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Chamber expects ri`s trade balance to remain stable until December

9th July 2012 | 3.738 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) has predicted that Indonesia`s trade balance will remain stable until the end of this year after it recorded a deficit in April and May.

"The deficit is showing a downward trend now and I think it will not last longer. I predict it will record a surplus again and remain stable until the end of this year," Kadin Chief Danny Jozal said here on Monday.

He did not elaborate on by how much the trade balance would increase. "If exports are higher than imports the trade balance will remain strong and stable," he said.

Industry Minister MS Hidayat said Indonesia needed to diversify its export market to reduce its trade deficit.

He asked local businessmen not to focus on exporting their commodities to Europe which is facing a financial crisis.

"We could take an opportunity to enhance our relations with Czech Republic which has rapid growth prospects," he said.

The Trade Ministry said earlier Indonesia recorded a trade deficit of US$764.7 million in April and US$485.9 million in May.

"In May, a trade deficit in the oil and gas sector was practically zero. A deficit mainly happened to the non-oil/non-gas sector," Deputy Trade Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi said early this month.

According to the Trade Ministry, the US$486.1 million deficit in the non-oil/non-gas sector was particularly fueled by a 21.6 percent increase in non-oil/non-gas imports while at the same time exports fell 7.8 percent.

The ministry noted that the import of aircraft rose 182.6 percent, cellular phone 66.6 percent, and electronic circuit 54.9 percent in May.

Yet the country`s trade balance in the January-May 2012 period still recorded a surplus of US$1.5 billion, down 87 percent from the annual growth.(*)