The furniture and handicraft industry is one of the business anomalies because it shows an increasing trend during the Covid-19 pandemic situation. This is expected to be a driving force for economic improvement with the large potential for material and labor resources that can be exploited.
The Indonesian furniture and handicraft industry is still recording positive business transactions amid the Covid-19 pandemic situation. This sector continues to show an improving trend, especially entering the fourth quarter of 2020 which makes stakeholders optimistic that this positive trend will continue until next year.
Based on the Data and Information Center (Pusdatin) of the Ministry of Industry, the export value of processed wood and furniture in January 2020 from the East Java region was valued at 146.21 million US dollars and in February-March 2020 it increased to 155.06 million and 161.92 US dollars. . In the Cirebon region and other West Java regions the value also continues to increase.
Furthermore, the Global Trade Atlas 2020 data recorded that export of furniture from Indonesia to America for the January-May 2020 period was 582.11 million US dollars, an increase of 51.3 percent compared to the same period the previous year. This high increase actually occurred during a pandemic situation with the implementation of many new normal activities.
These data show that there are still opportunities, especially for the furniture industry sector. During the pandemic, the new normal situation did not prevent export-import activities from continuing, especially in the midst of the US and Chinese trade war situation which would create greater opportunities for the Indonesian furniture industry.
According to the Presidium of the Indonesian Furniture and Handicraft Industry Association (Himki) Abdul Sobur, the Indonesian furniture and handicraft industry will continue to show positive trends and the transition period related to the pandemic situation must be utilized to continue to increase penetration in the global market which can provide foreign exchange to the country to be bigger.
“The furniture and handicraft industries can still exist and even continue to increase when other sectors are hit by a crisis. This can be a strong economic cushion for economic conditions and a way out for the country to absorb labor. With abundant resources, both raw materials and labor, this sector can be one of the strengths to boost the economy, “he said.
Furthermore, retailers in the global market also believe that the current pandemic will be able to be overcome in 2021, thus bringing higher hopes, especially for the furniture and crafts sector. Therefore, the presence of the International Indonesia Furniture Expo (IFEX) which will be held in March 2021 is a very good event.
IFEX is often the reference for the Southeast Asian furniture market as a meeting place for the best local craftsmen with international buyers and this event has paved the way for the growth of the national furniture industry. The presence of thousands of domestic and foreign buyers and visitors will be a golden opportunity for industrial players to expand into the global market. IFEX 2019, for example, has attracted visitors reaching 12 thousand people and on the spot transactions reaching 370 million US dollars.
This year IFEX was not held due to a pandemic and next year it is hoped that this event can be held offline again. The organizers will strive to display local craftsmen’s products in the product showcase so that visitors can stay comfortable by implementing strict health protocols.
“We are very enthusiastic about holding the IFEX event again in 2021 because we have become the main destination for world furniture industry players who are looking for quality products. We also continue to make improvements in preparation for this event next year so that it can be carried out well and have a big impact on the national economy, “explained Sobur.
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