The Jakarta Post
The government is expecting the total value of transactions at this year’s Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI), an annual international business-to-business event, to be less than that of last year, although it still expects the expo to boost the country’s trade.
Indonesia booked US$10.96 billion in total transactions at last year’s trade expo, according to Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto.
The 35th annual expo will be held online for the first time because of the health crisis.
“We are optimistic that with this virtual system, this year’s TEI can contribute to an increase in exports, although the achievement may not match 2019’s TEI,” Agus said at a virtual press conference on Tuesday.
Agus added that the event aimed to promote Indonesian products on the global market and develop business networks through a virtual product showcase.
The expo comes as both Indonesian and world trade flags and supply chains are disrupted by the pandemic.
The value of Indonesia’s exports fell 5.81 percent year-on-year (yoy) to $117.19 billion between January and September of this year, according to data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS). Imports also shrank by 18.15 percent yoy to $103.7 billion in the same period.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) announced on Oct. 6 that the volume of global trade in goods was expected to fall by 9.2 percent this year, an improvement from the best-case scenario of 12.9 percent laid out in its April forecast. The sunnier outlook was a result of trade growth in certain areas in June and July, suggesting “some signs of optimism for overall trade growth”.
Nearly 700 businesses had registered for TEI as of early October, more than double the figure targeted by the Trade Ministry.
“TEI drew huge enthusiasm from exporters as shown by that fact that in less than a month since its official launch on Sept. 21, all stands were occupied by the exporters by early October,” said Agus.
As of Tuesday, 3,870 prospective buyers from 109 countries had registered for the trade event.
The expo has also attracted some new participants this year, including Jakarta-based app and game developer Anantarupa Studios.
The company, established in 2011, created the game Lokapala, which it claims is the first multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game from Southeast Asia.
“It will be one of the first game developers to be an exporter from Indonesia and Southeast Asia,” said Kasan Muhri, the director general for national export development at the Trade Ministry.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said he was expecting the trade event to “really bring about changes” and have an impact on the country’s economy.
“This will be a new experience for us to boost the added value of our main products,” said the President.