Fri, 18 Jul 2003

Indonesia to hold solo expo in Middle East

Evi Mariani, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Indonesia will present its first solo exhibition in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates in an attempt to boost the country's exports to Africa and the Middle East.

"I hope Indonesian entrepreneurs take this opportunity to display their products at the exhibition," Minister of Industry and Trade Rini M.S. Soewandi said on Thursday.

Organized by the National Agency for Export Development (BPEN), the Indonesia Solo Exhibition (ISE) 2003 will be held from Sept. 16 to Sept. 20.

She said that high-demanded products in the region included textiles, plastics, home appliances, furniture, automotive supplies, building materials, steel and a variety of consumer goods.

"However, export products other than the above-mentioned are also welcome to join the expo," she said.

Participating exporters are required to pay Rp 8.4 million (US$1,024) for a 3 x 3 meter booth.

The organizer will pay the obligatory Rp 1,000,000 Indonesian exit fee, locally known as the Fiskal, for each person and provide participants with facilities like free translators, free excess baggage of up to 50 kilograms, and a free delivery service.

Rini expected more than 10,000 buyers from the Middle East, East and North Africa, South Asia and Balkan countries would attend the expo.

Sharjah is a city about 25 kilometers from Dubai, the largest port city in the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai is a top export trade center for many countries such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran; former Soviet republics Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan; North African countries Morocco, Libya, Egypt and Algeria; and South Asian countries India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Most of the countries are new frontiers for Indonesia, which exports most of its products to the United States, Europe and Japan.

According to government data, export to the United Arab Emirates, which reached US$719 million last year, has been dominated by textiles, furniture, tires and chemicals.