REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, WASHINGTON DC -- Indonesia's non-oil and gas imports witnessed an increase in 2018 owing to the inflow of capital goods and raw materials, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita stated. He stated that in response to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) data on Indonesia's 2018 trade deficit which set a record high.
"If we see the import growth, the increased non-oil and gas imports were more due to capital goods and raw materials," Lukita noted in Washington DC, US, on Tuesday.
The inflow of capital goods and raw materials, in fact, indicated development and investment in the country, he remarked.
He said the government is keen to expand the country's access to non-traditional markets to increase exports, taking into account the global economic slowdown during the 2016-2018 period and the gloomy projection of the world economic growth in 2019 according to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution had earlier warned of the need to boost non-oil and gas exports to avoid a higher trade deficit. The government has taken necessary measures to increase exports, especially to non-traditional markets, such as Africa.
Indonesia's trade deficit last year had reached a record high of US$8.57 billion since 1975, according to BPS. The deficit was majorly caused by the oil and gas trade deficit of $12.4 billion, while the non-oil/non-gas trade recorded a surplus of $4.8 billion, BPS Chief Suharyanto stated here on Tuesday.
He said crude oil imports, which contributed $4.04 billion to the deficit, should draw serious attention.