Jakarta (ANTARA) - Several Indonesian firms have taken part in exhibitions held in Africa and utilized opportunities for continued expansion into the African market.

Four Indonesian companies had participated in last month’s exhibition in Johannesburg, South Africa, while Indonesian consumer product company Mayora Group has planned to expand its export market in some African countries. Its team had been actively marketing their products on the African continent for potential buyers.

The main objective behind Mayora Group's keenness to expand its market in Africa is its 400-million citizens belonging to the middle class that possess a relatively high purchasing power, which makes it one of the best markets for its products. The team began expansion in the African continent, starting from South Africa and West Africa.

Africa has a population of one billion people and one-third of the world’s natural resources. Six of the world’s fastest growing economies over the last decade have come from sub-Saharan Africa, and Africa’s gross domestic product will increase from $2 trillion today to $29 trillion in today’s money by 2050.

The Indonesian Embassy in Pretoria, for instance, and Indonesian Trade Promotion Center (ITPC) Johannesburg tapped into the opportunities presented at the recent exhibition in Johannesburg, South Africa, not only to introduce Indonesian products but also to disseminate tourism information. The Indonesian delegation, dressed in batik and traditional clothing, managed to become a distinctive feature that set them apart from the other participants.

“The Indonesian branding must be strengthened, one of which is through our participation in this big exhibition," Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia in Pretoria Salman Al-Farisi remarked during the official opening of the Indonesian Pavilion at the Africa Health Exhibition on May 28-30, 2019.

The four Indonesian companies participating in the exhibition were PT. Biofarma, PT. Dexa Medica, PT. Phapros, and CV. Kurniatama Lestari. The strategically located Indonesian Pavilion had successfully drawn the interest of visitors.

"The requirement for medical devices and medicines among African people is certainly high, but their access is yet limited. This presents a huge opportunity for us to continue our expansion into the African market,” Ambassador Al-Farisi noted in a statement sent to ANTARA.

PT Biofarma, a vaccine and anti-sera manufacturer, which has distributed its products to 40 African countries, carried vaccine samples of diseases, such as measles, Hepatitis B, polio, and meningitis. A private company, PT Dexa Medica, displayed cold medicine and children's immunity-booster as well as medicines to treat allergy, diabetes, bloating, and nausea.

PT Phapros, the renowned pharmaceutical company that produces Antimo, promoted different medicines, including for treating tuberculosis, health supplements, and herbal medicines for hypertension. SME CV. Kurniatama Lestari showcased traditional health products, such as tea, herbal coffee, and spa products, such as body scrubs and massage oils.

On the sidelines of the exhibition, the Indonesian Embassy in Pretoria managed to get the Indonesian delegation to meet with the local health authorities, South African Health Products and Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), and prospective partners -- distributors and pharmaceutical companies -- from South Africa, Tanzania, and Botswana.

Apart from marketing the products, the Indonesian Embassy in Pretoria also served as a bridge for the Indonesian delegates to establish cooperation with local stakeholders, including through joint productions, joint ventures or joint research and development.

During the exhibition, the Indonesian Pavilion also promoted important events of the year, specifically the Indonesia-Africa Infrastructure Dialogue (IAID) in Bali in August 2019 and the Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI) in BSD in October 2019. The Indonesian Embassy in Pretoria and ITPC Johannesburg utilized this opportunity to invite relevant parties to participate in the said activities.

Medicines and medical equipment from Indonesia are known to have penetrated various countries in Africa.

The Embassy continues to strengthen Indonesia's presence in the African market, one of which is by participating in this exhibition. Africa Health is the biggest health exhibition in the African continent that gathers various actors in the business of health, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare manufacturers.

This event attracted over 10 thousand visitors and was attended by 560 exhibitors from 39 countries each year. Apart from Indonesia, the United States, Germany, China, India, Austria, Turkey, and South Korea also participated.

The efforts of the embassy and Indonesian companies to continue penetration into the African market are in accordance with the government policies since African countries have high potential.

The Ministry of Trade has identified several countries in the continent whose condition bore similarity to that of Indonesia in the 1970s and 1980s when it intensified development programs and having potential as Indonesia's new export markets.

Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita has called on Indonesian exporters to explore African markets having high potential for Indonesian products. "African countries have high potential," Lukita stated.

It seems the efforts are in response to the calls of some African ambassadors in Jakarta to Indonesian companies to invest in new frontier Africa and to penetrate its market.

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Editor: Azizah Fitriyanti
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