Trade expo books $464.5m, exceeding target of $380m


Despite potentially negative impacts from the global economic downturn looming, Indonesia’s biggest international trade exhibition, Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI), has booked US$464.5 million in transactions, much higher than the initial target of $380 million.

Deputy Trade Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi said Tuesday that the transaction value this year rose by 25.78 percent from the $369.3 million recorded last year. Orders for services worth $238.5 million contributed 51.34 percent to the total amount secured at the 26th TEI, which concluded on Sunday, while the remaining $226 million came from orders for export goods.

“We previously expected the orders for goods and services would contribute 50 percent, respectively, to the total amount made in deals and actually, that has been fulfilled,” he told reporters during the announcement of the expo’s results at his office.

Bayu explained that service orders primarily comprised overseas demands for Indonesian skilled-workers, such as nurses, engineers and construction workers. The value of the orders was calculated based on the potential annual remittances sent back to the country.

“Such high demand for services indicates that the countries utilizing our services put more trust in our skilled workers,” he said.

Furniture orders dominated the goods orders with a 40.8 percent share, followed by agricultural products (10.27 percent); handicrafts (9.39 percent); jewelry and accessories (7.76 percent); and textiles and textile products (5.61 percent).

Countries from emerging markets and non-traditional markets, including India, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bangladesh and Iran, dominated the buyers’ list, making up 86.55 percent of the total number of 8,311 buyers this year, while the remainder came from traditional importing countries Japan, South Korea and the US.

Bayu said that as many as 1,254 business delegates from 44 countries visited the five-day event and, apart from visiting the exhibition, they also expected to build business networks as well as seek opportunities to invest in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

According to Bayu, the 27th TEI is scheduled to run from Oct. 10 to 14 next year in Jakarta, but no official financial target has been made.

“We have not yet determined a target for next year’s expo, or the country’s exports, as we’re keeping a close eye on the development of the global situation,” he said, predicting that demands for the country’s main commodities, such as palm oil, rubber and cacao, would start slowing in the near future.

Earlier on Monday, Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said, after a meeting at the House of Representatives’ Commission VI overseeing trade, that exports would likely slow down to less than $200 billion next year as there would be shocks to demand due to the current widespread economic downturn.

Gita said that his ministry would allocate Rp 501.67 billion ($56.69 million), or 20.90 percent of its 2012 total budget of Rp 2.4 trillion, to support planned market diversification to non-traditional markets, in countries in the Middle East, Africa and South America.

The ministry also plans to earmark Rp 787.33 billion to boost the competitiveness of local producers, Rp 395.82 billion of which will be set aside to strengthen the domestic market. (the jakarta post)