Jakarta – Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita has announced that projects funded by the state budget will be obliged to purchase and use only locally made hoes in an attempt to boost the local industry.
"The quality of locally produced [hoes] is good, and they are ready to use," Agus said on Thursday.
The minister explained that his office would raise public awareness by promoting locally produced goods, including hoes, in an attempt to reduce imports – which recently came to the attention of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.
"We will conduct a campaign. It so happens that I also lead the government's TKDN [local content requirement] team," the former social affairs minister said.
Jokowi recently criticized the National Procurement Agency (LKPP) for importing many items that could be purchased from local small and medium enterprises, including hundreds of thousands of hoes.
The President urged the agency to refrain from importing hoes and other goods that could be produced locally as the country still suffered trade balance and current account deficits.
Agus said availability was not an issue as there were at least 500,000 hoes to meet domestic needs. The problem, he said, was public awareness on the advantages of using local goods.
"Awareness on the part of off-takers, from those using hoes. That's what we are currently trying to raise, "he said as quoted by kompas.com.
Coordinating Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto also said the answer to the current problem was awareness among users, including state institutions, of the need to use locally made products as he believed that local producers had proven their ability to make large quantities of hoes.
He cited an example of state-owned foundry company PT Barata Indonesia, which focuses on the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and manufacturing sectors.
"If the domestic industry is technically capable, of course, the crucial part is the buyers," Airlangga said. (ggq)