Bali needs export master plan

The Bali provincial administration must prepare a comprehensive and long-term master plan for its export activities to anticipate stiff competition in regional and international markets. In a business gathering in Denpasar on Thursday, I Wayan Ramantha, a professor of economics, said the island’s export performance in 2013 had dropped quite significantly because of a lack of government attention and support, as well as an unclear export policy. “Both provincial and regional administrations have never thought of creating integrated export policies that can enhance the business performance of local entrepreneurs,” the professor said.

The governments, he said, must start thinking about creating short, medium and long-term plans in regard to the island’s exports. “A master plan is needed to clearly define the roles of each stakeholder — governments, private sector, regulators and other related parties,” said Ramantha.The master plan will also consist of clear potential and markets. In the period between 2008 and 2012, Bali’s export values have grown negatively at minus 3.32 percent. “The governments and related institutions keep blaming the global economic conditions for the island’s poor export performance.

The current world economic downturn should not become a scapegoat for our weakening exports,” warned the professor. Exploring new markets, improving basic infrastructure and improving the quality of products are the best ways of boosting Bali’s exports. “Playing the blame game is always easy, but we have to immediately take real action to improve our facilities, including developing cargo ports,” he said. Bali is still heavily dependent on Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya to ship its export goods, as Benoa Port in Denpasar is not yet able to facilitate export activities.

The island is renowned for its top export commodities including textiles, garments, canned fish, wooden products, handicrafts, silver jewelries, coffee, seaweeds, vanilla and tuna. There are 74,938 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) employing around 138,630 workers. “Bali has huge potential, with a large variety of top export goods, but integrated and sustainable programs and plans to develop export-oriented SMEs are urgently needed,” he said. I Gusti Agung Rai Wirajaya, a member of the House of Representatives’ Commission XI overseeing finance, lamented that local SMEs should be proud of Bali as “a popular brand”.

“Businessmen from all over the world often use Bali as their marketing brand and gimmick. Local businessmen have to take this opportunity to promote their products using Bali’s brand,” said Wirajaya. Denpasar Industry and Trade office head I Wayang Gatra said the Denpasar mayoralty had fully supported the city’s SMEs with the establishment of an e-commerce center. “Denpasar has 486 SMEs, mostly handicraft producers, which already apply e-commerce programs in their trade and exports,” said Gatra. Denpasar has also worked with various companies, such as Garuda Indonesia, in the promotion of its exports.

Gatra said around 80 percent of the total 225 export-oriented companies were operating in Denpasar. He also said only 60 to 70 percent of the total companies were still active in their export ventures. Indonesia Eximbank chairman and CEO I Made Gde Erata has showed his commitment to supporting exports nationwide, including in Bali. Indonesia Eximbank, with its Rp 45 trillion (US$3.7 billion) capital, is an Indonesian export financing institution that aims to support the government’s policy to encourage national export programs.

It finances the production of goods and services that support exports and finances transactions or projects that cannot be financed by banks but have the potential to increase national exports.

source : bali dialy

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