The Jakarta Post
Executive director of the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF) Enny Sri Hartati, has warned the government over the sharp increase in non-oil and gas imports from China, which increased 24.94 percent to US$11.1 billion in March, compared to February.
She said it was an indication of the waning competitiveness of Indonesian consumption products in the domestic market compared to those from China.
The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded that total imports from China reached $13.36 billion, an increase of 17.65 percent from February. It is the highest figure since January 2015. The import value from China amounted to a quarter of Indonesia’s total imports.
Enny criticized the government for considering the sharp increase to be a positive sign, and argued it actually indicated the declining performance of Indonesian industry, or at least that Indonesian industry had not experienced significant recovery.
Enny also disagreed with the government’s argument that the sharp increase in imports was only a seasonal occurrence, prior to the fasting month of Ramadhan and Idul Fitri celebrations.
“If it is related to stabilizing food prices, the increase should not have come from China. It should have come from Thailand and Vietnam,” she said as reported by tribunnews.com on Tuesday.
Enny said the government should pay serious attention to the fact that 25 percent of Indonesia’s imports come from China. She considered this fact to be extraordinary considering total exports from ASEAN countries only reached 20 percent. (bbn)