By Victor Gotevbe, who was in Jakarta
Once again all roads led to Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital for its biggest annual event organized by the Directorate General for National Export Development (DGNED) of the Ministry of Trade.
The 31st Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI) 2016 held in JIExpo Kemayaroyan Jakarta, from October 12- 16, 2016.
The expo attracted 15,567 buyers and visitors from 125 countries. A number of buyers came from various regions including international markets previously untapped for Indonesia, such as Africa and the Middle East. Indonesian exporters, this time, were also more diversified ranging from small and medium-sized enterprises to private enterprises and state-owned enterprises.
The event featured over 1,000 Indonesian exhibitors, while various trace-related events such as Business Matching, Trade Tourism and Investment Business Forum and others were presented.
The products that were showcased in TEI 2016 were manufactured products, home appliances, food and beverages, handicraft, creative industry, to service and agreement.
At the opening ceremony of TEI, 2016, His Excellency, Mr. Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia accompanied by Enggartiasto Lukito, Minister of Trade, and Djarot Saiful Hidayat, Vice Governor of Jakarta, called for Indonesian entrepreneurs to expand their market abroad, especially to non-traditional market countries, as it offers a lot of opportunities for Indonesian products to develop there. He expressed optimism while making this clarion call: “we have to be brave in entering new markets such as India and African countries which have an average of 60-80 million citizens. That is a big market that we need to expand.”
President Jokowi encouraged Indonesian entrepreneurs to continuously improve the quality of their products and produce more added value products in order to penetrate more markets abroad. He noted not only Africa and India, which provide lucrative opportunities for Indonesian products, that other developing markets like South Asia and Latin America hold great potential for Indonesian exporters to expand markets and distribution of their products.
The President also awarded the Primaduta Award and Primaniyarta to the best 30 Indonesian exporters.
According to President Widodo, after observing some products made by entrepreneurs from several regions in Indonesia which are designed by professional product designers, stresses they pay attention to the design, they can be rest assured that Indonesian products can reach more consumers both in the local and global markets.
This year’s expo had a strong representation from the Embassy of Indonesia in Abuja and the Indonesian Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC), Lagos headed by His Excellency, Mr. Harry Purwanto, Ambassador of Indonesia to Nigeria and Mr. Nino Wawan Setiawan, Director of Trade respectively. Also, the Nigerian Indonesian Commercial Association (NICA) led a delegation, part of which was the Bauchi State Government.
Mr. Mohammed Aminu Abubakar, Director General of Bauchi State Promotions Investment Agency ably represented the Governor of Bauchi State who was unavoidably absent. Interestingly, Nigeria ranked first amongst the top ten countries sending its delegates to TEI 2016 with 443 people according to Sulistyawati, Director of Export Product Development, Ministry of Trade.
Over the years ITPC Lagos, a non-profit governmental organization which is under the supervision of the DGNED has been organizing delegates to attend the trade expo but this year’s witness a well organized delegation with very many Nigerian companies in attendance. As a matter of fact, the presence of Nigerian delegates undoubtedly brought special mission where they were hunts for daily products to be imported to Nigeria. Buyers from Nigeria were very much interested in health and beauty products, fashion accessories and cosmetics. The interest also covers textile and garment products, agricultural products like coal, fruit and vegetable and animal product, home decoration, electronic goods, food and beverages, as well as coffee. Buyers from Nigeria continued to remain in contact with local companies after the expo.
Last year, Tradexpo Indonesia successfully attracted more than 10.000 visitors from over 100 countries, and generated in total trade transactions valued at over US$ 900 million. However, this year, Trade Expo closed with a satisfactory number of transactions valued at almost $975 million, a 7.2 percent rise from last year, the Ministry of Trade said in a statement. Of the total number of transactions recorded, $826.52 million involved the sale of goods and $48.23 million for services. Indonesian investment abroad accounted for the remaining $100 million worth of transactions.