The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) has urged the government to contain the country’s high trade deficit to safeguard the economy.

“This problem should be immediately contained before its negative impact spreads further to the economy,” said Kadin deputy chairman for banking and financial Rosan P.Roeslani in Jakarta on Wednesday as quoted by Antara news agency.

According to Rosan, Indonesia was suffering a current account deficit coupled with a trade deficit.

In the first quarter of 2013, the trade deficit reached US$3.3 billion and it is predicted to reach $6 billion in 2013.

The deficit was triggered by the high importation of oil and gas as well as raw materials for industry. The low value of commodity exports aggravated the problem.

To reduce the deficit, Rosan said the government should control the high importation of oil and gas and raw materials for industry.

“The potential of local exports has yet to be explored even though each region has prime export commodities with special characteristics. Such potential should be used to strengthen the value-added components of their exports,” Rosan said.

He said the rupiah’s exchange rate of above Rp 10,000 per US dollar should be used as momentum for exporters to increase their exports in the midst of the trade deficit. (ebf)

Source: The Jakarta Post

Title: Govt Urged to contain trade deficit