Trade Minister launches digital platform to boost exports to China

Trade Minister launches digital platform to boost exports to China

Minister of Trade Muhammad Lutfi in an online press conference on Wednesday (January 13, 2021). (ANTARA/ Screen capture of Ministry of Trade’s Youtube Broadcast/pri)

It is time for all export-oriented Indonesian SMEs to optimize the use of digital platforms to improve their export performance
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi launched digital trading platform Indonesia Store (IDNStore) on Thursday to help Indonesian products, especially those made by small and medium enterprises (SMEs), penetrate markets in China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan.

"It is time for all export-oriented Indonesian SMEs to optimize the use of digital platforms to improve their export performance," the minister said in a statement received in Jakarta on Thursday.

The acceleration of technology use has proven to be an effective and efficient tool in promoting exports, including the provision of data and information as a basis for business decision-making, he explained.

Indonesian Ambassador to China and Mongolia, Djauhari Oratmangun, Indonesian Consul General for Hong Kong and Macau, Ricky Suhendar, Indonesian Consul General for Shanghai, Deny W. Kurnia, Indonesian Consul General for Guangzhou, Gustanto, and head of the Indonesian Economic and Trade Office (IETO) in Taipei, Budi Santoso, also attended the virtual launch.

IDNStore is a digital trading platform available in three languages — Indonesian, English, and Mandarin. It is expected to enable business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions between registered Indonesian business actors and potential buyers in other countries.

The platform also provides live virtual exhibition features and QR codes that support virtual promotional activities.

Thousands of Indonesian products in various categories from more than one thousand business actors have been featured on the IDNStore. The products include agricultural products, marine products, automotive products, food and beverages, clothing, health and beauty products, handicraft products, and home decor products.

According to Lutfi, SMEs are facing several problems, including limited production capacity, capital, human resources, ability to meet standards, and limitations in product marketing.

"Digital promotion is one solution that can help SMEs in marketing their products, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic," he remarked.

A number of achievements have been made through the IDNStore platform, including attracting investment in dragon fruit and banana plantations in Indonesia with the aim of exporting to markets in China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, he informed.

As a pilot project, an agreement on 30 hectares of land in South Sulawesi has been sealed, out of the total 1,500 hectares provided for the plantation, he said.

In addition, through the platform, three Indonesian SMEs managed to make their first export of food products to Hong Kong on December 7, 2020. The first export consignment was released in the presence of the Hong Kong Trade Consul.

"In addition to optimizing efforts to penetrate the market to China and its surroundings, this platform also acts as an incubator as well as a benchmark for Indonesian SMEs to target export markets in other regions," the Trade Minister continued.

Indonesian Ambassador to China and Mongolia, Djauhari Oratmangun, said there is a great opportunity to enter the Chinese market and its surrounding areas by optimizing the digital platform.

"Digitalization, one of which is through the presence of the IDNStore, is expected to be able to bridge market gaps, which, of course, cannot be reached through conventional promotional activities. Moreover, this is also supported by the rapid growth in the number of internet users in China," he elaborated.

In the January-November, 2020 period, Indonesia's non-oil and gas exports to mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan cumulatively reached US$31.46 billion, with mainland China accounting for the largest contribution of US$26.61 billion.

Indonesia's export commodities to mainland China include nickel, palm oil, coal, pulp, steel, paper, and paper products. Indonesia’s exports to Hong Kong include jewelry products, coal, gold, communication equipment, swallow bird's nest, electronics, and tobacco.

Meanwhile, products exported to Taiwan include electrical machinery and equipment, plastics, paper, iron and steel, knitted or crocheted fabrics, artificial filaments, aluminum, and copper.

Related news: Patimban Port sends maiden automative export to Brunei Darussalam
Related news: Minister releases SME export products worth trillions of rupiah
Related news: Exporters must not become quickly complacent with performance: Jokowi