Suparmanto made the statement while responding to questions from participants during the discussion session.
"Imports and exports to and from China are slightly down owing to the movement of people. However, we can see a huge opportunity in this situation, as we can escalate substitute products from China," he stated.
Suparmanto remarked that the government had temporarily suspended the imports of live animals from or transiting from China.
"However, this is a temporary act until we evaluate that the coronavirus has petered out," he revealed.
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During the same forum, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan affirmed that the coronavirus outbreak had yet to impact the manufacturing sector.
However, Pandjaitan stated that the tourism sector could be the one affected by the coronavirus outbreak, especially in Bintan and Manado.
"The first sector affected by the outbreak was tourism. As for the industry sector, some are affected, but the impact has not been that much. However, we strive as much as possible to minimize the impact that will occur," he stated.
Currently, Pandjaitan noted that the government is preparing to re-boost exports to China since the country is likely to face a shortage after the coronavirus outbreak.
"The peak may be around March. After the peak, the (outbreak) will probably decline, and we must prepare for exports to China, as I think that is what China needs," Pandjaitan stated at the event also attended by Minister of Communication and Information Johnny G. Plate and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mahendra Siregar in addition to several US organizations and businessmen, including the US Development Finance Corporation, the US Chamber of Commerce, and the US-ASEAN Business Council.
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