Indonesia's Minister of Trade, Agus Suparmanto, targeted Indonesia's export value to grow to a two-digit number by 2020. (Image via Jawa Pos)

Indonesia's Trade Ministry targets two-digit export growth for 2020

On Thursday, Indonesia’s Minister of Trade, Agus Suparmanto, set a two-digit target for Indonesian export value by 2020. To fulfill the target, the Indonesian government is evaluating some international trade negotiations.

Indonesian government relies heavily on the cooperation of international trade. What kind of negotiations being evaluated, Agus did not drop any hint.

Agus did not limit Indonesia’s growth to only rely on international trade. The Trade Minister also stated that he is discussing with other ministries and agencies on how to jack up Indonesia’s export value.

However, Agus’ optimism met some pessimism from economists. For example, the economist from Bank Permata, Josua Pardede, doubted that the target could be fulfilled by 2020, reflecting on how the export trend in Indonesia has been sliding recently.

The pessimism was well-founded. The data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS) tabulated that Indonesia’s export value in September 2019 was only US$14.1 billion, decreased by 1.26 percent compared to August 2018’s value at US$14.28 billion and by 5 percent compared to the value in September 2018.

Josua also blamed the global economy. The economist took an example from the trade war between the United States (U.S) and China. Especially, the trade deal between the two countries was postponed to December 2019, from November 2019. Both are Indonesia’s partners. And, due to the regression of the global economy, the demand also decreased affecting Indonesia’s export.

If Indonesia wants to hoist its export value, incentive policies were needed to encourage the export market players.

Another economist from BCA, David Sumual, also supported Josua’s statement. David said that the “Phase One” agreement between the U.S and China needs to be signed immediately as it might affect the global economy positively. Indonesia might also be benefited from the resolution of the trade war.

David pointed out that the Indonesian government needs to encourage entrepreneurs to not rely on commodities. Due to the U.S – China trade war, the commodity price fell.