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BritCham Business Snapshots EXTRA
#18 March 2020
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Executive Director's Message
Executive Director's Message
Dear BritCham Members and our friends,
Yesterday, after many of you in Indonesia had retired for the night, the British Conservative government Chancellor announced an unprecedented £330bn package to support the economy, businesses large and small and individuals facing daunting circumstances.

These included grants, government backed loans and further relief to business costs. All this is in addition to the budget stimuli announced last week.

As you will know, I am UK-based for the interim and watched the media questioning live. It was clear that the various media was concerned that the various measures couldn’t land fast enough to save businesses with costs and no revenue that are facing a cash-flow crunch today - the Chancellor suggested that he needed until Monday to put mechanisms in place. He said that he had spoken to banks and they had assured him that they would be as flexible as possible with businesses in urgent trouble. They would treat the measures accessible on Monday as bankable. Individuals who are facing being laid-off or made redundant would be granted at least 3- months grace from mortgage lenders. There would be intensive talks with associations and unions to understand and agree how to get the best help to those whose employment security will be affected. Again, outcomes due next week.

The head of our umbrella BRITISH Chambers of Commerce in London responded on BBC TV in support of business and made the following media statement last night.

Responding to the package of government announcements to help businesses affected by Coronavirus, BCC Director General Dr Adam Marshall said:

“Businesses will welcome the scale of the Government's latest response, as well as the specific support it is offering to some of the worst-affected parts of our economy. These measures could be a lifeline for many businesses across the UK who are now experiencing wholesale disruption as a result of the pandemic.

“The key to the success of these measures is whether they get cash to businesses on the front line, fast. Companies need practical details, at great speed, for these interventions to have the desired impact, and to reassure firms across the UK.

“Both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor were clear that the Government would do whatever it takes over the coming days to support businesses, their employees, and the economy. Further measures will be needed to help all firms and their employees meet this unprecedented challenge.”
For details of the business support package:
Coronavirus: Chancellor unveils £350bn lifeline for economy
Coronavirus: Chancellor unveils £350bn lifeline for economy
The government has unveiled a package of financial measures to shore up the economy against the coronavirus impact.

It includes £330bn in loans, £20bn in other aid, a business rates holiday, and grants for retailers and pubs. Help for airlines is also being considered.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak told a press conference it was an "economic emergency. Never in peacetime have we faced an economic fight like this one."
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Many of our members have raised concerns about the possibility that their Indonesian documentation may need renewing while travel restrictions remain in place. We are pleased to offer an English translation of a February extraordinary law which is below.

The bottom line is that there are facilities for emergency approvals and to process extensions without going overseas.

(I would like to commend the great sense of cooperation that prevails among the main bilateral Chambers - this document is a product of that).
Regulation No.7 of 2020

It is not clear how the tweeted video clip message from HMA Owen Jenkins was distributed. Some saw the tweet.

Others received via third parties and some didn’t seem to get sight at all. I have shared your comments with my colleague at DIT. Below is the clip and transcript.
Video Message from HMA Owen Jenkins, British Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Video Message from HMA Owen Jenkins, British Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor-Leste
I am Owen Jenkins, the British Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor-Leste. I appreciate many of you may be following the news anxiously as the world confronts Covid-19 together. Our most important job as an embassy is the protection, health and safety of British citizens in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. I want to update you on our travel advice so you can make the right decisions for you and your family.

The Indonesian Government has been scaling up its response to the spread of Covid-19 by declaring it a national disaster. This has included measures that affect those travelling from the UK – for example, that visitors need to self-isolate on arrival to Indonesia; and also measures that affect those already here – both in their ability to travel within Indonesia, and onward to neighbouring countries (including for medical reasons).

Because of this and a combination of other factors – including the clear strain on medical services in this country – our ministers in London decided to make a change to our Travel Advice, which now advises against “all but essential travel” to Indonesia and Timor-Leste. We urge all British Citizens in both countries to consider very carefully whether or not their visiting or staying meets that condition.

Over 100 cases have been confirmed in Indonesia and a daily update on that figure is available on the Health Ministry website. Further restrictions on travelling within Indonesia or abroad may be introduced with little or no notice, and may limit your ability to travel or return to the UK.

The standard of local medical care in Indonesia and Timor-Leste may vary and some medical tests cannot be done reliably. There is a risk that the healthcare system will come under further strain as COVID-19 spreads. Medical evacuation may not be available or may be very expensive.

For British nationals residing in Indonesia and Timor-Leste, I advise you to remain calm and to continue to monitor reliable news sources as well as our Travel Advice.

We have a Consulate in Bali as well as our Embassy in Jakarta, and both stand ready to assist any distressed British national.

Please do everything you can to keep yourselves healthy. Wash your hands frequently and practice “social distancing” – avoid crowded locations and rush hours on public transport.

So in summary, stay calm, keep your distance and wash your hands! And please consider whether your visit to or stay in Indonesia or Timor Leste, is indeed essential.

Thank you.

*For video click read more
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I will use Snapshots Extra to share news and anecdotal updates as relevant. Likewise, please share yours with me:

Be sensible. Follow guidance. Be safe.

Chris Wren
Executive Director.
Forthcoming Events
Dear Valued Members, 
We would like to thank you for your continued interest and support for our Networking and other events. Unfortunately, due to the uncertainty surrounding the spread of the COVID-19 virus we will postpone our events until 30th April 2020. We believe health is the most important thing above all else at this difficult time and we want to limit your exposure during this period. 
For the time being, we will continue to review all information from our Embassy and FCO posts. We will also be directed by any guidance and mandates from Republic of Indonesia.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and we will keep you updated. 
Thank you. 
The BritCham Indonesia's team
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