Fri, 29 Dec 2000

BPEN to reopen trade promotion centers

JAKARTA (JP): The National Agency for Export Development (BPEN) has plans to reopen three overseas trade promotion centers next year to bolster non-oil and gas exports, according to an agency official.

Gusmardi Bustami, the head of the BPEN said during a press conference on Tuesday that the three centers were among the 13 trade centers closed in July 1998 as part of belt-tightening measures to cope with the economic crisis.

He noted, however, that the agency had yet to decide their whereabouts.

"We will meet in January to determine the locations," Gusmardi said.

"Based on expectations that exports will increase in the coming year, we consider now is the right time to reopen our trade centers to boost Indonesian exports," he added.

The 13 closed trade centers were located in Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Mexico City, Hamburg, London, Rotterdam, Budapest, Baghdad, Dubai, Jeddah, Osaka, and Sydney.

Gusmardi said the agency had reopened the trade promotion center in Osaka, Japan on Dec. 8.

It decided to open the Osaka trade center first because Japan is Indonesia's top export market, accounting for 21.4 percent of the country's non-oil and gas export revenue, the agency said.

Gusmardi said since the reopening of the center, 14 Indonesian entrepreneurs had benefited from the center to secure orders from Japanese businessmen for Indonesian goods worth US$400,000 in total.

Gusmardi said the government has targeted $53 billion in non- oil and gas export earnings next year.

"That's still a conservative figure," Gusmardi said, adding that Indonesia might earn $55 billion next year based on the significant increase in export earnings booked this year.

He said Indonesia was expecting to record US$48 billion in export earnings this year, as against the target of $44.7 billion.

Indonesia booked $39.9 billion in the first 10 months of the year, a 24.6 percent increase from the same period last year, according to Gusmardi. (03)