Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesias Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita revealed that the countrys exports in 2017 had reached US$168.7 billion, a year-on-year increase of 19.8 percent.
Exports have surpassed the previous target of a 5.6 percent increase, Enggartiasto noted at the opening of the ministrys working meeting here on Wednesday.
The opening was attended by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), some cabinet ministers, and businessmen.
The minister disclosed that the exports were supported by an increase in the non-oil and gas exports, at 15.8 percent, and oil and gas exports, at 20.1 percent.
He stated that the ministry had implemented some strategies to increase exports and had reoriented the task of trade representatives overseas.
"Not only as a government agent but also as business and marketing agent," Enggartiasto noted.
In a bid to boost exports to non-traditional markets, Enggartiasto revealed that the ministry had sent its trade mission to South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Russia, and Chile, with transactions worth $264.7 million, or more than Rp3.57 trillion.
"Non-oil and gas exports to non-traditional markets, such as Africa, Latin America, Middle East, and South Asia, have shown positive growth in 2017," he remarked.
He believes that this positive momentum has continued into early 2018.
"I accompanied the president on his tour to South Asia, covering Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Apart from accelerating the international negotiation process, we also sent a trade mission to India, with potential transactions reaching $2.16 billion (Rp28.6 trillion), and another mission to Pakistan, with transactions worth $115.02 million (1.52 trillion)," he elaborated.
In the energy sector, the ministry has signed an agreement to export liquefied natural gas to Pakistan and Bangladesh worth $10 billion (Rp13.5 trillion).
"India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are among the 10 largest contributors to Indonesias trade balance surplus," he stated, adding that the three countries are expecting more Indonesian products to enter their markets.
On the issue of food prices in the domestic market, he noted that the ministry can maintain stability in the prices of food items and their supply by focusing on domestic absorption.
The inflation rate was relatively low, at 3.6 percent, with food inflation, at 1.3 percent, dropping from the previous rate of 5.7 percent in 2016.
"Food inflation was at its lowest level and most manageable during the past five years," he pointed out.
In line with the target to revitalize five thousand traditional markets in the 2014-2019 period, the ministry is currently conducting revitalization of 2,715 traditional markets.
The ministry has developed a market monitoring system for basic necessities that will become an online and real time reference for information on food prices.
The system contains information on the average price of 19 goods and nine basic necessities in 34 provinces across the country.
"We will also use this system as a transparent indicator to manage the supply of basic necessities," Enggartiasto added.
Source: ANTARA News