Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Association of Furniture and Handicraft (AMKRI) asked the government not to consider lifting the ban on log exports.

Allowing log exports would hurt the countrys timber processing industry, AMKRI chairman Soenoto said here on Tuesday.

"It is only a discourse but it already had bad impact with many buyers turning to Thailand," Soenoto said, adding customers abroad begin to doubt the countrys ability to maintain stability of supply.

More buyers are feared to turn to other countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam as they are concerned with continuation in supply, he said.

He said currently Indonesia has the 13th largest share of the world furniture market of US$112 billion.

By lifting the log export ban would most likely weaken the countrys position let alone to meet the furniture export target of US$5 billion in 2018 and 2019, he said.

"In order to meet the target we need to triple annual exports," he said.

The furniture and craft industries needs around 11.25 million cubic meters of logs a year or 45 million cubic meters for four years in order to meet the target, he said.

One reason said for considering lifting the export ban is the fact that the price of logs in the country is too low in comparison to price in international market.

Soenoto, however, said he had received a confirmation from Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan that the discourse about lifting the log export ban was not true.

Editor: Suryanto
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