Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's trade balance registered a surplus of US$0.21 billion in its foreign trade in May 2019 following a sharp deficit of $2.5 billion a month earlier.

"Many sides have earlier forecast that the trade balance will record a deficit in May, but it clocked a surplus of $0.21 billion," Central Statistics Agency (BPS) Chief Suharyanto stated in Jakarta on Monday.

Indonesia's exports in May 2019 were recorded at $14.74 billion, while its imports were valued at $14.53 billion.

In spite of the surplus, Indonesia's trade balance in the Jan-May 2019 period yet witnessed a deficit of $2.14 billion, with exports at $68.4 billion and imports standing at $70.6 billion
Suharyanto highlighted the importance of improving the country's trade balance by increasing exports and curtailing imports.

"Diversifying markets and products are several steps that we can take (to boost exports). Offering incentives is one of the ways to boost the competitiveness of (our products)," he remarked.

Furthermore, he called for the need to also take into account global economic uncertainty.

"That poses a special challenge, internally or externally. May it again register a surplus in future," he stated.

The balance of trade shows positive signs but yet to reach ideal position, he noted.

"Ideally, exports should surpass imports. However, the current condition is yet viewed as being positive owing to our efforts to boost exports that have borne fruit," he noted.

Translator: Sella Panduarsa Gareta, Suhart
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
Copyright © ANTARA 2019