In a move aimed at attracting foreign investors to Southeast Asia’s largest economy, the Chief Executive Officer of OpenAI, Sam Altman, has become the first recipient of Indonesia’s golden visa.
The Indonesian immigration authority granted Altman a 10-year visa, citing his “international reputation and potential benefits to Indonesia,” as stated by Immigration Director General Silmy Karim in a recent press release.
As the co-founder of the company behind ChatGPT, Altman will enjoy a range of privileges, including priority security screening at airports, extended stay periods, and simplified entry and exit procedures.
Introduced just last week to stimulate economic development, the new visa program offers foreign investors the opportunity to reside in Indonesia for a period of five to ten years based on their substantial investments in the country.
For instance, individuals who invest a minimum of $350,000 in shares of local public companies, savings accounts, or government bonds are eligible for a five-year stay.
It remains unclear whether Altman, who visited Jakarta in June to deliver a speech on artificial intelligence, applied for the visa with specific investment plans in mind.
This move by Indonesia underscores the nation’s commitment to attracting foreign investment and fostering economic growth. As the world watches, Altman’s acceptance of the golden visa signifies a significant step towards strengthening international ties and promoting collaboration between OpenAI and the Indonesian tech ecosystem.
For more details on Indonesia’s new Golden Visa program, please read our previous coverage: “Indonesia Introduces Golden Visa to Draw Foreign Investors.”
In related news, find out how Sam Altman utilizes ChatGPT in his daily routine and explores the potential emotional connection users may develop with chatbots in a video interview.
OpenAI Chief Sam Altman Harnesses the Power of ChatGPT in Daily Life
In a revealing interview, Sam Altman, Chief Executive Officer of OpenAI, shares insights into his daily use of artificial intelligence and the fascinating possibility of users forming emotional bonds with chatbots.
Since its debut last year, OpenAI’s suite of tools has spurred substantial investment in AI infrastructure, demonstrating the immense potential of human-like intelligence powered by vast data centers.
Nigeria Holds $783 Million in Blocked Funds, IATA Engages with Government for Resolution
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that as of August Nigeria holds approximately $783 million in blocked funds belonging to various airlines.
This significant financial concern was communicated via an official statement released by the trade association.
Kamil Al Awadhi, IATA’s Regional Vice-President for Africa and the Middle East, has been actively engaged in discussions with the Federal Government in an effort to find a resolution to this pressing issue.
Foreign airlines operating within Nigeria have faced ongoing challenges in repatriating their commercial revenues due to a prolonged shortage of foreign exchange in the country.
The official statement from IATA stated, “Mr. Al Awadhi also held discussions with Nigeria’s newly appointed Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, the Honorable Minister Festus Keyamo. During these discussions, he urged the new government to maintain and strengthen consultations with the industry while developing both short-term and long-term solutions to address foreign exchange access issues for both domestic and foreign carriers.”
Highlighting the severity of the situation, the statement said, “As of August 2023, Nigeria accounts for $783 million of airlines’ blocked funds.”
According to the statement, IATA commends the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for its commitment to enhancing infrastructure and service standards at Lagos’s Murtala Muhammad International Airport within a twelve-month timeframe.
In related news, IATA had previously raised concerns about safety, security, and passenger service levels at Lagos Airport in the past year.
A recent high-level meeting between IATA and FAAN, represented by Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Kabir Mohammed, concluded with FAAN committing to expedite improvements in these areas as part of a corrective action plan.
Kamil Al Awadhi, IATA’s Regional Vice-President for Africa and the Middle East, said, “We welcome FAAN’s commitment to upgrade Lagos Airport, which serves as a vital domestic and international hub connecting Nigeria to the rest of Africa and beyond. This strategic focus not only strengthens the aviation sector but also acts as a catalyst for Nigeria’s broader economic and social progress. IATA is ready to provide support and expertise to FAAN to ensure that international standards are met through the corrective action plan. Safety, security, and efficient infrastructure are crucial for a well-functioning air transport system, as is the ability of airlines to access the revenues they generate in Africa.”
Federal Government Reopens D Wing of Murtala Muhammed International Airport
In a bid to address the escalating flight disruptions and enhance the efficiency of air travel, the Federal Government has officially reopened the D Wing of the old international terminal at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
The move is part of a broader effort to tackle the challenges faced by both travelers and airlines operating in Nigeria.
This challenge emerged following the sudden relocation of foreign airlines from the international terminal of the Lagos airport to an adjoining new terminal that opened in March.
The announcement of the reopening of the old international terminal, which had temporarily closed for renovation, was made by the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Festus Keyamo, on Monday.
According to a statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs & Consumer Protection at FAAN (Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria), Abdullahi Yakubu-Funtua, Minister Keyamo emphasized the government’s unwavering commitment to improving the aviation sector and ensuring passengers enjoy a seamless travel experience.
The statement reads in part, “We are pleased to inform the traveling public that Hon. Minister of Aviation, Mr. Festus Keyamo, has graciously permitted the use of the D Wing of the Old Murtala Muhammed International Terminal to complement the New International Terminal, aimed at facilitating the smooth movement of passengers through the airport.”
Minister Keyamo had originally ordered airlines to relocate to the new terminal starting on October 1, 2023. However, FAAN took the initiative to forcibly relocate the international carriers to the new facility on Wednesday.
The sudden relocation by FAAN coincided with a fire incident that occurred in part of the baggage hall of MMIA on the same day. This incident compelled the agency to evacuate passengers and personnel from the facility.
In response to the situation, Mr. Abdullahi Yakubu-Funtua, the Director of Media at FAAN, stated that the airport fire and other developments affecting power supply had necessitated the abrupt relocation of foreign carriers. He assured the public that FAAN is actively addressing the situation.
The utilization of the D Wing for passenger processing has already commenced, promising improved travel experiences for all passengers.
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