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S'porean products flood Bali market

Publication Date : 19-06-2012

 

Products from Indonesia’s closest neighbour, Singapore, have flooded the Balinese market with an imports value of US$33.49 million (or 18 per cent) of the island’s total import of $179.34 million in 2011.

Gede Suarsa, chairman of the Bali Statistics Office, told Bali Daily yesterday that Singapore, Hong Kong ($29.43 million), Switzerland ($24.65 million), US ($16.54 million), and China ($15.72 million) were the big five exporting countries to Bali, shipping mostly machinery, electronic goods, optical devices, leather and rubber products, fashion and jewellry, cosmetics, to fresh fruit and vegetables.

The other major sources of Bali’s imports are Taiwan ($10.04 million), Vietnam ($7.14 million), Australia ($6.97 million), Germany ($5.21 million) and Saudi Arabia ($4.63 million). Several other countries sent a smaller number of goods to Bali with a value of $25.47 million.

“China used to export the most goods to Bali with a value of $37.89 million, or 15 per cent of the total import value of $248.78 million in 2010,” Suarsa said.

Bali imported a large variety of goods from Singapore. “The country is a trade centre for Southeast Asian and Asian countries. Many countries send their goods to Singapore to be re-exported, including those shipped to Bali.”

Panudhiana Kuhn, chairman of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo), commented that the deluge of imported goods to Bali was inevitable in the current free-trade era.

“China, for instance, has strongly protected its producers by giving them incentives and support for them to thrive in international markets,” Kuhn said.

Kuhn said that the Chinese government had issued trade policies that boosted the country’s economy. “The Chinese business sector enjoys full support from its government, such as low-interest financing and regulations created to support the industry,” he said.

On the other hand, Indonesian businessmen had to face a difficult environment. “The government has never fully supported our business endeavours. Regulations burden the business community,” he added.

High-interest finance and rocketing electricity and fuel prices have all contributed to rising production costs.

“All of those policies have made Indonesian products expensive and therefore uncompetitive in international markets,” Kuhn added.

Indonesian Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan previously confirmed that the Indonesian government had always tried to protect local products by limiting the number of imported products to the domestic market.

 

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