Indonesia’s economy grows at 6% in the first three months of the year, its slowest pace in more than two years, as exports slow.
Investigators consider whether powerful ‘wind shear’ or ‘microburst’ caused Bali crash in which all 108 on board survived
The Lion Air pilot whose jet fell into the sea while trying to land in Bali has reportedly described how he felt it “dragged” out of its trajectory and into the water. Investigators are considering whether a powerful downdraft of wind caused the crash in which all 108 passengers and crew survived despite the Boeing 737 cracking in half on impact.
The newly built plane undershot the tourist island’s main airport runway in Denpasar and belly-flopped in water on Saturday. Authorities from Indonesia, the US and Boeing are investigating.
Initial debriefings, witness comments and weather reports have focused attention on the possibility of “wind shear” or a downdraft from storm clouds known as a “microburst”. Experts say such violent and unpredictable gusts are rare but can leave even the most modern jet helpless if they are stronger than the plane’s ability to fly out of trouble – with the critical moments before landing among the most vulnerable.
“If you have a downdraft which exceeds the performance of the plane, then even if you put on full thrust you will go downhill and you can’t climb out,” said Hugh Dibley, a former British Airways captain and expert on loss-of-control events.
The cause of the crash has potential implications for the reputation of one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines, which is fighting to be removed from a European Union safety blacklist just as it buys record volumes of Airbus and Boeing jets.
According to initial pilot debriefings, details of which have been described to the Reuters news agency, flight JT-904 was on an eastwards approach to Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport at mid-afternoon on Saturday following a normal flight from Bandung, West Java.
The co-pilot, an Indian national with 2,000 hours of relevant flying experience, was in charge for the domestic trip, which was scheduled to last one hour and 40 minutes.
As the Lion Air plane was coming in to land, with an aircraft of national carrier Garuda following behind and another about to take off on the runway just ahead, the co-pilot lost sight of the runway as heavy rain drove across the windshield. The captain, an Indonesian citizen with about 15,000 hours’ experience and an instructor’s licence, took the controls.
Between 122 metres and 61 metres altitude (400-200ft) pilots described flying through a wall of water, according to the source. Bursts of heavy rainfall and lost visibility are not uncommon in the tropics but the aircraft’s low altitude meant the crew had little time to react.
With no sight of the runway lights or markings the captain decided to abort the landing and perform a “go around”, a routine manoeuvre for which all pilots are well trained. But the captain told officials afterwards that instead of climbing the 737 started to sink uncontrollably and their well-practised routines unravelled quickly.
“The captain says he intended to go around but that he felt the aircraft dragged down by the wind; that is why he hit the sea,” said the source, who was briefed on the crew’s testimony. “There was rain coming east to west; very heavy,” the source said, asking not to be named because no one is authorised to speak publicly about the investigation while it is under way.
A passenger on board the jet painted a similar picture of an aircraft getting into difficulty only at the last minute. “There was no sign at all it would fall but then suddenly it dropped into the water,” Tantri Widiastuti, 60, told Metro TV.
Lion Air declined to comment on the cause of the crash.
According to the Flight Safety Foundation, bulletins for pilots at around that time indicated a few storm clouds at 518 metres (1,700ft) and a wind blowing moderately but varying in its direction from east-south-east to the west.
The aircraft itself was delivered in February and there had been only one technical problem: a landing light that had to be replaced.
According to Boeing, the 737-800, its most popular current model, is equipped with a system that detects wind shear ahead and warns the pilot audibly to go around.
Indonesia’s candidate for the top job at the World Trade Organisation tells the BBC why the institution still matters.
Excerpt from: VIDEO: Indonesia’s pitch for WTO top job
Indonesia’s Mari Pangestu, a candidate to lead the World Trade Organisation, is keen for a multilateral deal on agriculture
The World Trade Organisation’s Doha round of trade talks can help to prevent a recurrence of severe food crises, Mari Pangestu of Indonesia, a leading candidate for the post of WTO director general (pdf), said in an interview in London last week.
“The urgency has reduced” since the dramatic spike in food prices that hit developing countries in 2007 and 2008, says Pangestu, Indonesia’s trade minister from 2004 to 2011, “but that doesn’t mean you have addressed the fundamental distortions” that created the crisis.
Agriculture is one of the pillars of the Doha round, the WTO’s wide-ranging free-trade negotiations that have been progressing in fits and starts since 2001. The agriculture talks, which aim to impose controls on sensitive topics such as farm subsidies and export restrictions, have proven to be one of the most controversial aspects of the negotiations. Disagreements over agriculture led to the collapse of a high-level effort to conclude the Doha round in Geneva in 2008.
But concluding the agriculture talks is critical to preventing future spikes in food prices, says Pangestu, who remembers waiting in line with her mother to pick up food rations during Indonesia’s economic crisis in the 1960s.
