Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Trade Ministry highlighted that the friendshoring phenomenon, or the practice of rerouting supply chains to allied countries for international trade, is an opportunity for Indonesia to improve its economy.

The ministry's Head of the Trade Policy Agency, Kasan, stated that the trend emerged since the COVID-19 pandemic, on the gradual shift in the United States' exports and imports, which were initially dominated by China, diverted to Mexico.

According to Kasan, Indonesia benefits from adopting a free and active foreign policy system that is not constrained by any trading bloc, thereby enabling the domestic export potential to be maximized along with the friendshoring phenomenon.

"Our foreign policy is free and active, and this also applies in our trade politics. We can trade with anyone," he stated when met in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Kasan explained that Indonesia could optimize trade potential in the friendshoring phenomenon in the processing or manufacturing sector, as well as the development of electric vehicles (EV) by utilizing existing domestic resources.

He assessed that this utilization must be accompanied by supporting infrastructure and adequate quality human resources (HR).

"Once we have the hard infrastructure, followed by improved human resources, we can start to implement this policy consistently, especially for long-term ones, to generate profits," he revealed.

On the other hand, research associate at the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) David Christian stated that one of the factors causal to the friendshoring phenomenon is the rivalry between the US and China.

Tensions between the two superpower countries also impacted the trade and economy sectors and escalated to the technology realm, Christian pointed out.

Meanwhile, Indonesia's 2023 trade balance recorded a total surplus of US$36.93 billion.

Indonesia's export value in 2023 was recorded at US$258.82 billion, or below the previous year's export achievement of US$291.90 billion.

Despite Indonesia's exports having decreased in nominal terms, with regard to the volume, its exports in 2023 had grown 8.55 percent on an annual basis (year-on-year/yoy).

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Translator: Ahmad Muzdaffar F, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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