Exports` Contribution to Trade Surplus Inadequate

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaCoordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution said trade surplus so far would be more ideal if it was supported by more adequate export performance.

    "So far exports have dropped but imports have dropped even lower creating a surplus. This is a good news but is not enough. It will be enough if surplus happens because exports rise," he said on Thursday.

    Darmin said export performance was not yet optimal because exports so far have been based more on natural resources while prices of the commodities in the international markets have sharply declined.

    National exports have weakened because demand in the export destination countries is down making the countrys economic growth in the first semester this year reached only 4.7 percent, he said.

    In view of that the government is now seeking to diversify exports in terms of products and export destinations so that Indonesia will nolonger be dependent on crude palm oil, rubber or coal exports which are vulnerable to global conditions, he said.

    One of the initiatives is deregulating licensing procedures and export financing assistance by LPEI which is included in the economic policy packages issued recently to make small industries to revive again to boost national economy, he explained.

    "In our deregulation this time we do not only simplify licensing procedures but also encouraging investment in the industrial sector as well as helping in the export financing especially for micro, small and medium industries as they what we have," he said.

    He said various kinds of products have started to be developed by manufacturing sector such as food products, jewelry, footwear, gem stones so that exports will not rely much on natural resources.

    According to National Statistics Agency Indonesia enjoyed a surplus of $1.02 billion in September 2015 and trade from January to September has always been in surplus for the country.

    "Indeed trade was in surplus since January to September although export-import performance tended to drop early in the year," the agency`s chief, Suryamin, said.

    From January to September 2015 Indonesia enjoyed a surplus of US$7.13 billion up from a deficit of US$1.67 billion in the same period last year.