TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi has stated that within the past two years Indonesian exports to African countries have reached a value of US$ 2 billion. She claimed that this was achieved thanks to the government’s focus on capitalizing non-traditional export markets.
“When handled seriously, (export) markets like those in Africa have resulted in transactions worth over US$2 billion, in less than two years,” said Retno during the opening of Indonesian State Representatives meeting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the State Palace, Jakarta, on Thursday, January 9, 2020.
Aside from that, Retno went on to highlight how a number of strategic Indonesian products have managed to penetrate other nontraditional export markets, such as South and Central Asia, amongst others.
On the same occasion, President Joko Widodo, or more commonly known as Jokowi, has acknowledged that Indonesia has been overly reliant on traditional markets. As a result, the president has asked his diplomats to build a good rapport with nontraditional export countries.
“This has been our problem for years, that can not change the trade balance deficit. This is because, for decades, we have only been focusing on our old export markets, traditional export markets, the big ones that we have exported to for a long time, such as America, Europe, and China,” said Jokowi.
According to Joko Widodo, Indonesia should instead be targeting export destinations like the ones in Africa, as a handful number of these countries are experiencing economic growth of greater than five percent. “Please carefully inspect and inform (me) what are the opportunities (for us) there,” he said.
AHMAD FAIZ IBNU SANI | DIO SUHENDA