Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia`s basic metal, iron, and steel industries posted 12.74 percent growth in the first half of 2013, higher than the 6.58-percent cumulative growth of non-oil and gas processing industries, a senior official stated.

"The strong growth of the country`s basic metal, iron, and steel industries was supported by heavy investment in the industrial and service sectors. This investment created optimism amid the weakening of the export markets," Secretary General of the Ministry of Industry Ansari Bukhari said here on Tuesday.

He pointed out that heavy investment and strong consumption trends at home indicated that Indonesia`s economy would continue to grow, backed by its industries, even though demand from export markets in its main partner countries was weakening.

Ansari said the metal industries, particularly the iron industry, in developed nations were advanced and modern. Steel is a major resource for infrastructure development, such as in the construction of buildings, roads, and bridges.

"This is an opportunity on the one hand and a challenge on the other for our national steel industry," the secretary general remarked.

The ministry of industry, through the directorate-general of basic manufacturing industry, aims to increase the competitive edge of Indonesian industries in the ASEAN Economic Community by developing a downstream mineral industry.

"With this development program, investment in the basic mineral and metal industry in Indonesia should help to rapidly improve the competitive edge of the national metal industry," the secretary general said.


Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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