Trade Ministry Pushes for Processed Food Products Export During New Normal
Date 13 Juni 2020
Ministry of Trade has renewed its commitment to boost national exports, particularly processed foods, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Minister of Trade Agus Suparmanto, the ongoing outbreak has provided an opportunity to boost export of the country’s processed food products.
“Export of processed food has the potential to increase during the pandemic, considering that processed food is one of the main needs during quarantine and the new normal,” he said.
For this reason, he added, the Ministry’s Director General of National Export Development Kasan has met with several processed food business players to obtain direct information on the impact of COVID-19 for export of processed food products
“The meeting aims to garner information to map the opportunities and challenges of the country’s mainstay exports, in this case, processed food products during and post the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of this meeting will also be used as inputs in managing market information and export products to serve businesses in the form of a help desk at the Ministry,” he said during a meeting with the ranks of food manufacturing giant PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk, Friday (12/6).
Kasan also pointed out that the implementation of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in several regions posed a challenge for business players in the country.
However, this condition, he argued, should not dampen the enthusiasm of businesses in export, given that the Government has established various strategic policies to encourage trade performance.
“Ministry of Trade continues to implement various policies to boost exports, such as increasing export information facilitation and services, as well as conducting export promotions and exploratory trade agreements (business matching) through trade representatives” he said, adding that the Ministry has also conducted virtual export training in collaboration with institutions from partner countries in an effort to encourage trade performance in the new normal.
Kasan also unveiled that during the outbreak, PT Indofood saw a rise in demand for its superior products, that is, instant noodles, both for domestic and export markets.
Meanwhile, implementation of health protocols, such as physical distancing, limitations on transportation aspects, and regional quarantine in several countries has resulted in a drop in production capacity and additional production costs, he added.
Other constraints come from the aspect of fulfilling raw materials, both local and imported affected by the disease.
For this reason, Kasan continued, the Ministry seeks to minimize export barriers in term of policies and facilitate aspects of domestic trade that can support the fulfillment of the need for exports, adding that the Ministry also seeks to make optimum use of the role of foreign trade representatives to facilitate national exporters.
“Ministry of Trade is committed to facilitating businesses to boost export market share. The information we obtain from this visit will certainly serve as inputs and consideration for the Government in issuing export-related policies. The Ministry and representatives of foreign trade are open and ready to assist if there are business players who want to look for opportunities or see obstacles in export activities,” he said.
For the record, the country’s trade balance recorded a surplus of USD2.2 billion in Q1 this year. The positive achievement was quite encouraging in the midst of the pandemic that hit almost all countries worldwide.
As for processed food products, Indonesia’s export value was recorded at USD1.32 billion, an increase of 7.9 percent compared to that in the same period last year.
Main destination countries for the country’s exports of processed food products in Q1 this year are the United States worth USD293.6 million (22.11 percent), the Philippines worth USD161.4 million (12.15 percent), Malaysia worth USD101.6 million (7.65 percent), Singapore worth USD74.9 million (5.64 percent), and Japan worth USD 71.9 million (5.41 percent). (Ministry of Trade PR/EN)
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas