Jakarta: Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto opened the 2019 Indonesia International Furniture Expo (IFEX) at Jakarta Internationa Expo (Jiexpo) in Central Jakarta on Monday.
"It is the largest furniture exhibition in Southeast Asia. It is larger than the one in Singapore," the Golkar Party chairman told journalists after the opening ceremony.
"Our furniture industry is a labor-intensive industry. It creates a lot of jobs," the former lawmaker noted.
This year's IFEX offers various specialty furniture and craft products. It gathers thousands of professionals buyers from Indonesia and other countries.
The event isjointly organized by Indonesian Furniture and Craft Industry Association (HIMKI) and event organizer Dyandra Promosindo. It is supported by the Industry Ministry, the Trade Ministry and the Cooperatives and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) ministry and other related government agencies.
The sixth edition of IFEX is scheduled to take place until March 14. It is expected to record US$300 million worth of transactions.
"There are 312 species of rattan in Indonesia. Only few of them are used by our furniture industry," Airlangga remarked.
"Indonesia is a tropical country. It is suitable for various species of trees," he added.
According to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), Indonesia recorded a trade deficit of US$8.57 billion in 2018. It was the highest ever recorded by the agency.
Indonesia's export value stood at US$180.06 billion last year. The number increased by 6.65 percent compared to the previous year.
Indonesia's non-oil and gas export value stood at US$162.65 billion last year. The number increased by 6.25 percent compared to the previous year.
Quoting another report from the statistics agency, Indonesian economy grew by 5.17 percent in 2018. It was Indonesia's highest annual growth in five years.
Indonesian economy grew by 5.18 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. The growth was slightly stronger than earlier expectations.