Tangerang (ANTARA) - The local furniture sector can compete in the global market given Indonesia's significant potential in terms of raw materials and human resource capabilities, according to Minister of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Teten Masduki.

"We are only ranked 17th in the world, but Mr. President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) recognizes that we have significant raw material potential and people resources in the furniture industry, allowing us to compete globally," Masduki said at IFFINA Indonesia Meubel and Design Expo 2023 in ICE BSD on Thursday.

Speaking at the event's opening ceremony, President Widodo said the Indonesian furniture sector is currently ranked 17th in the world, with an income of US$2.8 billion, while the global furniture market has an income potential of US$766 billion.

Thus, in order to be competitive, President Widodo highlighted the importance of developing the domestic furniture industry's business model by, for example, cooperating with furniture players from overseas, he said.

According to Masduki, there are three things that are needed from the production side: a business model, technology, and markets.

"If we want to reach the American or European markets, we need to understand the market, demand, tastes, and so on. I believe the President directed the country's furniture actors to follow his example," he said.

The minister added that other countries are following the paradigm of collaboration in the furniture sector, especially to access the global market.

The Indonesian Furniture and Craft Industry Association (Asmindo) has organized the IFFINA Indonesia Furniture and Design Expo this year after a six-year hiatus. IFFINA 2023 is being held for the tenth time since its inception in 2008.

It has been organized with the support of four ministries — the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Trade, and the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.

The ASEAN Furniture Industry Council (AFIC), the Council of Asia Furniture Association (CAFA), the Alliance of Indonesian Industrial Product Designers (ADPII), the Indonesian Interior Designers Association (HDII), the Indonesian Furniture Designers Association (HDMI), the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), and others are also supporting IFFINA 2023.

The theme of IFFINA 2023 is "The New Sourcing Circle in Asia." The exhibition, which is being held from September 14–17, 2023, is meant as a "showcase" for exhibitors from linked industries, including furniture, craft, project design, homeware, home fabrics, ornamental items, and gifts.

The event is expected to attract 10 thousand visitors and 300 exhibitors.

IFFINA 2008 featured over 240 enterprises with the assistance of approximately 3000 subcontractors.

At the opening of the exhibition, Akbar Cahyono, chairperson of Asmindo, said that the exhibition is being held this time to encourage exports.

Until 2007, furniture and craft exports accounted for 13 percent of Indonesia's total exports.

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Translator: Benardy F, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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