Sat, 13 Mar 2010
From: The Jakarta Post
By Mustaqim Adamrah, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Careful display: A stand at the 3rd International Furniture and Craft Fair Indonesia at the Jakarta International Expo in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, on Thursday. Participants from European and Middle East countries as well as Hong Kong, South Korea and the US are taking part in the exhibition which runs until Sunday. JP/Ricky YudhistiraCareful display: A stand at the 3rd International Furniture and Craft Fair Indonesia at the Jakarta International Expo in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, on Thursday. Participants from European and Middle East countries as well as Hong Kong, South Korea and the US are taking part in the exhibition which runs until Sunday. JP/Ricky Yudhistira

Indonesian furniture exports have recorded a strong recovery during the past several months after a plunge of about 40 percent during the first half of last year as a result of the worldwide economic downturn, an executive of a furniture association has said.

Indonesian Furniture Entrepreneurs Association (Asmindo) chairman Ambar Tjahyono said in Jakarta on Thursday that Indonesian furniture has begun to regain its position in the global market on the back of economic recovery.

“Although, the global crisis had caused our exports drop about 40 percent in the first half of last year, our total exports only fell by 15 percent during 2009,” he said after the opening ceremony of the 3rd International Furniture & Craft Fair Indonesia hosted by Asmindo.

Ambar said the industry managed to halt the declining trend in exports last year partly because of reported higher sales in October, November and December - the high season months for international furniture sales

According to Ambar, furniture exports declined from US$2.65 billion in 2008 to $2.35 billion in 2009. In January, furniture exports began to recover, rising by about 16 percent year-on-year starting the same month last year, he added.

“Besides that, the reduced fall in sales was also a result of Asmindo’s activities promoting trade with other countries in the world,” Ambar said.

Ambar said the United States and European markets were still the industry’s two main export destinations this year, accounting for 35 percent and 30 percent of total exports, respectively.

He said he had promoted that all 32 European Union member states should open their markets during a meeting in the EU headquarters last September.

“As the world economy has begun to recover, I hope furniture exports will increase by 15 to 20 percent this year,” Ambar said.

He also said he was upbeat that Indonesian furniture exports would be able to fully recover this year thanks to the fact that overseas buyers had begun to increase their orders. Indonesia should learn from Vietnam whose exports rose by 40 percent in 2009 despite the financial crisis, Ambar said.

“I’m obsessed [to outperform] Vietnam , which can [book] a 40 percent increase in furniture exports,” he said.

He said Vietnam managed to score big sales because “its government’s regulations and commitment to developing domestic industries are clear, in addition to good promotion and good working performance”.

“Moreover, Chinese companies whose products were rejected by the US because of dumping allegations relocated to Vietnam and opened their businesses there to export [their products] to the US. They contributed to Vietnam’s success as well,” he said.

Meanwhile, the four-day fair - being held in the Jakarta International Expo compound, Central Jakarta is aiming at transactions worth at least $250 million. This would be a 47 percent increase on transactions of about $170 million last year.

The fair expects more than 2,500 buyers from all around the world, compared to 1,721 buyers last year.



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