Thu, 06 Jan 2011

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia intends to export more non-oil/non-gas commodities in 2011 to cover its swelling trade deficit with China, a trade official said.

"The deficit can be lowered by increasing exports, coupled with efforts to improve the quality and added value of the products," Vice-Trade Minister Mahendra Siregar said to the media after accompanying Trade Minister Mari Elka Pengestu in a press briefing on export-import performance at Trade Ministry on Wednesday.

Siregar added that non-oil/non gas trade imbalance with China in the 10-month period of 2010 had surged compared to the same period 2009 when the figure was 3.91 billion US dollars.

The soaring non-oil/non-gas trade deficit with China in January-October 2010, he said, was predominantly caused by imports of raw materials valued at 3.1 billion US dollars and capital goods valued at 1.7 billion US dollars.

The vice-trade minister argued that the performance of 2009 could fairly be compared with 2010 as it was not representative considering the global crisis in 2009. the 2008 figure was better for a comparison, he pointed out.

If compared to non-oil and gas trade deficit in the January-October 2008 period of 6.1 billion US dollars, he said, the deficit over the same period in 2010 is lower as export was recorded surging more than imports.

Siregar also said that non-oil and gas export to China during January-October 2010 period was up 56 percent compared with the same period of 2008 when import increased only 23 percent.

Non-oil and gas export to China in November 2010 was recorded 1.7 billion US dollars, or a 34.6 percent increase compared to the previous month.

Total trade between Indonesia and China in 2010 amounted to 28.2 billion US dollars, surging 40.6 percent compared to 2009 which was registered 20.07 billion US dollars.

Non-oil and gas trade was the largest which was valued at 26.52 billion US dollars.

In 2010, Indonesia exported non-oil and gas product 10.6 billion US dollars, while imported non-oil and gas products 16.59 billion US dollars.

Overall, Indonesia underwent a trade deficit 4.9 billion US dollars, a 152-percent increase over the deficit in 2009 which was valued at 1.9 billion US dollars, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS).(*)