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Indonesia: Trade Expo sees more visitors but lower transaction valueFriday, October 17, 2014 > 11:49:08
The country’s biggest annual trade event, Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI), which ended on Oct. 12, saw a higher number of visitors compared to last year, however it recorded a lower value of business transactions and investment plans.
The 29th trade expo, held at the Jakarta International Expo in Kemayoran last week, attracted 14,345 visitors from 125 countries, up 53.54 percent from last year, which saw 9,343 visitors from 118 nations.
However, it booked only US$1.42 billion in goods and services contracts, as well as new investment plans, down by 21.9 percent from the $1.82 billion last year.
The lower figure was primarily driven by the steep decline in investment plans, less than half of last year’s, settling at $500 million, according to the Trade Ministry.
The value of goods and services contracts, however, showed an upward trend. Transactions in goods rose by 17.64 percent to $814.31 million, driven largely by robust demand for furniture, processed foods, textile products, building materials and paper products. Major buyers were from Canada, India, Australia, South Korea and the US.
Transactions in services, meanwhile, jumped by nearly 60 percent to $105.9 million, supported by demand for services in hospitality, construction, engineering, agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing and the health sector.
Such sizeable demand for services would absorb 11,961 Indonesian workers, according to the Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI).
Despite the lower figure in transactions, Deputy Trade Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi claimed the trade expo was a success given the value of transactions, which surpassed the official aim of $800 million.
“The confidence of the international market in Indonesian products is relatively high, as shown by the larger number of buyers and the countries of origin,” he said in a press conference on Wednesday.
Apart from that, buyers also sought value-added products, as seen in the higher sales of manufactured goods, Bayu added.
On the sidelines of the five-day expo, the organizer also carried out a series of activities, including a trade and investment seminar, export summit, business matching and counseling.
Bayu said that the ministry would continue to follow up on the results of this year’s TEI by intensifying the exporters’ forum to invite overseas buyers and spreading information on service prospects available overseas for Indonesian business service providers and workers.
Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) head of regional promotion facilitation, Aloysia Endang Wahyuningsih, said Korean investors had shown interest in doing business in the country, including in property, food processing and power plant design.
A Korean food firm, for instance, is mulling developing an artificial sweetener factory, which may be located in West or East Java, while a property developer is seeking a partner to kick off a property project in Greater Jakarta.
“Some of them already visited the locations of the planned investments, such as in Kendal [Central Java] and Gresik [East Java],” she told The Jakarta Post.
Interest in investing in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy was also shared by investors from other countries, such as Taiwan and Australia, according to the board.