Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Minister of National Development Planning, Bambang Brodjonegoro, promotes the national export of halal food and beverage products, which have currently become the potential sectors and are ready to be developed further to help improve national export performance and the current account balance.

"We see that there many potentials in Indonesia. Halal tourism is certain, but it is the service sector. We will prioritize the manufacturing sector for several products. One of them is food and beverages," Brodjonegoro noted, after delivering a keynote speech at the National Committee for Sharia Finance Forum here, on Tuesday.

According to Brodjonegoro, the food and beverage industry is the most prepared industry in terms of production capacity and export potential. In fact, a number of companies can build their production factories outside Indonesia.

"In essence, we encourage the export of food and beverage products," said he remarked.

According to him, in general, Indonesia is still a halal net importer. Brodjonegoro hoped that someday Indonesia could become a major producer of halal products and compete in the global trade arena.

"Now, our goal is to reverse this condition. There are several stages. Of course, we should become a big player in the halal industry at last. But to get there, our first step is to reduce import and at least start to become a net exporter," Brodjonegoro explained.

One of the potential export markets for Indonesia`s halal products is African countries, because the population is one billion people. Of these, around 40 percent are Muslims. The population growth rate in Africa is also relatively high.

In addition to food and beverages, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products also have the potential to be exported to Africa.

Central Asia is also considered to have the potential to develop into a market for Indonesia`s halal products.

Brodjonegoro remarked that to reach these potential markets, the halal industry in Indonesia should be export-oriented.

Reporting by Citro Atmoko, Libertina W Ambari
Editing by Andi Andussalam

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