Fri, 27 Aug 2010

From: The Jakarta Globe

By Eny Wulandari
Jakarta. The value of major manufactured exports jumped dramatically in the first half of the year, and the full-year totals could equal those seen in 2008, before the global financial crisis sent the world economy into a tailspin, a senior government trade official said on Thursday.

The Trade Ministry said the value of exports of automotive products, electronics, footwear and textiles all soared during the first half, and were expected to keep climbing.

The automotive sector - covering cars, trucks, motorcycles and parts - grew 47.9 percent year on year, with exports hitting $1.32 billion.

The sector saw $1.73 billion of exports in the whole of last year.

Electronics grew 38 percent in the first half to $4.83 billion, compared with $8.68 billion for all of last year.

Footwear saw more modest growth of 26.1 percent, with first-half exports reaching $1.17 billion, compared with $1.74 billion in 2009.

Textile exports rose 17.4 percent to $4.95 billion, compared with a total of $ 9.26 billion last year.

Deputy Trade Minister Mahendra Siregar said the government expected even better figures in the textile, automotive and electronics sectors by the end of the year.

“We are predicting that textile exports can reach $10 billion by the end of 2010,” he said, adding that such a result would match 2008 levels, when textile exports were $10.14 billion.

Mahendra said the government was optimistic that automotive exports could match the $2.73 billion figure posted in 2008.

“The sector can improve because it is making use of the Asean free-trade agreement,” he said.

Most of Indonesia’s automotive exports go to Thailand, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, with Thailand being the only Asean member.

Mahendra said the government was targeting $9 billion in electronics exports this year as both advanced and emerging countries became bigger importers.

Indonesia sells most of its electronics to Australia, France and the Philippines, which replaced the US, Singapore and Japan as big export destinations.

Textile exports go mostly to the US, South Korea and Turkey, but Indonesia is also eying Italy, China and Brazil as serious customers.

For footwear, Belgium, the United States and Italy have been major buyers since 2005.

Total first-half exports rose 44 percent to $72.55 billion, while imports surged 51.99 percent to $62.89 billion.

Trade Minister Mari Pangestu said on Thursday the economy was expected to grow 6 percent this year and accelerate in 2011.

She was speaking in Danang, Vietnam, where she is attending a meeting of Asean economic ministers.

The pace of expansion in the third and fourth quarters should “continue to pick up,” in part because government spending “is normally much higher in the second half,” Mari said.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg