Sun, 26 Sep 2010

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The newly elected chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) should be able to energize domestic industries which have for years seen negative growth, a businessmen`s association leader said.

Erwin Aksa, chairman of the Indonesian Young Entrepreneurs Association (HIPMI), said here Saturday the number of domestic industries that underwent negative growth had increased since the coming into force of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA).

In 2007, negative-growth suffering industries were to be found in three sectors but since ACFTA such industries existed in five sectors, namely steel, textiles, timber, and manufacturing, he said.

"Manufacturing is showing growth signals but the non oil/non-gas sectors still need a boost," said Erwin.

In terms of industrial growth, Indonesia was also lagging behind other countnries in the ASEAN region, Erwin said.

He said Malaysia had launched a two-stage stimulus program through a multi-billion dollar development plan from Johor to the Thai border to encourage economic growth, the same effort will also be made by Thailand and Vietnam.

"These countries` industries have been growing at above 10 percent, while we are still stuck at five percent," he said.

"Even Singapore which experienced a recession recently is optimistic of achieving 15 percent growth in 2010 but we are still struggling to reach five percent," he said.

Therefore, Erwin hoped the new Kadin chairman will be able assist the government in preparing a roadmap and direction of national industrial development as well as in solving various problems that had inhibited industrial growth.

"Lack of infrastructure, regulatory overlaps, inefficiency and energy policies that do not help domestic industries, lack of national-level initiatives, and the low competitiveness of domestic industries are among the series of issues that must be addressed urgently," he said.

He said efforts to tackle these problems must begin with such things as building roads, bridges, ports, electricity networks, bank branch offices, hospitals, factories and trade centers.(*)