JAKARTA - Minister of Cooperatives and SMEs (Menkop UKM) Teten Masduki is optimistic that the realization of Indonesian furniture and handicraft exports will reach 5 billion US dollars or equivalent to Rp79.9 trillion so far this year.

Teten also appreciated the efforts of the Indonesian Furniture Entrepreneurs Association (Asmindo) to improve the quality and reach of the Indonesian furniture and handicraft industry.

He said that the furniture and handicraft sector had absorbed around 143,000 workers and 1,114 operating business units.

Meanwhile, during the five years ended (2018-2022), the Indonesian furniture industry showed an increase in exports with an export value in 2022 reaching 2.9 billion US dollars, up from 2.8 US dollars in the previous year.

"This increase shows a positive momentum towards the government's target of 5 billion US dollars by 2024. So, Asmindo's friends should be enthusiastic because this trend is quite good," said Teten in his official statement, Wednesday, May 22.

Even though this year the domestic economy and the world are full of challenges, Teten is still optimistic that this target can be achieved

In addition, Teten admitted that he had conveyed to President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) that the global economic condition this year must be watched out for by the MSME sector.

"I have reported to the President, my burden this year is heavy because the signs are not easy but we have to pass," he said.

Furthermore, said Teten, the challenges faced by the industry today include the availability of raw materials, human resource skills as well as the needs of innovation and design.

However, he continued, the government must keep the industrial ecosystem and businesses running well.

"The government continues to strive to create a conducive business ecosystem," he said.

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