Western farm subsidies have artificially depressed world food prices, triggering a decline in production and a fall in global food stocks, Pangestu says. Meanwhile, developing countries’ panic-driven restrictions on food exports have exacerbated incipient food crises. New disciplines on both issues need to be negotiated at global level, she says.
“You cannot get that kind of agreement bilaterally; you can only get it multilaterally … That’s why I still feel Doha is so important,” Pangestu says, adding that the agriculture talks have “always been one of the most positive aspects of Doha”.
But whether negotiators at the WTO will be able to agree on anything – agriculture or otherwise – remains an open question. The round is already more than 11 years old, and there is still no end in sight to the negotiations. Trade delegates are working to finalise a handful of issues, including some provisions on agriculture, in time for a high-level meeting in Bali at the end of this year.
An “early harvest” deal on those select topics may or may not come to fruition. Either way, the future of the remaining Doha round issues, which include services, intellectual property rights and industrial goods, remains uncertain. Crafting an outlook for the round and figuring out how to keep the WTO relevant will be among the many challenges facing the organisation’s next leader.
Pangestu, who is Indonesia’s tourism minister, is one of nine candidates vying to replace Pascal Lamy of France, who has served as director general since September 2005. Lamy will step down at the end of August.
The candidates – only one of whom, Tim Groser of New Zealand, hails from the west – have been campaigning informally since the beginning of this year. The others are Kenya’s Amina Mohamed, Ghana’s Alan Kyerematen, Costa Rica’s Anabel González, Mexico’s Herminio Blanco, Brazil’s Roberto Azevêdo, South Korea’s Taeho Bark and Jordan’s Ahmad Hindawi.
Rather than hold an outright vote, WTO delegates choose their leader over several months, gradually whittling down the number of candidates before settling on a final choice. The aim is to make the decision by consensus – a delicate task in an organisation with 159 members.
After the first round of consultations, which begins on 2 April, the field of nine candidates will be narrowed to five. A second round will eliminate three further candidates, leaving two to vie for the top spot in the final round in May.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – Feb. 18, 2013) - CBM Asia Development Corp. (“CBM Asia” or the “Company”) (TSX VENTURE:TCF)(US:CBMDF)(FRANKFURT:IY2) has selected Netherland, Sewell and Associates, Inc. (NSAI) to audit some of the Company’s additional coalbed methane resources in Indonesia.
Read the rest here: CBM Asia Selects Netherland, Sewell to Audit Coalbed Methane Resources
The insurance industry is expecting many claims for compensation after last week’s floods in Jakarta, which prompted Indonesia to declare an emergency.
Follow this link: VIDEO: Jakarta floods prompt huge claims
The US files a complaint with the World Trade Organization against Indonesia’s restrictions on imports of horticultural and animal products.
Over 54 Million Manchester United Followers in Indonesia
Read the original: Manchester United Sign Sponsorship With PT Multistrada Arah Sarana Tbk
Blogger alleges that airline executive accepted payments as intermediary in deal to supply aircraft engines valued at £1.25bn
Rolls-Royce is facing allegations that it paid bribes to an executive involved with two Chinese airlines, in the latest claims attached to a corruption probe at the aircraft engine maker.
The latest allegations are contained in postings by a blogger operating under the pseudonym of “soaringdragon” and related to deals worth a total of $2bn (£1.25bn) with Air China in 2005 and China Eastern in 2010. They claim an executive who worked at both airlines, Chen Qin, accepted payments as an intermediary in those deals.
Rolls-Royce revealed last month that the Serious Fraud Office had approached the company over allegations of malpractice in Indonesia and China, prompting the Derby-based manufacturer to conduct its own investigation through a law firm, Debevoise & Plimpton. In a statement last month Rolls-Royce said the probe had found “matters of concern” in Indonesia and China and other unspecified markets, relating to “concerns about bribery and corruption involving intermediaries in overseas markets.”
Rolls-Royce, which is aware of the Soaringdragon postings, declined to comment on whether the blogger’s allegations were included in the dossier passed to the SFO. However, the Sunday Times published a statement from China Eastern which appeared to confirm the blogger’s claim that Chen Qin had been arrested by the Chinese authorities in 2011. It said: “Neither China Eastern nor Air China has any right to talk about Chen’s case; only prosecutorial organs know the real background.”
The deals at the centre of the allegations boosted Rolls-Royce’s presence in the rapidly growing Asian aviation market. In 2005 Rolls-Royce said it had received an order from Air China for Trent 700 engines, to power the Airbus A330, worth $800m. Then in 2010 Rolls-Royce said it had won an order from China Eastern worth $1.2bn for Trent 700 engines to power 16 A330 aircraft. The China Eastern deal was signed in the presence of David Cameron, in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, during an official trade mission to China.
