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Indonesia delays import reduction deadline amid COVID-19

Jun '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
Indonesia’s industry ministry pushed back the deadline to achieve its import reduction target by a year, as the COVID-19 pandemic has battered productivity and demand of industries, according to minister handling the portfolio Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, who recently said the ministry had taken the decision to reduce imports by 35 per cent from 2021 to 2022.

“There needs to be an adjustment of our import reduction target because market demand has slumped. COVID-19 has also reduced factories’ productivity,” he told reporters.

The ministry is also coordinating with other ministries to set up a comprehensive road map to reach the target, according to a report in top Indonesian newspaper.

The country recorded a $3.2 billion trade deficit in 2019, with imports totalling $170.72 billion, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data show.

The seven sectors prioritised for the import reduction programme are automotive, textiles, food and beverages, electronics, petrochemicals, medical equipment manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.

However, the programme was hampered by the current low industrial capacity utilisation, which stands at around 25-30 per cent of its maximum capacity as a result of the pandemic.

Indonesia’s imports fell for a 10th consecutive month in April as manufacturing companies cut production output while consumer demand continues to shrink amid the pandemic, signalling cooling economic activity going forward.

The country recorded $12.54 billion in imports in April, an 18.58 per cent drop from the same period last year.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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June 2021

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