Imports of consumer goods relatively low: minister

Jakarta (ANTARA) – In the January–November 2022 period, consumer goods imports were relatively low or recorded at 8.28 percent compared to imports of raw and auxiliary materials, which stood at 76.68 percent, Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan informed on Monday.

“Hence, import growth, which is expected to increase this year, will essentially support the efficiency of the domestic production system, both to cater to export demand and domestic market demand,” he said here.

The improving situation, as evident from increased travel since the lifting of community activity restrictions as of December 30, 2022, could be a source of national economic growth, wherein economic players would freely conduct activities according to their respective businesses, he explained.

Following the change in the travel pattern, there would be an increase in domestic economic activity, prompting an increase on the supply and demand sides, including an increase in imports, he added.

However, imports do not necessarily mean those that are consumptive in nature. Imports are also necessary for the growth of the manufacturing and export industries, he added.

“Increased economic activity, as reflected in Indonesia’s Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) rate in December 2022, which is still in the expansionary zone, which is at 50.9, must be supported by the certainty of supply of raw and auxiliary materials that can be met, both domestically and (through) imports,” he elaborated.

Moreover, to ensure that the use of imported goods can effectively improve production efficiency, the government is also taking trade remedies and import control measures.

It is making use of trade remedies instruments, like safeguards and antidumping, including the imposition of temporary safeguard measure import duties (BMTP) and temporary antidumping duties (BMAD).

On top of that, it is implementing selective import control, particularly for labor-intensive industrial products, such as textiles, children’s toys, footwear, steel, as well as horticultural products.

The minister further said that the government is committed to the Proudly Made in Indonesia (BBI) program, which is meant to serve as a measure to urge the public to select local products and improve and maintain the use of domestic products since this saw much development during the pandemic.

This is in accordance with the results of a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which found that during the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers tended to prioritize the use of domestic products rather than imported products.

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