Wed, 12 Mar 2008
From: The Jakarta Post
By Novia D. Rulistia, The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) expects the government's "one village one product" (OVOP) program to go ahead next year as planned, despite incomplete studies on core potentials and competencies of cited regions.

The OVOP program, originally proposed by Kadin, aims to discover hidden opportunities to boost the country's industrial competitiveness, including searches for regions home to natural resources suitable for development, referred to in the studies as core competencies.

Kadin chairman Ilhamy Elias said Tuesday the program was progressing well, and the Industry Ministry had so far managed to locate more than 40 regions deemed eligible.

He also said more intense studies were needed to substantiate the initial findings.

"As development of the OVOP program will start next year, the study on regional core competencies needs to be intensified," he said, adding that the government and Kadin expected there would be around 80 regions throughout the nation found to be eligible for development.

Regions that have already met the criteria include Cirebon, Bengkulu, Lombok, Surakarta and Gorontalo.

Kadin said included in the potential for development were cassava and fish products, traditional medicine and herbs, textiles and pottery, metal crafts and paper products.

Ihany said following the completion of the studies, the next important step in the program would be to develop the discovered competencies, ensuring they acquire infrastructure and financial support.

"People live in these villages and those with or without businesses should also be introduced to the projects and be trained in technical, administrative, marketing and management skills," Ilhamy said.

The program hopes to improve the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises in domestic and global markets.

Pilot projects for the program include the development of existing production centers in Java, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, North Sumatra and West Sumatra.

Fauzi Azu, the Industry Ministry's director general for small and medium industries, said the government would implement the program during its first stage at a songket production center in Sikek, West Sumatra, as infrastructure had already been prepared.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla said such programs were not new to Indonesia, citing that Yogyakarta had already been identified as a locus for silver trading and Pekalongan for batik.



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