979 people had been moved to 11 shelters and authorities had distributed masks to residents. The eruption began at 2:46 a.m. (1946 GMT on Saturday) and rescue, search and evacuation efforts were going on.

The volcano’s plume of ash reached a height of 50,000 feet (15 km), said Japan’s Meteorology Agency, which had initially been on alert for the possibility that the volcano could trigger a tsunami. It later ruled that out.

The eruption, some 640 km (400 miles) east of the capital, Jakarta, follows a series of earthquakes in the west of Java, including one last month that killed more than 300 people.

Volcanic ash is seen from Pronojiwo following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022.  Photo: Antara Foto/Eri/ via REUTERS

Volcanic ash is seen from Pronojiwo following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022. Photo: Antara Foto/Eri/ via REUTERS

Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, PVMBG, raised the level of volcanic activity to its highest level and warned residents not to approach within 8 km (5 miles) of Semeru’s eruption centre.

Hot ash clouds had drifted nearly 12 miles (19 km) from the centre of eruption, it said.

PVMBG chief Hendra Gunawan said a bigger volume of magma could have built up compared with previous eruptions of the volcano, in 2021 and 2020, which could mean greater danger for a bigger area.

“Semeru’s hot clouds could reach further and at a distance where there are many residences,” he said.

Gladak Perak Bridge is seen following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022. Photo: Antara Foto/National Disasters Mitigation Agency (BNPB)/ via REUTERS

Gladak Perak Bridge is seen following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022. Photo: Antara Foto/National Disasters Mitigation Agency (BNPB)/ via REUTERS

In a video sent to Reuters by police in the area, villagers were seen moving away from the slopes of the volcano, some with belongings stacked on motor bikes. A damaged bridge was covered in volcanic ash.

With 142 volcanoes, Indonesia has the world’s largest population living close range to volcano, with 8.6 million people within 10 km (6 miles) of one.

The deadly late-November quake that hit in West Java was 5.6 magnitude but at a shallow depth. A 6.1 quake struck at a deeper depth on Saturday sending people running from buildings but it did not cause major damage or casualties.

A woman holds a child as they shelter at a district office after being evacuated following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Photo: Antara Foto/Umarul Faruq/ via REUTERS

A woman holds a child as they shelter at a district office after being evacuated following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Photo: Antara Foto/Umarul Faruq/ via REUTERS

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/international/20221205/indonesia-evacuates-villagers-as-volcano-erupts-on-java-island/70339.html

Continue Reading

Trending