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March 20, 2009

Crisis impact on Indonesian exports getting worse

Indonesia is suffering from gradually increasing impacts of the global financial crisis, with its export value growth in 2009 predicted to drop below zero, reported Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Indonesian central bank (Bank Indonesia)'s Deputy Governor Hartadi A Sarwono said on Thursday that the country's export value is expected to drop 4.6 percent this year.

Hendri Saparini, director of the Econit Advisory Group, also predicted on Wednesday that the country's export value growth this year will stand at minus 5 percent.

"This year, it is not necessary to expect more from export activity, because growth in this sector will only stand at minus 5percent," he said.

The opinions of both the central bank and the consultant group are echoes of the prediction made by the National Development Planning Board on March 11, which said that Indonesia's export value would fall by 6 percent this year.

According to the government department, Indonesia's non-oil product export value will fall 20 percent or 21.6 billion U.S. dollars this year from 108 billion dollars in 2008.

Their predictions have partly come true, seeing the country's export value dropped 17.7 percent month on month this January.

Suffering from the export decreasing, Indonesia's export-related companies, including traders and manufacturers, have to expand lay-offs so as to save their costs.

Sofyan Wanandi, chairman of the Indonesian Employers Association, said on March 13 that the country's unemployed population had grown to 240,000 by this month, most of which came from labor-intensive industries, though the governmental statistics showed that figure was 37,909.

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