Trade Ministry should support SMEs to boost export competitiveness

Jakarta The Trade Ministry's cooperation with all ministries and institutions, principally financing institutions throughout Indonesia, is deemed necessary to assist export-oriented small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to step up their export competitiveness.

"SMEs are entitled to privileges to obtain financing access through a simpler assessment process and greater competitive interest. Synergy among all relevant parties is crucial to increase the competitive edge of SMEs in Indonesia, so they can contribute to Indonesia's exports," Director of Export Development Cooperation of the Trade Ministry Marolop Nainggolan noted in a written statement released on Tuesday.

He made the remarks during a focus group discussion in Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi Province, on the development of SMEs aimed at facilitating exports through financing.

Nainggolan remarked that the SMEs contributed below 10 percent to the national exports. Thus, it is far lower than those of SMEs in Switzerland, China, the Netherlands, Japan, the United States, and several ASEAN member states, such as Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

The meeting agreed that at the Trade Ministry's proposal, collaboration in developing and nursing a select number of SMEs is deemed essential to facilitate them to export their products.

Coffee, chili sauce, seaweed, and passion fruit syrup are among the commodities and products selected from South Sulawesi.

As a follow-up to the move, an executive team has been formed comprising the South Sulawesi Provincial Trade Office, the Gubernatorial Team for the Acceleration of Economic Development, Free Trade Agreement Center of Makassar, the Rotating Fund Management Institute of Makassar, the West Sulawesi Regional Development Bank, and the Financial Service Authority Office in South Sulawesi.

The team is tasked with solving problems arising from financing, marketing, and certification that hamper business agents.

Source: Antara News

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