Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia’s forest product export performance has shown an improving trend in early 2024 amid market uncertainties caused by geopolitical and economic turmoil, the Environment and Forestry Ministry has said.

“We hope that the performance of exports of forest products can at least match the achievement in 2023,” acting director general of sustainable forest management at the ministry, Agus Justianto, said in a statement released here on Saturday.

According to data from the ministry, Indonesia’s forest product exports reached US$3.5 billion in the first three months of 2024, with pulp products contributing US$798.05 million, paper US$1.1 billion, and wooden panels US$582.7 million to the total figure.

Compared with the same period of last year, exports showed growth of 8.3 percent as of March — a rebound after remaining in the negative territory for most of 2023. In September 2023, growth was recorded at minus 10.4 percent.

According to him, in 2023, Indonesia's total exports of forest products were recorded at US$13.16 billion. For this year, the Environment and Forestry Ministry has set a moderate export target of US$10 billion.

"Several things that must be anticipated in export performance achievement are global geopolitical conditions such as Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Palestine tensions. Apart from that, several market countries are also still in the economic recovery process after the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.

Chair of the Indonesian Forestry Community Communication Forum (FKMPI), Indroyono Soesilo, highlighted the need to continuously open new markets to boost export performance.

"Opening new markets is effective in supporting traditional markets that are already dominated by Indonesia," he added.

One of the markets that have continued to grow is India. In the first two months of 2024, Indonesian exports to India were recorded at US$103.8 million, up 14 percent year on year.

Soesilo expressed optimism that Indonesia's traditional markets would continue to grow well.

Indonesia is implementing the Legality and Sustainability Verification System (SVLK), which has been equipped with provisions regarding geolocation that can trace the origin of wood and forest products, he added.

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Translator: Subagyo, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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