Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the 2020 Launching of Exports to Global Markets (virtually), Friday, 4 December 2020, from the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java Province
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
Peace and prosperity be upon us all,
Greetings of Virtue.
Honorable Minister of Trade as well as Ministers of the Indonesia Onward Cabinet; Honorable governors, deputy governors, regents, mayors;
Honorable Governor of Bank Indonesia, Chairperson of the OJK (Financial Services Authority), and all heads of state institutions;
Honorable business actors, exporters;
One of the keys to improving the national economy is by increasing exports.
Not only to help business actors grow and create jobs but also to generate foreign exchange and reduce our current account deficit.
Indeed, the current pandemic and the sluggish global economy have impacted export markets. They are bound to decline. However, we must not give up. We have to look more closely at the export market opportunities that are still wide open in countries that are also currently experiencing a pandemic. Our potential is still very large, in term of the diversity of commodity products, in terms of creativity and quality, in terms of volume and export destinations. The key is to be proactive and not passive.
It is a pleasure to read the report that Indonesia’s exports from January to October 2020 were indeed a surplus of US$17.07 billion, from coffee, garments, home decor, furniture, fisheries, and food and beverages. However, we must not be satisfied with our current achievements because the untapped potential for the export market is still exceedingly large.
We are also still lagging behind other countries in capturing export opportunities. I take the example of coffee export. In 2019, Indonesia was the fourth largest coffee producer in the world after Brazil, Vietnam, and Colombia. However, Indonesia is listed as the 8th largest coffee exporter in the world, losing to Brazil, Switzerland, Germany, Colombia, even Vietnam.
So, the portrait of Indonesia’s coffee export performance is still behind that of Vietnam, which in 2019 reached US$2.22 billion. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s coffee export performance in 2019 was at US$883.12 million.
Likewise, we are still lagging behind in term of other export commodities. We are the 8th largest garment producer in the world, but in fact, we are the 22nd largest garment exporter in the world. We are the world’s largest producer of lightwood, including sengon and jabon woods. But being the 19th largest exporter of home decor in the world, we even lost to Vietnam. And, we are only ranked 21st in the world in the export of furniture products.
We are known as the world’s second-largest producer of fishery products. However, its export portrait is also still ranked 13th in the world. These are the facts that I must say.
I see that being lag behind does not have to make us pessimistic. There is no other way for us other than to take corrective steps, reform steps. There is a need for major reforms to the business ecosystem for our exporters. One by one, look for solutions to the problems that hinder export performance. I have frequently said that we must simplify complicated regulations immediately. I have also repeated many times, to cut the red tape.
I remind you again to accelerate negotiations, the Comprehensive Partnership Economic Agreements, CEPA, especially with potential countries, which are markets for our export products. And, for various existing trade agreements, do optimize immediately, while continuing to seek new markets in non-traditional countries so that our export market will expand.
The Trade Attaché and the Indonesian Trade Promotion Center (ITPC) must be able to become market agents in marketing intelligence. The competitiveness of exporters, especially small and medium enterprises must be continuously improved. Do collaborate with SMEs throughout Indonesia to form a strong unit to fulfill order buyers. Do strengthen cooperation with banks and the Indonesian Export Financing Agency (LPEI) to finance export-oriented SMEs. Expand programs such as export coaching programs and so on. We have to meet the global market standards with a strong brand and with better packaging. This will increase our exports.
Lastly, I remind you that this launching of export products should not only become a ceremonial activity but instead should be used as a sustainable momentum, resulting in an increasing export value.
That concludes my remarks on this auspicious occasion. And, by saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim, today, I inaugurate the launching of value-added and competitive exports (products) from our country, Indonesia, to the global market.
I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Om Santi Santi Santi Om,
Translated by Fairuzzamani Inayatillah
Reviewed by Muhardi