"I hope that the Ifex Virtual Showroom 2021 will run successfully and can participate in restoring the economic sector, as well as promoting Indonesian furniture and handicraft products to the global market," Lutfi remarked in Jakarta on Monday.
Furniture and handicraft products are among Indonesia's main export products, the minister noted. Their quality has been recognized at the global level and they dominate the global market, from the United States, the Middle East, to Japan, he added.
During the January-August 2021 period, the export value of Indonesian furniture products increased 29 percent year on year to reach 1.88 billion US dollars, he said.
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Meanwhile, during the same period, the value of Indonesian handicraft exports also swelled 23 percent to touch US$5.8 billion, he added.
Speaking at the expo on Monday, the Minister of Trade also invited furniture and handicraft businesses to take part in the 36th Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI), which will be held virtually from October 21 to December 20, 2021.
Meanwhile, Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita said that organizing the Indonesia Furniture Expo (Ifex) 2021 Virtual Exhibition—the largest furniture and craft exhibition in Indonesia—has brought a positive effect on the nation's furniture industry.
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"The Ifex event has proven to have a positive effect on the Indonesian furniture industry, making (sure) the Indonesian furniture market can continue to grow," Kartasasmita remarked at the virtual opening of Ifex 2021 on Monday.
So far, Ifex has been held regularly every year and has become the largest furniture exhibition in Indonesia, and even Southeast Asia, he added.
Kartasasmita said he hoped that the virtual format of the Ifex would not diminish the enthusiasm of exhibitors and continue to provide an optimal shopping experience to buyers.
He said he also expected sales to rise since purchases made during the online exhibition would not involve the same transportation and accommodation costs as physical exhibitions.
The COVID-19 pandemic requires business actors and the government to continue making smart and effective innovations for industries, in this case, furniture and craft industries, to survive, Kartasasmita said.
In responding to conditions during the pandemic, the furniture and craft industry has shown a high level of resilience, he added.
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