Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Indonesian tea products, which featured at the “Explore Indonesia: Ikat and Tea Festival” held in Santa Monica, California, attracted American buyers.During the nation branding event to support Indonesian products entering the US market, tea master Inggrie Wijaya presented the original Indonesian tea combined with specific spices of the archipelago.“Various tea creations displayed in this Tea Bar made use of a blend of original Indonesian tea combined with the countrys typical herbs such as ginger, cinnamon, and lemongrass. The new flavors resulting from the mix of these ingredients attract visitors,” Head of Indonesian Trade Promotion Center (ITPC) Los Angeles, Antonius Budiman, said in a press release made available for ANTARA on Thursday.The flavors made using natural ingredients are organic spiced black tea latte, organic lemongrass jasmine tea, as well as organic lemongrass ginger tea garnished with lemon.“The use of natural ingredients has become a necessity to compete in the US market as it will help in drawing public enthusiasm,” Budiman noted.The potential of the tea market in the United States is quite large, reaching about US$462 million. The US Tea Association noted that the Americans consumed about 84 billion cups of tea in 2016.An increase in US tea consumption trend is reflected by an increase in Indonesian tea exports to the US.“We expect this Indonesian tea promotion to continue to be consistent so that Indonesias tea export to the US can increase,” Antonius remarked.Indonesias total tea exports to the US in 2016 reached US$8.8 million, an increase of 33 percent from 2015.The export composition of Indonesian tea products to the American market consists of 78 percent black tea and 19 percent green tea. Currently, Indonesia is ranked 12th as a tea-exporting country to the United States. The top three tea exporting countries to the US are China, Argentina, and India.Source: ANTARA News ZczcMinister, House discuss use of budget by Defense Ministry

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Finance Minister Sri Mulyani was invited by Commission I of the House of Representatives to discuss the use of budget allocated to the Ministry of Defense.

"I was invited to discuss the use of the budget allocated to the Ministry of Defense, amounting to Rp1.85 trillion plus around Rp160 billion which is additional funding for the Ministry of Defense," Sri Mulyani said at the Senayan parliamentary complex in Jakarta on Thursday.

In the 2018 draft state budget (RAPBN 2018), the ceiling of the Ministry of Defense budget is set at Rp105.7 trillion. The amount is then agreed to be increased to Rp107.5 trillion.

The minister also said that Commission I, the Defense Ministry and The Defense Forces (TNI) have internal discussion on the use of the budget, one of which was the commitment to develop KF-X / IF-X combat aircraft with South Korea.

The fulfillment of budget requirements for the development of the KF-X / IF-X aircraft, which has been signed since 2012, is financed largely with a multiyear financing scheme. According to the agreement, in late October 2017 Indonesia had to channel Rp1.6 trillion.

"We are giving a view on the budget process, if anything is multiyear how the budgeting process should be done, so that the administration and budget and in good order," said Sri Mulyani.

In the meeting, Commission I of the House of Representatives also called on the government to accelerate the policy to finance the achievement of TNIs minimum essential force (MEF).

Sri Mulyani asserted that the government would continue to committed and carry out various efforts to meet the needs of the TNI.

Chairman of the House of Representatives Commission I, Abdul Kharis Almasyhari, said that the DPR and the government also agreed that the development of a reliable defense force was a national priority.

Source: ANTARA News

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