Indonesia’s trade emissaries promoting wood products

Indonesian Ambassador to Germany, Arif Havas Oegroseno, has said that since the Indonesian Timber Legality Verification System (SVLK) was implemented in 2013 and recognised by the European Union in 2016, exports of Indonesian forest products to Europe increased sharply and reached US$1.1 billion in 2019 of which just US$156 million was the value of exports to Germany.

The export market potential for Indonesian timber industry in Germany is substantial and to capture a greater share of that market Indonesian producers need to address the concerns of German consumers and emphasise legality verification and the sustainability of Indonesia’s forest resources.

In the first half of this year exports of Indonesian wood products to Germany were worth US$64 million, down 18% year on year.

Speaking to the press, Nils Olaf Petersen from the German Timber Trade Association said that Indonesian exporters should not be too worried about this short term decline anticipating second half results will be much better.

Opportunities in Germany for Indonesian exporters include demand for wood chips for biomass energy and Albesia ‘Lightwood’. In addition, the Ambassador said timbers such as meranti, bangkirai and teak are of interest in Germany.

Much the same sentiment was expressed by Sulaiman Syarif, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Indonesian Embassy in Brussels, who reported the Embassy, in collaboration with the Forestry Community Communication Forum (FKPMI), held an Indonesia/Belgium Virtual Business Meeting on Wood Products and Furniture.

It was agreed that close cooperation between the Indonesian government and the private sector in the country is needed to develop markets in the EU. Alexander de Groot, a representative from the Association of Belgian Wood and Furniture Industry Entrepreneurs said that Indonesia has a comparative advantage with the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) certification for its wood products.

Commenting on exports to the EU, Indroyono Soesilo, General Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Forest Concessionaires (APHI), who is also the Chairman of the Indonesian Forestry Community Communication Forum (FKMPI) said exports of Indonesian wood products to Europe in 2019 reached US$1.1 billion of which US$106 million was from exports to Belgium, the fourth largest importer of Indonesian wood products in Europe after Britain, the Netherlands and Germany.

Robert Wijaya of the Indonesian Furniture and Handicraft Industry Association (Asmindo) said that the planned warehousing facilities for Indonesian products at Antwerp Port will be a great help and should be realised as soon as possible.

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