"The government urges export-oriented industries, such as furniture, to be exported to the US," Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto said after the inauguration of the Polytechnic of Furniture and Wood Processing Industry in Kendal Industrial Area, Central Java, on Thursday.
Through a written statement, the minister explained that the government is targeting an increase in national furniture exports to reach US$5 billion in the next two years.
The furniture industry is one of the strategic supporting sectors for the national economy because it is labor intensive and export oriented.
Regarding the positive performance of the furniture industry, Hartarto noted that in the January-October 2018 period, the national furniture product trade balance was a surplus of $99.1 million, with exports reaching up to $1.4 billion.
This number has increased by 4.83 percent from the same period in 2017.
Despite the positive growth, the performance of furniture exports is still relatively small compared to the potential of raw materials possessed, considering that Indonesia is one of the 10 countries that has the largest forest area in the world with approximately 46.46 percent.
Therefore, the government seeks to optimize the potential of the national furniture industry through several policies, including production technical guidance programs, timber legality assurance system (SVLK) facilitation, as well as the promotion and development of market access.
In addition, the government also prepares competent workers in the furniture industry with education and training in a polytechnic, which was inaugurated in the Kendal Industrial Area.
With a target of increasing national exports by $5 billion, Hartarto estimated that the demand for furniture workers, especially in Central Java, would increase by 101,346 people in the next two years.
Reporting by Yashinta Difa Pramudyani
Editing by Suharto