The Jakarta Post
Indonesia only holds about 1.26 percent of the global handicraft market, prompting calls for the government to do more to promote local products around the world.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo supported the idea of showcasing Indonesian handicraft products through an online craft exhibition to try and boost Indonesia’s share in the global market.
“I have been informed that our market share is only 1.26 in the global market. That is too small. We have to boost our market share,” said Jokowi when opening the 21st International Handicraft Trade Fair (Inacraft 2019) at the Jakarta Conventional Center on Wednesday.
The President said establishing Inacraft Online would help present Indonesian handicraft products to the potential buyers from across the globe. He said an online exhibition could afford potential buyers easy access to Indonesian handicraft.
Jokowi said Indonesian handicraft producers were ready with various products that could be offered through the online market.
“We have to lift the products to the online ecosystem through the national marketplace that could be linked to the global marketplace,” he said, adding that Indonesian handicraft already had a market segment that could be expanded through a global marketplace.
Meanwhile, Indonesian Handicraft Producers and Exporters Association (Asephi) deputy chairman Gusmardi Bustamil said the association had prepared Inacraft Online to allow transactions between buyers and Indonesian handicraft producers to take place anytime.
Speaking about Inacraft 2019, Jokowi said participants had upgraded their products. “The product quality is much higher. That is what we want, so that Indonesian products become more competitive,” he added.
He said the production of handicraft involved some 700,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that could employ some 1.3 million people.
If players in the Indonesian handicraft market could increase their share of the global market, more SMEs would be established and could provide more employment.
“We have to continuously improve our innovation and creativeness to widen the market and penetrate further into nontraditional markets. We have to improve the quality of products and brands to convince consumers in the international market,” Jokowi added.
Some 1,700 participants will take part in the event, comprising regional administrations, ministries, state-owned enterprises and private individuals. The organizers have set sights on achieving US$13 million in trade contracts and Rp 149 billion ($10.58 million) in retail sales during the event to run until Sunday. (bbn)