The 46th Jakarta Fair which was opened by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in the former Kemayoran airport location on Monday, has rapidly developed with large scale firms taking part in the annual business and cultural exposition.
Formally called Djakarta Fair (DF) and held for the first time in the 7 hectare National Monument Square (Monas) on June 5, 1968, the Jakarta Fair (PRJ) was later moved to the 44 hectare former Kemayoran airport in 1992 to facilitate its rapid development.
However, in its rapid development, the Jakarta Fair has become the arena of large companies to exhibit their products while small and medium enterprises (SME) began to be marginalized.
Therefore the regional government is considering returning the function of the PRJ as a place for the SMEs to exhibit their products. The regional government wants that about 60-70 percent of space at the PRJ should be allocated for SMEs.
"We support the regional government`s effort to encourage the SMEs to use 60-70 percent of the PRJ arena," Erwin Aksa, the deputy chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) said on Thursday.
He made the statement in response to the desire of the regional government of Jakarta that the PRJ should allocate 60-70 percent of its arena for small and medium-sized business.
Erwin said that SMEs had only a mall access to the PRJ arena as large scale businesses dominated it to exhibit their products. Besides, the arena is also used by foreign SMEs such as those from China.
The market access for domestic SMEs is limited because they had no enough money to hire exhibition stands.
"The show windows of the PRJ are filled with products from large scale companies. If there are SME products in the show, they are those of foreign firms because they are able to hire the exhibition facilities," Erwin said.
The Kadin deputy chairman said that SMEs which were active to hold exposition in the capital city were those coming from China. They exhibit machine tools and spare parts.
Erwin expressed his hope that the Jakarta Fair would be made an international-reputed and the biggest exposition arena for SMEs. If need be, the PRJ should be raised to an ASEAN standard so that it would serve as a means for domestic SME products to promote its standard to a higher level.
Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahja Purnama said the Jakarta should serve as a festivity of product and cultural exhibition for the Jakarta residents.
"PRJ should leave a modest impression while it remains to be festive. It should not become an elite and commercial arena. This is because the PRJ is in essence a people or folk festivity," he said in the City Hall last week.
Basically, the regional government of Jakarta wants to maintain the initial purpose of PRJ as a folk festivity arena for the Jakarta residents so that it would benefit the grass roots of all circles in Jakarta.
In the 2013 Jakarta Fair, admission tickets are sold at a price of Rp25,000 from Monday to Thursday and Rp30,000 from Friday to Sunday.
"As a folk festivity for the Jakarta residents, the PRJ should not charge visitors. It should be free of charge. This year, we are to organize people`s festivities in all parts of Jakarta like car free night in celebrating the capital city`s 486th anniversary," said Basuki.
However, he said that the regional government of Jakarta would still allow PT Jakarta International Expo (JIExpo), the organizer of the PRJ in Kemayoran, to hold the Jakarta Fair Festival next year.
"JIExpo is pleased to hold exhibition and other festivals. We are not going to change its concept. We are going to introduce another festival with a concept that gives priority to creativity and culture," Basuki said.
Previously, Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said he was planning to change the concept of Jakarta Fair 2014 into creativity activities.
"Ahead, we will give priority to creativity in organizing the PRJ because the event is initially designed for cultural-based creativity products," Governor Jokowi said.
He said that the PRJ this year inclined to show commercial and business aspects so that people`s creativity and cultural elements lacked attention.
"Cultural creativity in the current PRJ is not given a priority so that it gets no rooms. There are many `kerak telor` (tradional Betawi egg-based dish) traders who complained because they could not get into the arena. We have to give them ample rooms," Jokowi said.
Therefore, the PRJ 2013 would be evaluated after its completion. "We will evaluate it this year so that it could be improved and be returned to its initial aim as a folk festivity which gives priority to creativity and culture," he said.
Starting to open since June 6, Jakarta Fiar 2013 was officially opened by President Susilo Bambang on Monday evening (June 10).
He expressed his hope that the PRJ would continue to develop and provide economic benefit to the people and serve as an entertainment place. "I congratulate the holding of the Jakarta Fair and I wish a happy 486th anniversary of the Jakarta City. I hope the 46th PRJ would benefit and entertain the people," the President said.
According to Jokowi, the PRJ 2013, which will last from June 6 to July 7 2013, is held as part of the commemoration of Jakarta`s 486th anniversary. Jokowi hoped that PRJ 2013 would serve as a useful arena which provided information and entertainment for Jakartans.
"I hope this event will provide information for the people. It is an entertainment arena and a place for introducing the nation`s creative products," the governor said.
In the meantime, PT Jakarta International Expo (JIExpo) has earlier said the PRJ 2013 had targeted a transaction of Rp4.5 trillion.
"Last year, we set a transaction target at Rp4 trillion and it was achieved. This year we have set a higher target at Rp4.5 trillion. Hopefully, it will be achieved," Prajna Mudaya, a PRJ committee chairman, said in the Jakarta Fair Ground in Kemayoran.
Prajna is optimistic that PRJ 2013 will achieve its target. After all, the number of participants this year is bigger.
"There were 2,550 participants taking part in PRJ 2012. This year the number of participants relatively increases to 2,650 participants," said Prajna.
He explained that for the PRJ 2013 festivals, a total of 1,280 stands had been built for businesses, consisting of large scale businesses and industries, cooperatives, small-scale and micro enterprises.
Besides transaction values, said Prajna, the committee also expected bigger number of visitors this year. "A total of 4.5 million visitors were registered in PRJ 2012. We hope this year the Jakarta Fair will be visited by some 4.8 million people," Prajna said.
PRJ 2013 will be taking place for 32 days beginning from June 6 to July 7, 2013. (Antara)