President Jokowi Calls for Use of Domestic Products
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has ordered Ministry of Trade to establish right policies and strategies to develop domestic product market through “Proud of Made in Indonesian Product” National Movement.
According to the President, shopping centers, malls in capital Jakarta and in the regions must be encouraged to provide space for Indonesian products, especially MSMEs.
“Do not let the front space of strategic spots be displayed with foreign brands. In fact, we must provide space for local brands in the best spots,” said the President in his remarks during the 2021 National Working Meeting of the Ministry of Trade at the State Palace, Jakarta, Thursday (04/03).
The President also underscored that branding must be attached so that people love Indonesian products more than foreign products, adding that more than 270 million people of the country’s population should become the most loyal consumers of domestic products.
“Calls to love our own products, Indonesian products must continue to be echoed,” he said.
In the meantime, Minister of Trade Muhammad Lutfi maintained that the campaign to love Indonesian products echoed by the President is a response to unfair digital trade practices against MSMEs.
“The campaign to love Indonesian products and to avoid using imported products is a response to unfair digital trade practices against MSMEs. The President reminded that current digital trade practices are killing MSMEs. For that, we must defend, protect and empower MSMEs to be in the next level,” said the Minister.
The Minister went on to say that this statement does not mean that the President is anti-import. In another part of his remarks, the Minister added, the Head of State also asserted that Indonesia is not a nation that favors protectionism because history has proven that protectionism is detrimental.
The President, he added, also reiterated that Indonesia must not fall victim of the injustice of the world’s digital giants and digital transformation is a win-win solution for all.
“The President’s statement serves as an impetus for us to boost local products, improve their quality and to love local products,” said the Minister.
On the occasion, the President also appealed to Ministry of Trade’s ranks to pay serious attention to the export market, adding that non-traditional markets continue to expand not just fixated on the same export markets, for example, the European Union and the United States.
“Many countries see economic growth of more than five percent, in South Asia, in Eastern Europe and other countries. This must be taken seriously,” he added.
Furthermore, the President demanded that MSMEs be assisted to be able to penetrate the export market. According to him, Indonesia needs MSMEs to become exporters in large numbers.
90 percent of exporters are currently MSMEs but their export contribution is only 13 percent, meaning that the capacity needs to be increased and expanded.
“Last year, I reminded Minister of Trade to revive the Export Support Board to assist MSMEs in improving their production, designs and packaging. This must join hands with other ministries / institutions to improve the competitiveness of our MSMEs in the global market,” he said.
The President also called for acceleration of negotiations with potential countries. This is a priority agenda given in times like this, Indonesia needs a new export market, he added.
“We have finalized the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA). I appeal to the Minister to complete the CEPA with South Korea, the European Union and with other countries,” he said.
The President also pointed out that the implementation of 23 signed bilateral and regional trade agreements must also be fully utilized by business actors, while citing an example that business actors must be able to seize opportunities through the IA-CEPA.
“I think the biggest opportunity is automotive. Learn what the market is like, what kind of consumers it is, inform the country so that we can really open up the market in Australia and certainly other MSME products that have the opportunity. We need to assist and boost our MSME products to increase export value and product diversification to our trading partner countries,” he said.
As for manufacturing sectors that provide many employment such as automotive, electronics, textiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and F&B, the President asked for stimulus, export facilities and incentives aimed at expanding the market, especially non-traditional countries by taking advantage of trade cooperation and optimizing the performance of Indonesian trade representatives abroad.
The President also ordered relevant ranks to continue to ensure availability of basic necessities throughout the country at stable and affordable prices and to ensure price equality in rural areas.
“We have to anticipate this. I also need to remind you that fasting month of Ramadan is only 40 days away; a month later is Eid el Fitr. Do prepare from now so that stock availability and stable prices can be ensured,” he remarked. (FID / Ministry of Trade PR / UN) (MUR / EP)