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Will Indonesia’s ‘Work From Bali’ save the island? | TICKER VIEWS

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Indonesia is launching the ‘Work From Bali’ program to revive the Island’s battered economy – but will it go far enough?

The Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has announced their upcoming ‘Work From Bali’ scheme, which will allow public servants to live and work in Nusa Dua. The program will send 25 per cent of Indonesian public servants from seven different Indonesian ministries to live and work from hotels in Nusa Dua. This comes in an effort to boost tourism on the island.

“We hope that with the arrival of government and state-owned company employees, the gears of Bali’s economy will start moving.”

Hermin Esti Setyowati, ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy
Nusa Dua is an island resort in Bali, indonesia.

As Bali suffers, does ‘Work From Bali’ go far enough?

The COVID pandemic hasn’t been easy for any of us, but it’s been tougher on Bali than most. International travel bans brought tourism in Bali to a jarring halt.

Official figures released by the Indonesian government suggest over 80% of Balinese locals have been impacted as a result of the island’s COVID tourism slump.

The tourism industry is crucial to Bali’s economy, with many locals relying on international guests for income. In 2019, 6.3 million international tourists visited the island. In 2020, that number dropped to about 1 million.

This year, the island welcomed just 25 foreigners from January to March. Last year 1.1 million tourists visited the island in the same period. The pandemic has seen more than 4.3 million Balinese people out of work.

Kuta’s streets were once bustling with tourists. Now, they’re unrecognisable.

Will the scheme help the people who need it?

Australian expat Amanda runs the ‘Let’s Help Bali’ Facebook group, which has almost 14,000 members. She explains that many Balinese locals leave their villages to get jobs in tourism, which are more often than not in the city.

“This means the impact doesn’t just affect that immediate person but the whole family who rely on that income,” she told Ticker NEWS.

Amanda says she thinks the scheme “will help very few people”, and the Indonesian government needs to reopen Bali’s borders to support locals in a meaningful way.

“Until the borders are open, I don’t see much changing here,” she said.

“Bali needs help from everywhere”

While support for the program isn’t universal, it appears as though everyone can agree that Bali is suffering. Ketut Ardana, Vice Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board, says the Work From Bali program is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t go far enough.

Health risks of COVID

Despite these efforts to reopen Bali to tourists, COVID remains an issue on the island with almost 2 million total cases, and over 500 active cases.

Nusa Dua is one of Indonesia’s three “green zones,” where the vaccination roll-out has been prioritised. Local newspapers have reported more than 8,000 staff in Nusa Dua, have received a second dose of the vaccine.

Ketut Ardana says he’s “not worried” about the potential health risks of opening borders for travel.

“We are ready and safe to receive tourists,” he said.

Natasha is an Associate Producer at ticker NEWS with a Bachelor of arts from Monash University. She has previously worked at Sky News Australia and Monash University as an Online Content Producer.

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Companies to pay extra for verified Twitter accounts

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Elon Musk has announced that companies and brands will have to pay $1,000 per month – plus an additional $50 per sub-account – to get verified check-marks on Twitter

The new pricing falls under the new Twitter Blue for Business service.

Within the next few months, only paying Twitter customers will have verified status.

Twitter has stacked on $12.5 billion in debt, and this move hopes to increase subscription revenue to meet Musk’s obligations.

Advertisers halted spending on Twitter after the takeover, but Twitter has since announced partnerships with two brand-safety vendors to win back marketers.

Musk also announced that Twitter would start sharing ad revenue with creators for “ads that appear in their reply threads”, but didn’t provide further detail.

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Business

BMW to invest €800 million in Mexico

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BMW is set to invest €800 million in Mexico, to produce its next generation of high-voltage and fully electric batteries

 
The carmaker is looking to convert more than half of its sales into all-electric cars by 2030.

Construction will begin next year with production beginning in 2027.

The announcement follows several other major expansions from the automaker in recent months, including a $1.7 billion investment in the United States.

The move will add around 1,000 new jobs to its Mexico operations.

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Business

A British digital currency “later this decade”

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The Bank of England and Britain’s finance ministry think the UK is likely to need to create a central bank digital currency later this decade.

“On the basis of our work to date, the Bank of England and HM Treasury judge that it is likely a digital pound will be needed in the future,” the Telegraph quoted BoE Governor Andrew Bailey and finance minister Jeremy Hunt as saying in the joint report.

“It is too early to commit to build the infrastructure for one, but we are convinced that further preparatory work is justified,” the Telegraph quoted the report saying.

The BoE declined to comment on the Telegraph article, but said a joint consultation on CBDC issues would be published shortly.

A government source said the report would be published next week.

BoE Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe is due to give a speech on Tuesday to update the finance industry on the BoE’s CBDC work.

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