Jakarta (Antara) – Member of the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission V Bambang Haryo Soekartono has urged the government to reduce the import of both consumer goods and raw materials for the national industry as part of efforts to curb the country's trade deficit.
Reducing dependence on imported goods will have a positive impact on the fundamentals of the national economy, the balance of trade and the balance of payment, Soekartono said in a press statement released on Saturday.
As such, the national economic stability will be getting stronger and above all, the national economy will become resistant to external upheavals, he said.
Earlier, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said the government will focus on encouraging the export of textiles and textile products (TPT) to lower the country's trade deficit which reached US$1.90 billion in the first semester of 2019.
"In this current uncertain situation, we must increase exports," Enggartiasto said following a meeting discussing the draft 2020 state budget at the Parliament Complex in Jakarta on August 16, 2019.
He said the government will take the strategic step by capitalizing on the US-China trade war.
"We will take advantage of the opportunity. Indonesia's textile and textile product exports to the US rose 20 percent, while on the other hand Indonesia imports cotton from the US. The more the cotton we import from the US the more the textile and textile product exports to the US will be as we take the share of China in the US textile market," he said.
The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) announced earlier the country's trade balance recorded a deficit of US$63.5 million in July 2019. Cumulatively, the trade deficit in the first semester of 2019 was US$1.9 billion.