Indonesia narrows trade deficit with China, records surplus with US

Indonesia narrows trade deficit with China, records surplus with US

Minister of Trade, Muhammad Lutfi, has said Indonesia's US$3.19-billion trade deficit with China in the first half of 2021 was the lowest since 2005. (ANTARA/HO-Biro Humas Kemendag/am).

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's trade deficit with China dropped to US$3.19 billion in the first half of 2021 and it recorded a trade surplus of US$6.55 billion with the US despite the pandemic, Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi said.

"During this year's first semester (January-June 2021), our trade deficit with China is US$3.19 billion, our lowest since 2005," he informed at the Economy Dialogue, held virtually on Thursday.

The country also saw an increased trade surplus with the United States, he added.

Indonesia's trade surplus with the United States in 2020 was recorded at US$10 billion, and in the first half of this year, it reached US$6.55 billion, he informed.

If the numbers remain consistent until the end of the year, the nation's total trade deficit with China may reach US$6.4 billion, while its trade surplus with the United States may touch US$13 billion, he projected.

"Hence, our trade deficit with China will be the lowest in eight or nine years, and our surplus with the United States will be the largest one," he remarked.

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At the webinar, Minister Lutfi also provided details on Indonesia's trade balance with other Asian and European countries in the first half of 2021.

Indonesia recorded another trade surplus of US$1.41 billion with Japan, a US$1.48 billion-surplus with Malaysia, and a US$3.29-billion surplus with the Philippines, he informed.

"Sales of our cars to the Philippines are very high. We recorded a US$3.29-billion trade surplus with the country in the first quarter of 2021," he stated.

In contrast, Indonesia registered a US$2-billion trade deficit with Singapore, he added.

Indonesia's trade with European Union countries has also been satisfactory, the Trade Minister stated, adding the country recorded a trade surplus of US$1.67 billion with the Netherlands.

"The numbers are exceptional because, in the 2020 period, we recorded a US$2.5 billion surplus with the Netherlands," Lutfi said.

Indonesia also recorded a surplus of US$800 million with Spain and US$200 million with Italy, he noted.

"From the three countries, we have achieved 100 percent trade surplus with the European Union 27 countries. The surpluses indicate the three countries are our most important trade partners in the union as we have already recorded a US$2.5-billion trade surplus," Lutfi remarked.

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