Cut consumer goods imports to maintain trade balance: INDEF to govt

Cut consumer goods imports to maintain trade balance: INDEF to govt

Documentation — Research director of the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF), Berly Martawardaya, giving a talk on BNPB Indonesia's Youtube channel, which was streamed by the Task Force for the Acceleration of COVID-19 Handling on June 9, 2020. (ANTARA / Dewanto Samodro)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF) has advised the government to reduce imports of consumer goods, as they are not a primary need, in order to maintain the trade balance.

"Imports of consumer goods should be hated, such as watches, shoes, or electronics. But, raw materials or capital materials do not be hated," INDEF research director Berly Martawardaya said during a press conference in Jakarta on Monday.

The government only needs to be selective in importing by prioritizing imports of raw materials to be processed domestically, he added.

In addition, the government must attract export-oriented investment to increase the trade balance surplus, he continued.

"We import to strengthen the manufacturing and service production chains with high added value. The goal is of course (for the products) to be re-exported,” he observed.

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A number of efforts could be made to maintain the market and boost exports of Indonesian products, including increasing penetration to non-traditional markets, Martawardaya suggested.

This effort can be made through export product development programs, human resource development in the export sector, and trade promotion, he added.

"If we want to be a country that has strong production, economy, and exports, we must provide a good business climate and low corruption," he stated.

He also said he hopes that the government will continue to promote exports even amid the ongoing pandemic.

He then urged that industrial estates and the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) continue to be developed.

"Apart from good infrastructure and a strategic location, it is also important to maintain zero tariffs and ensure exports,” he said. (INE)

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