It's really big (government spending on furniture products), and a lot of it is filled with imported furniture.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo has asked that the government's furniture spending be directed toward domestic products.

He has also urged domestic furniture players to include their products in the government's e-catalog without delay to take advantage of this.

"It's really big (government spending on furniture products), and a lot of it is filled with imported furniture. Consequently, immediately enter all our furniture production into the e-catalog to make it easier," he said at the IFFINA 2023 Indonesia Furniture and Design Expo in Tangerang, Banten, on Thursday.

According to Widodo, furniture spending will account for a fairly large proportion of the overall spending from the state budget (APBN) and regional budget (APBD) and by state-owned enterprises (BUMN) in 2023 and amount to Rp1,236 trillion.

He expressed the hope that the domestic furniture industry will dominate the furniture market in the country given its large potential.

"The government has continued to encourage the domestic market not to be dominated by foreign furniture products," he said.

To dominate the domestic market, the follow-up action will lie with industry players. One effort that needs to be made is to look for furniture industry partners from abroad to collaborate with, Widodo said.

In the world furniture market, Indonesia is currently ranked 17th with revenues of 2.8 billion US dollars, even though the world market potential is US$766 billion, he pointed out.

"In my opinion, (this is) because we don't want to be partners. In my opinion, other countries are partners with each other," he said.

In the 1990s, Indonesian furniture products dominated exhibitions abroad, such as in Italy, Germany, France, and other countries, he pointed out.

However, currently, Indonesia's furniture industry is still ranked below Vietnam, which is ranked 2nd, and Malaysia, which is ranked 12th.

"Even though our resources, raw materials, and human resources are actually very ready," said President Widodo.

Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Minister Teten Masduki earlier urged furniture and crafts industry players to seek potential alternative markets in response to changes in traditional markets.

"Within the next several years, we have to aim for alternative markets, not just America and Europe, but also the Middle East," he said.

"That is important because the world is experiencing changes," he explained during the national unveiling of the 2023 IFFINA here on Tuesday.

Furniture industry players have an important role because the majority of them comprise SMEs and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which absorb a large percentage of the workforce.

However, the shift in the global economic landscape has forced Indonesia to look for new markets with more potential to support the growth of the furniture industry.

"Such as the Middle East, which, I think, is quite well and growing. Same goes for Asia. That is what we have to aim for," he said.

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Translator: Indra AP, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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