The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has said that as a country that produces commodities such as coffee, chocolate, coconut and spices, Indonesia has the opportunity to benefit from the increasing demand of the soft commodities offered by lifestyle businesses.
The increasing demand occurred due to the emerging middle classes in China, India and African and Latin American countries, the President said.
"This is a big business [opportunity]. Don't let it slip away. We have micro, small and medium enterprises as well as big firms. Don't let other countries seize on it this first. We need to be agile," he said in his speech at the closing of the National Coordination Meeting of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) on Tuesday evening.
Jokowi said that the hundreds of millions -- if not billions -- of low-income people that jumped to middle-income status would demand higher quality products and lifestyle products.
Citing an example, Jokowi said that although the worldwide demand of coffee increased by 20 percent, Indonesia was slow to increase its coffee production and improve its coffee quality because of poor education standards.
"The growth of coffee shops in Indonesia is very fast but we're not fast enough in revitalizing coffee plantations, improving coffee quality and educating baristas," he said. (bbn)