Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - Indonesia`s non-oil/non-gas exports are expected to grow 8.98 percent this year, falling short of the target of 13.5 percent due to low demand in export destination countries such as the United States, Europe and Japan, an economist said.
"We cannot expect too much from India and China because their imports from Indonesia mostly consist of raw materials to produce goods for exports to the US and Europe. In the end, they will also reduce their imports from Indonesia because of low demand in the US and Europe," Martin PH Panggabean of Bank Mandiri said on Thursday.
Therefore, local exporters must have the courage to enter non-conventional markets such as North Africa and Latin America, he said.
"Our exports to North Africa must comprise textiles and furniture. We will lose to China if we export manufactured goods to the area," he said.
He also asked the government to stabilize the rupiah`s exchange rate because its strong appreciation would disrupt the country`s export performance.
Low export performance would make it difficult for the government to achieve the economic growth rate target of 6.1 percent for this year, he said.
"5.7-5.8 percent is the baseline of our economic growth forecast for this year," he said.
The projection used the year-end Bank Indonesia (BI) rate and inflation rate assumptions of 9.5 percent and 10.5 percent respectively, he said.(*)