Tue, 12 Feb 2008
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Trade Minister Mari Pangestu said the government still maintained its non-oil export growth target which it had set at 14.5 percent this year, despite it had plans to downsize its economic growth target from 6.8 percent.

"No meeting has been held to discuss it (to lower the export target," the minister said here on Monday.

She said that Indonesia`s exports this year would face many obstacles due to declining demand for manufacturing products as a result of economic recession in the United States and other export destinations.

"But energy and mineral-based commodities such as palm oil are unlikely to be affected because demand for them will remain high. There is no hope however that their prices would increase two-folds," the minister said.

The trend of prices of several commodities in 2008, though fluctuating, will show downward graphics. "But in term of volumes they will remain stable. What are likely to be affected are prices of manufactured goods," she said.

Besides external factors, infrastructures such as ports and damaged roads will also hamper Indonesia`s exports, the minister said.

"We have discussed this matter for a long time but it seems that we still face problem. We now pins our hopes at toll roads now being constructed," Mari said.

She said that the government was aware of the losses importers were suffering due to infrastructure problems. The benefit of the infrastructure improvement program was expected to begin to be felt in 2009.

The density at ports will affect the smoothness of the exports of manufactured goods. "The capacity of the oil palm port in Kalimantan for example, is now about to be full," she said.

The lack of infrastructure support, ports in particular, also slowed down investment growth, one of which is of the electronics. "It even experienced a negative growth, expect certain electronics such as printers," the minister added.(*)



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