Tuesday, 22 January, 2008 | 16:18 WIB
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said that the government will be alert to the United States’ recession threat against Indonesia’s exports and the economy. The government will shift the export target from the US to other countries.
Mari said the growth of Indonesia’s export to the US has regressed since last year. The growth of exports to the US only reached five percent from the previous 10 percent. “The secret is market and product diversification. The market which experienced growth is in Asia, comprising China, India, Korea and Japan,” she said at the State Palace, Monday (21/1).
In addition to Asian markets, Indonesia will also aim at the markets of Russia and the Middle East, which is growing as an oil producer. Mari said the market outside America has been worked on seriously starting last year.
She said the government will focus on domestic economic growth when exports undergo a decrease. “As regards domestic affairs, we must focus on fiscal stimulus so as to proceed with better investment this year,” she said.
General Chairman of the Indonesian Entrepreneurs Association (Apindo), Sofyan Wanandi, said the market diversification cannot be acomplished to alleviate the US’ recession impact. “It cannot be, because 50 percent of the world’s trade is in America. So it cannot be shifted,” he said.
Sofyan agreed that Indonesia’s economy must be supported from the inside, especially the government’s investment in infrastructure projects.
In addition to infrastructure projects, Sofyan said Indonesia’s economy still depends on natural resources-based products. According to him, now economic activities cannot rely on the foreign sector. “But on one’s own strength, as there is still the mining and plantation sectors,” he said.