The provincial administration and the island’s business community are expecting no negative impact on its exports to Australia following the spying row. Ni Wayan Kusumawati, head of Bali Trade and Industry Agency, told Bali Daily on Tuesday that Bali had seen a slight increase of only 1.68 percent to US$359.90 million in its exports to several countries in the period January-September 2013. The slight growth in exports was boosted by the 5.64 percent increase in exports to the Asia-Pacific region amounting to $217.48 million and a 3.99 percent rise in exports to the European Union of $100.44 million.
“I am hoping that the current conflict between Indonesia and Australia will not disturb trade relations between the two countries,” said Kusumawati. She further said the US, Japan, Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong contributed as the five major export markets for Bali. In 2012, Bali obtained $579.23 million in export revenues, in which the US contributed 22.99 percent, Japan 13.42 percent, Singapore 7.63 percent, Australia 7.52 percent and Hong Kong 4.87 percent. Meanwhile, in the period January to September 2013, Bali’s trade with Australia amounted to $26.20 million, a growth of around 9.71 percent.
Kusumawati said that the Australian economy had been quite stable with a strong currency in the global market. “Such a condition will encourage its citizens to spend more on both primary and secondary goods,” she explained. She also commented that the availability of direct flights between Bali and several cities in Australia had supported trade. Bali exports handicrafts, interior decorating items, fabricated houses and various other goods to Australia. Panudiana Kuhn, chairman of the Bali chapter of the Association of Indonesian Employers (Apindo), said that Bali’s export performance was not yet optimum.
“The economic condition in the US and Europe is still slowing,” Kuhn said. Bali’s exports to the US and Europe are textiles, wooden products including furniture, handicrafts and fashion items. “Developing and diversifying new export markets will be beneficial for Bali, as we are now facing stiff competition from other ASEAN countries, China and India,” he said. Improving quality and product innovation were important in maintaining the present major markets. “The provincial and regional governments must also a play big role in supporting exporters,” he added.
source : bali daily