Thu, 06 Jan 2011

From: The Jakarta Globe

By Faisal Maliki Baskoro
Jakarta. Indonesia has forecast non-oil and gas exports to increase 15 percent this year as more companies sell their goods overseas, Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said.

Exports barring oil and gas are projected to reach $145 billion this year from last year’s forecast of $126.4 billion, Mari said on Wednesday.

The estimate assumes that global economic growth will reach 4.2 percent with increasing commodity prices and investments, which are expected to rise 11 percent this year.

“Textiles, paper, palm oil and cocoa exports will increase significantly this year,” Mari said.

Textile exports are expected to grow 10.4 percent as the ministry still sees good prospects in the sector’s main export destinations, including the United States, European Union, Middle East and other Asean countries.

Footwear exports are targeted for 20 percent growth, in line with the US and EU economic recoveries and increasing potential in non-traditional markets such as Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Central Asia.

Crude palm oil is expected to grow by 16 percent on the back of a huge investment plan worth $1.2 billion this year, as well as high market potential in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Processed cocoa exports are expected to grow 61 percent, while exports of cocoa seeds are expected to grow 22 percent.

The rise will be supported by increasing production capacity to 280,000 tons this year from 180,000 tons last year, Mari said.

She also pointed to agreements such as the Asean-China Free Trade Agreement as potential export boosters.

“In last November alone, our exports to China increased 34.6 percent to $1.7 billion, overtaking Japan, the EU and USA as our main export destination. This confirms that ACFTA is having a positive impact for us,” she said.

While emerging Asian markets will remain top export destinations, she said, Indonesia will also look for new opportunities in Africa, South America and Eastern Europe.

Its main destinations are China, the United States, Japan and Singapore, which account for 47 percent of exports.

Investment in manufacturing was forecast to reach Rp 124.6 trillion ($13.8 billion) last year. Exports from the manufacturing sector grew by 34.4 percent to $87.7 billion in 2010.