Indonesian Govt to Regulate Laptop, Mobile Phone Imports
Tito Summa Siahaan
A new regulation might curb the massive flow of imported consumer goods into Indonesia, a government official said on Tuesday.
Deddy Saleh, director general of foreign trade at the Trade Ministry, said the government is set to issue the regulation, aimed at reducing the flow of imported consumer goods including mobile phones, laptop computers and processed food.
Currently, the number of mobile phone and laptop imports, Deddy said, is huge.
“The recorded import of mobile phones is around 40 million units a year, but industry players estimate that illegal imports could be twice that,” Deddy said.
Many multinational companies have made Indonesia a market for their products, capitalizing on rising purchasing power and consumer demand. Consumer goods companies such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble are among the global companies with operations in Indonesia. Unilever sells products such as Sunsilk Shampoo and Lux soap.
Deddy did not elaborate on the time frame for the new regulation.
Industry analysts have voiced their concern over the massive influx of goods from China, which have threatened the competitiveness of goods produced in the domestic market.
Some Chinese electronics brands, such as Lenovo, are commonly sold in the Indonesian market.
The regulation will also limit imports of processed foods, in particular processed meat, which Deddy said is related to the government’s policy to ban meat imports from countries where cases of animal diseases occurred, he added.
“For example, we ban meat imports from India, but Malaysia [firms] buy the meat cheaply, process it and export it to Indonesia, thus making our products less competitive,” Deddy added.
He did not disclose further details, however, as the formulation of the regulation is still in its early stages. “But surely we will discuss it with related ministries,” he said.