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NEWS UPDATES 28 July 2010

Indonesian SMEs confident

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Most Indonesian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) expect the country's economy to grow strongly in the second half of the year, and are therefore willing to up spending, increase their workforce and expand their businesses, a survey shows, as the Jakarta Post reports.

The survey, conducted as part of HSBC's periodical research, concluded that 69 percent of local SMEs were confident about economic growth in the second half of the year, HSBC senior vice president for business marketing Winarti said Monday.

She said that 83 percent of local SMEs had aggressive plans to spend capital. Winarti also said that 49 percent of the SMEs surveyed planned to maintain the levels of their capital expenditures and 34 percent would increase their spending for business expansion over the next six months.

The survey also indicated that 93 percent of local SMEs did not plan to lay off employees. "Seventy-four percent of local SMEs plan to keep their employees and 19 percent plan to increase the number of employees," Winarti said.

The survey concluded that this domestic economic optimism would encourage local SMEs to develop new businesses overseas.

"Currently, 26 percent of local SMEs have already done international transactions," she said. "It is estimated that 32 percent of them plan to expand their market to foreign countries." The survey reported that 46 percent of local SMEs would expand their market to China and 43 percent to other countries in Southeast Asia.

HSBC senior vice president Jeffrey C. Tjoeng said that most entrepreneurs in the world now preferred to do business in countries like China, India and Indonesia, whose economies were growing rapidly.

"During the global crisis in 2008, China, India and Indonesia recorded positive economic growth," he said. "Thus, entrepreneurs do not prefer to do business in developed countries, such as the United States and Japan."

He said that developed nations affected by the global crisis were experiencing stagnant economic growth.

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