Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita has said that all countries experience a slowdown in exports following the increase in tensions caused by the United States and China trade war.
In fact, the World Trade Organization (WTO) projects global trade in 2019 to only grow by 2.6 percent, a decrease of 4.0 percent compared to the 2017 period, and by 3.6 percent from 2018.
"There is not a single country that experienced an increase in its exports. The WTO has projected 2.6 percent this year. This shows the declining purchasing power of all countries," Enggartiasto Lukita said in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Enggartiasto Lukita noted that it was not easy for Indonesia to correct its trade deficit following a slowdown in exports by all countries.
Therefore, he stressed that Indonesia would continue to look for opportunities by opening new markets.
In addition to maintaining trade relations with existing markets, such as the US, China, South Korea, Japan and the European Union, Enggartiasto said Indonesia continued to accelerate all agreements to new markets, such as South America and Central America.
According to Enggartiasto, Indonesia must follow the neighboring countries, such as Vietnam and Malaysia, which aggressively establish trade agreements with other countries to boost their exports.
"So we maintain the existing market (market), and we accelerate the entire agreement. If we do not do that, next year we will be left very far behind. We see that neighboring countries like Vietnam and Malaysia are very aggressive. We must follow them," Enggartiasto stated.
Enggartiasto said that industrial sectors, ranging from food and beverages, textiles, palm oil, rubber and automotive, could become the leading export commodities from Indonesia to be offered to new markets.