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Indonesia to strengthen industry amid trade war: Minister

The government is aiming to strengthen the Indonesian manufacturing industry and secure big investment projects in the face of global uncertainty and a trade war.

On Monday, after attending a more than four-hour Cabinet meeting at the Bogor Presidential Palace in West Java, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto said the government would guarantee the supply of raw material to manufacturing industries.

The government would also ease the import tax burden to help the export-oriented industry be more competitive, he added.

On investment, the government would provide incentives to labor intensive industries that relocated their factories, like those from West to Central Java, due to cheaper manufacturing costs, Airlangga said, adding that it would also give incentives to small and medium enterprises.

He added that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo also requested minister to carry out a study on the production of 30 percent biodiesel blending (B30 blending) because the upgrade of B20 to B30 blending would increase the use of biodiesel by 500,000 tons per year.

The expansion of the commodity for domestic use is needed due to the increasing protectionism policy by the traditional market for Indonesian palm oil products.

Meanwhile, Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) head Thomas Trikasih “Tom” Lembong said the government would focus on how to secure big investments especially for import substituting and export-oriented products.

“We will focus on megaprojects such as smelters and petrochemicals because such an investment involves a huge amount of money,” he said, adding that such industries would produce semi-processed materials that Indonesia still imported. (bbn)

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/07/09/indonesia-to-strengthen-industry-amid-trade-war-minister.html