The Jakarta Post
Herbal products manufacturer PT Industri Jamu dan Farmasi Sido Muncul sent its first shipment to Saudi Arabia on Monday with a range of products including jamu (Indonesian herbal medicine).
The Trade Ministry’s national export development director general, Kasan Muhri, said the export was the result of a deal made at the 2019 Trade Expo Indonesia between Sido Muncul and Saudi Arabian distributor Mizanain Trading and Marketing.
“We are proud of today’s achievement. The Trade Ministry facilitated this export activity from the signing of the agreement in the 2019 Trade Expo Indonesia to the dispatching of the first container today,” Kasan said in a statement on Monday.
Kasan said the export raised optimism about boosting overseas sales for the biopharmaceutical and food and beverage industries.
The export presented an opportunity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as Saudi Arabia had recently raised tariffs for 500 types of products, except for biopharmaceutical and food and beverage products, to increase state revenue, he added.
Biopharmaceutical exports from Indonesia booked an increase of 32.8 percent year-on-year (yoy) to US$4.2 million in the first half of 2020, suggesting a positive trend amid sharp declines in overall trade.
Indonesian exports declined 5.49 percent annually to $76.41 billion, while imports plunged 14.29 percent yoy to $70.91 billion in the first half.
“There are always opportunities amid difficulties, one of which is exports of Indonesian spice products,” said Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto in the statement. “This is the opportunity businesses need to take advantage of, and it can also improve the performance of Indonesian trade amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Trade Ministry is trying to spur trade by, among other things, simplifying or reducing restrictions and bans as well as speeding up the process of issuing the certificate of origin.
Sido Muncul, a publicly listed company, relies mostly on domestic sales but has been increasing exports over the past two years. Out of its overall sales, the share of overseas sales increased to 5 percent in 2019 from just 2 percent in 2018.
Shares of the company, traded on the Indonesian stock exchange with the code SIDO, dropped 1.08 percent on Tuesday as the benchmark, the Jakarta Composite Index (JCI), gained 0.63 percent.