Commodity prices continue to fall as the global oil prices decline to US$ 35 per barrel. In this dull climate, the Trade Minister Thomas Trikasih Lembong has publicly voiced his optimism that the government can expect to see significant revenues from jewellery and fashion exports in the future.
Fuelling Thomas’ optimism is the fact that jewellery exports last year amounted to US$ 5 billion, up 20 percent from the previous year. The increase in jewellery exports means Indonesia has successfully developed the downstream sector of this industry. The minister said this development would eventually change the whole structure of export and trades in Indonesia.
As for fashion, Indonesia has a great chance of becoming one of the world’s largest clothing producers as China transitions from a production-based to consumption-based economy.
In Thomas’ opinion, Indonesia has a wealth of very creative human resources. Contributing to the fashion industry for quite some time now, the Indonesian creative fashion industry has started to gain international recognition. For example, international fashion industry icon Louis Vuitton has bought and reproduced an artwork by Yogyakarta artist Eko Nugroho on one of their famous scarfs. “It’s hard to imagine it now, but I think this industry will be a giant in ten years’ time,” Thomas asserted.
The minister predicted that exports of these two commodities would surpass exports of palm and crude oil. He also anticipated that the food and beverage industry would grow exponentially and make a powerful contribution to Indonesia’s export revenue.