The Industry Ministry reports that furniture exports grew by 4 percent year-on-year to be worth US$1.69 billion in 2018, up from $1.63 billion in 2017.
"The furniture industry has become one of the strategic sectors to improve the country’s economy,” Industry Minister Airlangga Hartanto said in a statement issued on Sunday, adding that the industry was also important because it sources local natural resources to create value-added products.
The ministry would push for better performance in furniture exports, considering that the country has great potential raw materials, he added.
Indonesia contributes 80 percent of the rattan in the world market. This furniture raw material mostly grows in the forests of Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Sumatra. Indonesia is also a major producer of logs for the industry.
“As a tropical country, we have various kinds of trees,” Airlangga said as quoted by kontan.com, adding that the government introduced various policies to support the furniture industry, including technical assistance programs, human resources development, promotion and expansion of market access.
He said the Industry Ministry had facilitated the establishment of the Furniture Industry and Wood Processing Polytechnic in the Kendal industrial park in Central Java.
He expressed his appreciation of the polytechnic, which had applied a dual system: 70 percent for practical learning in industry and 30 percent for learning theory in classrooms.
"The dual system, developed by Switzerland, is expected to produce graduates who are prepared for the era of 4.0 industry," he said.