Mon, 06 Oct 2008
Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - Trade Minister Mari Pangestu called for reducing import of consumer goods here on Sunday to equalize the Indonesian balance of trade following predictions on the country`s export performance next year as a result of the world`s flagging economy.

"The drop in the economic growth and commodity prices will indeed reduce import growth. We will see how we can reduce the import of consumer goods especially by government agencies," she said after a meeting of ministers concerned with economic affairs.

This year the import value reached 46 percent while the volume rose 13 percent, driven by the increasing price of commodities needed by Indonesia such as steel, minerals, oil and gas, she said.

Industry minister Fahmi Idris said import restructuring had to be done carefully to avoid negative impact on industries such as a slowdown in the real sector.

He said to minimize the negative impact of the restructuring the government needed to promote the use of domestic products.

"So far the policy was put only in a ministerial decision. Now consideration has to be made to make it into a law so that any institution must buy domestic products when they have to purchase capital goods," he said.

He said he would discuss the matter with the state minister for state-owned firms.(*)



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