Reducing imports of consumer goods to maintain the trade balance: INDEF in the government

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Jakarta (ANTARA) – The Institute for Economic and Financial Development (INDEF) has advised the government to reduce imports of consumer goods, as they are not a primary need, in order to maintain the trade balance.

“Imports of consumer goods should be hated, such as watches, shoes or electronics. But raw materials or capital goods should not be hated,” said INDEF’s research director, Berly Martawardaya, during a press conference in Jakarta on Monday.

The government should only be selective in importing by prioritizing imports of raw materials to be processed domestically, he added.

In addition, the government should attract export-oriented investment to increase the trade balance surplus, he said.

“We are importing to strengthen manufacturing and high value-added service chains. The goal is of course (for the products) to be re-exported,” he observed.

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A number of efforts could be made to maintain the market and boost exports of Indonesian products, including increasing penetration of non-traditional markets, Martawardaya suggested.

This effort can be achieved through export product development programs, human resource development in the export sector and trade promotion, he added.

“If we want to be a country that has strong production, economy and exports, we must have a good business climate and low corruption,” he said.

He also said he hoped the government would continue to promote exports even amid the ongoing pandemic.

He then insisted that the industrial zones and the export processing zone (EPZ) continue to be developed.

“Besides good infrastructure and strategic location, it is also important to maintain zero tariffs and guarantee exports,” he said. (INE)

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