Vice President Jusuf Kalla has urged the national automotive industry to push further into export markets amid tight competition with other countries in Southeast Asia.
Indonesia has set itself an ambitious target of shipping 1 million cars abroad by 2025, nearly four times the figure of 264,553 realized last year.
Twenty percent of the 1 million vehicles to be exported are expected to be electric cars, as Indonesia strives to build an electric vehicle industry by 2020. However, the lofty target is still below that of Thailand, which already exported more than 1.1 million cars in 2018.
“[Our exports] still lag behind Thailand, which means we are late, even though we have [entered] partnerships with various automotive firms,” Kalla said on Thursday at the opening ceremony of the 27th Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS) at the Indonesia Convention Exhibition (ICE) BSD in Tangerang, Banten.
The Association of Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers (Gaikindo), which hosts the international-scale expo, aims to increase car exports by 13 percent in 2019 to 300,000 units.
Exports this year are forecast to drop slightly from last year, when they leaped 14.4 percent from 2017.
Kalla noted that Indonesia’s automotive industry dated back to before the country gained independence, with General Motors opening its branch in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, in the 1920s. He added that the local content in cars assembled domestically had reached 80 to 90 percent.
“So naturally we should give as much support to this industry as possible,” he remarked. (bbn)