President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono opened the 16th Jakarta International Handicraft Trade Fair (Inacraft) on Wednesday, Indonesia’s largest-ever handicraft exhibition, displaying a wide range of unique work by craft makers across the archipelago.
In his opening speech, Yudhoyono underlined the need to improve the quality and competitive edge of local handicrafts to compete and gain a stronger foothold in the global market.
“Wherever we can sell [our products], we should expand and strengthen [our presence] in that market. This is necessary to maintain a quality and appropriate delivery system and also to introduce eco-friendly products,”
“Please remember that in international trade there are non-tariff barriers and goods that are not eco-friendly cannot compete at the international level,” he added.
Yudhoyono also noted the need to develop a technology-intensive creative industry that had been earlier initiated in several East Asian countries, including South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.
The handicraft industry is one of the 15 sectors in Indonesia’s creative industry, with a contribution of around Rp 92.6 trillion (US$7.9 billion) to the overall Rp 641.82 trillion industrial output last year.
The output of the creative industry accounted for 7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the past year.
This year, the government has targeted the overall creative industry to expand by 6 percent, with a contribution to the national income of Rp 700 trillion, up 9 percent from last year.
Exhibitors taking part in the five-day fair expected to generate $9.3 million in business contracts, up 12.05 percent from last year, in addition to Rp 117 billion in retail sales, up 10 percent from the previous year, Indonesian Handicraft Producers and Exporters Association (Asephi) chairman Rudy Lengkong said.
“We hope there will be 200,000 visitors and 1,000 overseas buyers attending this exhibition,” he said.
Foreign buyers are slated to derive from about 50 countries, such as Malaysia, Singapore, India, Japan, the US and Australia, according to Rudy. As many as 1,600 participants engaged in the annual event, occupying 1,290 stands available in the exhibition.
The event also hosts the participation of a number of foreign exhibitors, including from Pakistan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
Themed “From the Smart Village to the Global Market”, Inacraft displays various Indonesian textile products such as batik and ikat, furniture such as wood sculptures and statues, and jewelry.
Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said that to foster the technology-intensive creative industry, Indonesia had began collaboration with South Korea and Japan in the production of animated films and games. Such a cooperation was also being taken forward to open up paths for local film and game makers to go global.
Mari said the government would facilitate the creation of incubators that played a key role in boosting the growth of information technology reliant creative industry.
Indonesia is targeting cooperation with big incubators in Silicon Valley in the US, home to big technology corporations, to assist local incubators to expand their businesses, according to Mari. (Jakarta Post)