Traditional Foods Have Export Potential

28 November, 2011 | Source: The Jakarta Post

The government expects to export some US$6 billion in food and beverages this year, an increase of about 6 percent from 2010’s figure.

To increase the value, the government will focus on promoting traditional culinary specialties because they combine the possibilities of obtaining more revenue and creating both jobs and a sense of national identity, a top trade official says.

Deputy Trade Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi said Sunday that exposing traditional foods to foreign markets would result in thousands of Indonesians being employed within export-oriented traditional culinary industries.

“At the same time, we have a very large captive market, following the success of a growing number of Indonesian restaurants abroad, as well as supermarkets selling Indonesian spices,” he told The Jakarta Post via text message.

Bayu said currently, traditional culinary exports were minimal, especially in comparison to other Asian countries, whose culinary diversity was not as varied as Indonesia’s, such as Japan, Thailand and South Korea, to name a few.

He added that it would be possible to start exporting by displaying traditional cuisine during bilateral and multilateral occasions abroad.

“We have collaborated with the Foreign Ministry as well as several of Indonesia’s embassies abroad,” he said.

The Foreign Ministry’s director general for American and European affairs, Retno L.P. Marsudi, said a focus group discussion was held two weeks ago in Jakarta to find ways to promote traditional foods abroad.

A string of local, well-known chefs, restaurateurs and representatives from trade, industry and tourism and the creative industries attended the discussion.

“Our culinary promotion is not yet well developed. Therefore, we gathered here [in Jakarta] and talked,” Retno said over the phone.

She said that early next year, participants would gather again and draw up a road map with traditional culinary strategies. Among them are food choices, promotion methods and taste standardization.

She said Thai dish tom yam gung had a similar taste across the globe because the Thai government had been involved in standardizing its taste, adding the government would standardize the taste of local foods, such as sate ayam and rendang.

A week ago, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said food would be added to the creative sector, bringing the total number of sub-sectors to 15.

“We chose food because it is closely related to tourism,” she said.

The creative economy contributed 9.25 percent of a total Rp 131.3 trillion (US$14.4 billion) of exports in 2010.

Meanwhile, the amount of imported food and beverages from Malaysia has continued to increase during recent months, inundating the local market, which is already overwhelmed with imported products.

The Indonesian Food and Beverage Association revealed that imports of Malaysian food and beverages accounted for US$48.8 million in the first eight months of this year.

“They made up 24.7 percent of Indonesia’s total food and beverage imports up until October, increasing from 18.5 percent by April,” the association’s secretary-general, Franky Sibarani, said in a written statement.

The association also revealed that imported food from ASEAN countries reached $96.5 million in the same period.

 

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) plans to visit Turkey to develop partnership in strategic industry and economy with the country, Foreign minister Retno Marsudi said here on Monday at the state palace after a meeting prior to the presidents visit to Turkey and Germany.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and her Maldivian counterpart Mohamed Asim will hold a bilateral meeting in Jakarta on Wednesday (June 21) to discuss the cooperation in tourism sector.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has praised Indonesia for its role in fighting illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing, the Indonesian Embassy in Rome said.
Indonesias real GDP growth is projected to increase from 5.2 percent this year to 5.3 percent in 2018, according to the World Banks June 2017 Indonesia Economic Quarterly.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Former president of the United States, Barack Obama, is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at the opening session of the 4th Congress of Indonesian Diaspora in Jakarta on July 1, 2017.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi spoke by phone with her counterparts of the Middle East in a bid to ease the crisis between Qatar and a group of Arab countries.
Address: 1068 Budapest, Városligeti fasor 26. | MAP |
Phone: (+36-1) 413 3800 Fax: (+36-1) 322 8669
E-mail: embassy@indonesianembassy.hu