Wed, 17 Mar 2010

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:The Indonesian Furniture Entrepreneurs Association (ASMINDO) is optimistic that Indonesia’s furniture industry could compete with China.

“This is an economic war, but our turf is quality,” said ASMINDO Chairman, Ambar Tjahjono, in Jakarta, on Sunday (14/3).

According to Ambar the potential of domestic market for Chinese furniture is in the region of US$500 million or around Rp4.6 trillion.

Meanwhile Indonesian-made furniture will only be in the region of between US$250 million and US$300 million.

ASMINDO is targeting an increase in Indonesian furniture product sales of up to US$ 600 million in the next few years.

“This is our fault because all this time we have been too focused on exports,” said Ambar.

To be able to compete with China, local furniture makers are starting to cooperate with real estate parties, apartment owners and production house in promoting Indonesian-made furniture.

In June ASMINDO will hold the SMESCO exhibition in Jakarta for civil servants.

At the exhibition, the payment mechanism will be made easier with a leasing system.

“So, it is not just “Love Indonesian Products’, but also Use Indonesian Products’,” said Ambar.

Besides that, there should be a non-trade obstacle through the standardization of furniture coming from China through eco-labeling, wood certification and Indonesian furniture products which are internationally acclaimed with the pro-environment policy.

“Some 85 percent of spray paint for Chinese furniture is poisonous,” added Ambar.

He went on to say that Indonesian furniture entrepreneurs will hold an exhibition in Shanghai, China, this year, by renting a 1.600 m2 plot of land.

ASMINDO is also negotiating to cooperate in facilitating Indonesian goods to enter China.

“Indonesia should also be able to fight China,” said Ambar.

Ambar added that there needs to be synergy between the government and private entities in strengthening the Indonesian furniture industry.

“Do not let government go to the left, and private entities go to the right,” said Ambar.

Right now China dominates as the biggest furniture producer in the world with an export value of US$30 billion.

Meanwhile Indonesia is far behind with an export value of US$ 2.6 billion.

In Indonesia, Chinese furniture is preferred because of its cheaper prices.

"Indonesian furniture is preferred in the US, Europe and India. But Indonesians use Chinese furniture," said Ambar.