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Indonesia prepares to restrict imports of finished goods

  April 18, 2012. Category: buyer

The Indonesian government will soon issue a new regulation to restrict imports of finished goods by general importers (traders) in a move to protect local investors in the manufacturing industry, a minister said.

Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said in Jakarta on Friday that the regulation, which would be issued by the end of this year, was intended to support investors who had poured a large amount of investment into the domestic manufacturing sector.

The regulation may affect the importation of a wide range of products, including food and beverage, textile, automotive and electronics.

Producers would still be allowed to import finished products to support their business activities until such products could be produced at home, said Gita, who is also the chairman of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).

Industrial companies have long appealed to the government to consider the restriction of imports of finished products to protect their business from cheaper foreign goods.

Local producers have said that the implementation of a free-trade agreement with China had resulted in an influx of cheaper products from the country.

“Basically, we want to provide incentives, certainties to whoever invests in production activities in Indonesia through our support and we aim to limit import activities by general importers who invest less than producers,” he said during a press conference at his office.

The new regulation would also boost domestic production further by restricting the period of allowable import of finished goods until they can be produced locally, Gita added.

The new regulation will revise Trade Ministerial Regulation No. 39/2010 on importation of finished goods. One of the regulation's articles has been recently annulled by the Supreme Court because it was considered to encourage imports of finished goods.

The manufacturing industry is one of the largest contributors to the growth of Indonesia, which is Southeast Asia's largest economy, and this year is expected to expand by 7.1 percent.
Source accessed on April 18th 2012