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NEWS UPDATES 3 September 2009

Indonesia’s shipments inch up on global recovery

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Indonesia’s exports continued to increase in July, showing an upward trend as the global economy gears toward a recovery, the Jakarta Post reported, citing the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) figures.

Exports rose to $9.65 billion in July, a 2.85 percent increase from $9.38 billion in June, BPS head Rusman Heriawan said at a press briefing. But the July figure showed a 22.98 percent contraction from July 2008.

“It will be very difficult even just to maintain [the value of] exports in 2008,” Rusman said. “But exports have shown a positive trend in the past four months.”

Non-oil-and-gas exports reached $8.18 billion in July, increasing 3.14 percent from $7.93 billion in June. Between January and July, non-oil-and-gas exports totalled $51.08 billion, a 20.13 percent decline from $63.95 billion booked over the same period last year.

Meanwhile, exports overall reached $59.72 billion between January and July, down 27.98 percent from $82.92 billion recorded in the same period of 2008.

In July Indonesia mainly exported non-oil-and-gas products to Japan ($974.3 million), the US ($942.7 million) and China ($691.6 million), Rusman said.

Between January and July, the majority of Indonesia’s non-oil-and-gas products had gone to Japan ($5.97 billion or almost 12 percent), the US ($5.8 billion or 11 percent) and Singapore ($4.6 billion or 9 percent).

In July, imports also rose to $8.7 billion, up 9 percent from $7.9 billion recorded in June. Between January and July, imports reached $50.1 billion, a 36 percent decline from $78 billion booked in the same period last year.

Non-oil-and-gas imports reached $6.9 billion, a 5.5 percent increase from the previous month, $1.25 billion of which was spent to purchase machinery.

“Imports continued to rise. It will be good if imports increased to buy capital goods and raw materials, instead of consumer goods,” Rusman said.

Between January and July, Indonesia mostly imported from China ($7 billion or 17 percent), Japan ($5.2 billion or 13 percent) and Singapore ($4.7 billion or 11.5 percent).

Also on Tuesday, the government launched the operations of Indonesia Exim Bank, an agency to bolster exports, particulary done by micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

The preliminary capital of Indonesia Exim Bank is Rp 4 trillion ($396 million), and the government expect to add another Rp 2 trillion next year.

Exim Bank will replace Bank Ekspor Indonesia, focusing on diversifying exports to new countries including the Middle East, Russia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said.

Mari said with Bank Exim, she expected the share of exports to non-traditional markets could grow from between 3 and 4 percent to between 5 and 7 percent.

The number of exporters may also increase because they now may be able to secure financing through Exim Bank, where previously they may have had difficulty securing financing from traditional financial institutions, she said.

“We will identify potential exporters,” she said.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the government had committed to provide $2.5 billion worth of funds to support global trade financing.

This is part of the commitment made by G20 countries to increase trade financing from $250 billion to $400 billion, which will be discussed at the meeting between finance ministers and central bank governors later this week.

The decision will be announced at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh from September 24 to 25, Mulyani said.


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