In facing the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015, Indonesia SME products should be able to enter to penetrate the markets of ASEAN countries that will be flooding Indonesia. “SMEs, particularly fashion and handicrafts, should not be afraid because actually SMEs is the spearhead of the Indonesian nation that should be used as a mainstay or vanguard in facing AEC,” said the Director General of Small and Medium Industries at the Ministry of Industry, Euis Saedah, in Jakarta, on Tuesday (October 28).
After representing the Minister of Industry in opening “Sriwijaya Exhibition,” at Plasa Industry, Euis suggested that there are two preparations of SMEs in facing AEC 2015, namely strengthening of the capacity of SMEs and equipping them with technology improvement, either with the help of machinery or in the framework of restructuring of the textile and foot wear industries. Besides, domestic industries, such as toys and baby clothes, must comply with mandatory SNI, because the provision also applies to domestic producers as well as imports.
Meanwhile, according to Euis, so that SMEs will be able to improve expertise or skills, SME entrepreneurs who have passed selection, will be invited to participate in a number of exhibitions nationally and internationally. “This is an effort of the Ministry of Industry to encourage SMEs in order to further improve the quality in facing a freer trade era. As for other provinces outside South Sumatra, we expect that they will be able to follow the example of other regions or provinces whose SME products have met the local as well as national classifications, and are able to penetrate the international market.
All of this is supported by a quite strong infrastructure in the region, so these kinds of products become the pride of Indonesia. For the domestic market, we must be able to convince consumers of the quality produced by the national itself. Meanwhile, to compete in the International market. The products produced by our nation must be of high quality, innovative, and always follow the development of consumer demand or tastes.
Industry Minister, Saleh Husin, on that occasion, expressed his hope that the exhibition of South Sumatran products can also be done by other provinces, so that if developed, they could help Indonesia to host its own country. Moreover, with the help of designers and songket craftsmen, it will make these products expand to the international market, he explained while accompanying his wife in the opening of the exhibition.
South Sumatra is one of the provinces that have abundant wealth of cultural and natural resources, both natural and tourism potential. Its potential must be developed for the betterment of the entire community. According to Eis, the great cultural wealth potential that have high value should be maintained, and continuously improved in terms of quality, quantity, type of product and the uniqueness of diverse cultures, customs, traditions, and typical and unique arts.
Growth of SMEs in South Sumatra is quite rapid. In 2011, the number of handicraft and clothing business units only reached 377 units with 5,058 workers. While in 2012, the number of handicraft and clothing business units reached 2,263 units with 6,152 workers. It is able to significantly contribute to the structural changes and strengthen the domestic economy. The exhibition, which is held until October 31, 2014, was participated by 44 SME crafters as under the guidance of the Industry and Trade Department of cities featuring originating from the regencies/cities, batik, songket, wood crafts, coconut crafts an typical food of South Sumatra. (E)
Business News - October 31, 2014