Mon, 22 Dec 2003

Minister opens China business expo

Sari P. Setiogi, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Minister of Industry and Trade Rini MS Soewandi urged China's manufacturers to maintain the quality of their products and after sales service when exporting them to this country.

She said that there have been complaints about the low quality of "made in China" products being sold here, pointing out as an example of growing public complaints about Chinese-made motorcycles due to a lack of after-sales service and supply of spare parts.

Rini was speaking on Saturday at the opening of a four-day China Engineering and Technology Fair, held at the Jakarta Fairground in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta.

The Indonesian market has been flooded with inexpensive electronics and other manufacturing products from China, which compete with more expensive Japanese and South Korean brands.

Rini also expected the exhibition would facilitate exchange of know-how, experience and expertise between businessmen of the countries.

She also invited Chinese industrialists and businessmen at the exhibition to explore the opportunity of investing through joint venture with Indonesian companies as the country's economy continues to recover.

The China Technology and Engineering Fair, which features petrochemical products, telecommunications, highway construction techniques, coal mining and machinery, is the first to be held in Southeast Asia. Previously, the same fair was held in India, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates.

Sun Qianyuan, a deputy director at China's Ministry of Commerce, said that they were planning to hold a similar fair in Germany next year.

Among the more than 60 participating companies, mostly state- owned enterprises, are China Telecom, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), and China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC).

The Chinese mission is led by the assistant Minister of Commerce of the People's Republic of China, Chen Jian.

Shen Weihe, commercial marketing department officer from CNOOC -- which controls about 80 percent of offshore oil industry in China -- told The Jakarta Post that his company was interested in investing in Indonesia's offshore oil sector.

He added that CNOOC was ready to share its experience in the oil business with local firms.

"In the coming years, we're sure we can establish new projects here," he said.

Next to the expo, there was also the China Export Products Fair 2003 -- which was also held for the very first time here this year -- displaying fabric, footwear, electronics, farming machinery and more.

According to Rini, the total trade between Indonesia and China has doubled from US$2.7 billion in 1998 to $5.3 billion in 2002, increasing by about 16.77 percent annually.

This year, from January to July, total trade had increased by 29.21 percent. Indonesian exports to China rose by 23.85 percent, while Indonesian imports from China increased by 36.19 percent.