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January 31, 2009

Indonesia: Exports slip after 20% increase in 2008

Indonesia's exports are beginning to slow under the impact of falling commodities prices and slowing global demand, after rising by around one fifth last year, Reuters quoted Trade Minister Mari Pangestu as saying Friday.

Southeast Asia's biggest economy is also facing increasing protectionist pressures from developed and developing countries, she told Reuters in an interview.

Non-oil and gas exports in the first 11 months of last year totalled $100.45 billion, 20.18 percent higher than a year earlier. Pangestu said that data due next week would show they were still around 20 percent higher for the year as a whole.

"Even with a big decline in December I think we can expect total export growth to be 20 percent, or close to 20 percent," she said, making clear she was referring to non-oil and gas exports.

Pangestu said Indonesian exports had been buoyed up by record commodities prices in the first half of last year.

Slowing demand in the last quarter of 2008, however, was beginning to affect export volumes, she said.

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