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Jakarta Post

Indonesia still struggles to reduce trade deficit

  • Made Anthony Iswara

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Mon, December 30, 2019   /  10:28 am
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The trade balance continued the negative trend of 2018, when a decline in exports, partly due to the trade war between the United States and China, contributed to an $8.6 billion trade deficit, the largest in 44 years.(Shutterstock.com/Lightspring)

The government has taken a number of steps, including the issuance of fiscal incentives, to cope with the country’s widening trade deficit, but such measures have yet to bear fruit as the deficit remains. The year kicked off with a slow start, as Indonesia posted a US$1.16 billion trade deficit in January because of declining exports and low commodity prices, according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS). Exports decreased by 4.7 percent year-on-year (yoy) in January to $13.87 billion, while imports fell by 1.83 percent yoy to $15.03 billion. The trade balance continued the negative trend of 2018, when a decline in exports, partly due to the trade war between the United States and China, contributed to an $8.6 billion trade deficit, the largest in 44 years. “Fluctuating prices of commodities as well the general downturn in global [economic] growth have been affecting Indon...