Surabaya, (ANTARA News) - The government continues to push for the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Eastern Indonesia, because there has not been much improvement, even though the potential is quite large.

Heru Setiati, Marketing Deputy for Production and Marketing at the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs, said on Wednesday that the growth of MSMEs nationally was quite positive, contributing 60.34 percent to Indonesia`s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

After the opening of the IBT Expo 2018 exhibition at the Garden Palace Hotel Surabaya, Setiati stated that according to records, since 2015, the GDP figure of the creative industry sector, which was around Rp.885.56 trillion, rose to Rp922.58 trillion up to 2017.

"We hope that it can rise to Rp1 thousand trillion this year. We encourage the growth of MSMEs from Eastern Indonesia," Setiati noted.

He added that eastern Indonesia has considerable wealth and natural potential compared to others, but there is still a lot of potential that has not been well explored.

"The future of Indonesia, especially economic growth, is in the territory of Eastern Indonesia. For that, we invite the people of East Indonesia to make use of the potentials," he remarked.

He likened the territory of Eastern Indonesia to a treasure trove owned by the Indonesian state, adding that it has not been explored maximally by the community.

"Examples of treasures possessed by East Indonesia include arts and culture, tourism, marine, fisheries, forestry, oil and gas production, and several other products that have great potential to be developed," he revealed.

He elaborated that there were many disadvantaged areas located in Eastern Indonesia, such as Papua, West Papua, NTT, West Sulawesi, and other regions, even though the area had a high potential to be managed well.

He admitted that the government, through the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs, was taking efforts to develop the potential of Eastern Indonesia, one of which was through the construction of several infrastructures such as transportation routes and maritime affairs in several regions for smooth transportation, especially in Eastern Indonesia.

"The Indonesian government also has developed a program to build a network of enlargement facilities such as revitalizing five thousand traditional markets in disadvantaged areas, borders, and areas affected by the earthquake," he pointed out.

He expressed hope that the 3rd IBT Expo exhibition, held from Oct 31 to Nov 4, 2018, will be a place for buyers and sellers to meet directly to get investment opportunities with potential for greater trade transactions.

"Hopefully Indonesia`s economic growth will get better, and let us together build this country," he asserted.

Reporting by A Malik Ibrahim
Editing by Eliswan

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Otniel Tamindael
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