The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo criticized the Trade Ministry for not being more ambitious and coming up with new innovations to penetrate new markets abroad.
He claims the ministry has long worked in its comfort zone and has been unable to harness new markets outside traditional markets in the United States, Japan, China and Europe.
Jokowi cited the Indonesian Trade Promotion Centers (ITPC) as an example of routine work without fruition.
“The ITPC has stayed the same. I’m sorry, but I have to tell it like it is. There is nothing new with our exhibitions either. There are so many new markets that we have not seriously worked on,” he said during the opening of the ministry’s 2017 work meeting at the State Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday.
(Read also: Trade surplus hits 3-year high amid price recovery)
Although Jokowi acknowledged that traditional markets were safe, he claimed that there was potential outside. Jokowi cited the markets in Africa and Eurasia, which had potential values of US$550 billion and $251 billion, respectively. Even so, Indonesia only had a $4.2 billion hold in the African market and less than $1 billion in Eurasia.
“We never take them seriously even though we should not underestimate them,” he said.
Jokowi asked that high quality small and medium enterprises (SMEs) participate in exhibitions abroad. Furthermore, he said spending more on better located stands at exhibitions was not a problem as it would improve Indonesia’s reputation.
“Spending a little more is fine as long as it’s not a place next to the restrooms, which I know has a lot of discounts. However, it hurts our brand to be located in those places. These kinds of habits must be erased,” he said. (bbn)
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