Starting July 13 until the next 60 days, Hajj transportation buses called "Salawat," or meaning five times praying, will bear pictures of Indonesia's leading export goods and 10 potential products.
"Using Salawat buses in the Hajj 2019 season as a vehicle for promoting Indonesia's export products is one of our promotional strategies to boost Indonesian non-oil and gas exports to Saudi Arabia. Moreover, ITPC and the Consulate General in Jeddah had synergized efforts to capitalize on this opportunity to encourage the use of Indonesian products in catering, transportation, and Hajj accommodation," Head of ITPC Jeddah Gunawan noted in a statement here on Thursday.
The Salawat buses will ply round the clock to transport Indonesian Hajj pilgrims from Mecca to Masjidil Haram and back.
The promotion theme would feature Trade with Remarkable Indonesia, Wonderful Indonesia, and the 34th Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI).
The ITPC in Jeddah had applied similar promotional strategies in 2017, but during the time, only 10 buses were operated.
"Such promotional strategy has attracted Hajj pilgrims from other countries. Moreover, Indonesia is the only one to have used this means of Hajj transportation as a medium for promotion," Gunawan remarked.
The commodities being promoted comprise essential oils, rubber, jewelry, fishery products, furniture, palm oil, processed foods, spices, and coffee.
Also being showcased are products from strategic industries, such as train manufacturer PT Industri Kereta Api and aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia, as well as vaccine produced by state-run pharmaceutical firm Bio Farma.
Citing the Saudi government's data, Indonesian Consul General in Jeddah M. Hery Saripudin stated that the number of Hajj pilgrims in 2019 had reached three million.
The Indonesian Hajj quota in 2019 has increased to 231 thousand, from 221 thousand in 2018.
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