Rolls-Royce faces the threat of a multimillion-pound fine on both sides of the Atlantic if the allegations escalate into official investigations by authorities, although the SFO and the US Department of Justice have yet to announce whether they will proceed with formal probes. The Soaringdragon postings are the second set of allegations implicating Rolls-Royce in corruption to be posted on the internet. Dick Taylor, a former Rolls-Royce employee in Indonesia, had alleged via a series of online postings that Tommy Suharto, the son of the former Indonesian president, was paid $20m (£12m) by Rolls-Royce and given a Rolls-Royce car to persuade the Garuda airline to buy Trent 700 engines in 1990. Taylor has said he felt “cheated” by his experience at Rolls-Royce, the world’s second largest aircraft engine maker, after he was warned that he risked redundancy when he raised concerns over a colleague’s expenses claims. Taylor subsequently took early retirement in 2004 but claims that Rolls-Royce was still making payments to intermediaries in Indonesia in 2010.
The Asia-Pacific region is a vital market for western aerospace companies targeting new customers amid stagnating demand at home. According to Airbus, the region will account for 35% of aircraft deliveries over the next 20 years, with China overtaking the US as the world’s largest domestic airline market from 2031 onwards. As well as bringing opportunities for aircraft makers such as Airbus and Boeing, new jet sales also boost orders for engines. The front-runners for those orders are the likes of Rolls-Royce and its US rivals, General Electric and Pratt & Whitney.
Speaking in December, Rolls-Royce’s chief executive, John Rishton, said the company would not tolerate “improper business conduct of any sort.”
“This is a company with exceptional prospects and I will not accept any behaviour that undermines its future success”. The company also announced that it will appoint an “independent senior figure” to review its compliance process and report to the board’s ethics committee. Rolls-Royce is one of Britain’s blue-chip exporters and thus a key manufacturer in George Osborne’s “march of the makers”, posting revenues of £11.3bn last year and a pre-tax profit of £1.2bn, with its strong future prospects underlined by an order book worth £62.2bn.
Rolls-Royce has admitted that the disclosures could result in the “prosecution of individuals and the company.” Legal experts have warned that Rolls-Royce’s co-operation so far will not spare the business from a prosecution by the SFO. The organisation’s new boss, David Green, has signalled that the SFO will eschew settlements in favour of prosecutions, tackling a perception that it had been keener in recent years to deal with cases outside the courtroom.
Financier and his partners in Indonesian mining venture turn on each other again
The increasingly vicious spat between the financier Nat Rothschild and his Indonesian mining partners took another twist on Wednesday night after the company was strongly criticised by the Takeover Panel and the warring parties again turned on each other.
The corporate takeover regulator said it was launching an investigation into why Bumi plc, the Rothschild creation that holds stakes in a pair of Indonesian mining ventures, had not disclosed a relationship between two of its major shareholders. The panel said it now views those shareholders – Indonesia’s influential Bakrie family and another Indonesian investor, Rosan Roeslani – as acting together, and restricted the voting rights on their combined 57% stake to 29.9%.
The panel said it was “undertaking an investigation into why it was not previously made aware of the existence of the concert party, and why a … waiver was not sought in relation to the transactions”. Under the takeover code, any person – or persons acting in concert – owning a stake of 30% or more in a company must launch a bid for the whole business, unless the panel approves a waiver.
Bumi plc was created from the flotation of the cash shell Vallar in 2010, which raised £707m to spend on acquiring international mining groups. It subsequently bought 25% of PT Bumi Resources from the Bakries, plus a 75% interest in PT Berau Coal Energy from Roeslani’s company, PT Bukit Mutiara. The Indonesians were issued with new shares in Vallar, which was then renamed Bumi plc.
In a statement, the Bakries said they had now made a formal complaint against Rothschild, blaming him for the failure to disclose the relationship. “Had the Takeover Panel been made adequately aware of the facts in November 2010 and ruled that there was a concert party, as it has now, we would certainly have sought a waiver,” the family’s Long Haul Holdings said.
Bumi plc also attempted to blame its co-creator, Rothschild, saying it wished “to remind shareholders” that Rothschild had brought the flotation to shareholders, had received about 14m shares as a reward for delivering the two acquisitions and had served as a non-executive director from the firm’s creation until he stepped down from the board in October.
A spokesman for Rothschild said: “Vallar’s board, chaired at the time by Sir Julian Horn-Smith, approved the acquisition in November 2010, on the basis of advice from its legal and financial advisers, who led all interactions with the Takeover Panel on behalf of the Vallar board. At the time of the transaction, Vallar’s board was not aware and was not made aware of any concert party issues – indeed in the [share purchase agreement] Bakrie Bros, Long Haul and Recapital [where Roeslani is chairman] warranted to the plc they were not concert parties. The Takeover Panel ruling clearly indicates the sellers breached their warranties to the plc.”
When he created Vallar, Rothschild’s sales pitch involved combining western standards of corporate governance with emerging market levels of investment return.
However, he quickly fell out with the Bakries over corporate governance at the firm, and the spat exploded in the autumn after shares in Bumi crashed by a quarter on a single day when the company hired the law firm McFarlanes to investigate allegations of financial dishonesty Bumi’s main investment. The law firm is yet to report.