indonesian rattan garden furniture

Rattan Manufacturers are being encouraged to move away from Java.

I was interested to read in the Jakara Post that the Indonesian government is looking to relocate rattan production to other islands following an export ban. The governments plan is to revive the rattan industry which has for some years had difficulty with shortages in material.  Areas such as Barito Timur regency in Central Kalimantan, Katingan regency in Central Kalimantan, Pidie regency in Aceh and Palu municipality in Central Sulawesi are all on the list for new rattan centres. The plan is aimed to add more value to the rattan sales and to cut down on the export of the raw material.  It is far better for the local communities if value can be added rather than simply to enrich only the land owners at the expense of the locals.  This same situation took place in the manufacture of teak in Java as exports of the raw material were also banned some years ago in an attempt to add value at the source. The areas that they intend to move production into will welcome an influx of business and therefore jobs as they are currently in need of some economic improvements.  

The trade minister, Gita Wirjawan said he was upbeat about the new plans and “Don’t just think about the next two to six months, but about one, two, or three years. I’m sure we can increase the export value of our rattan products to five- or even ten-fold,” he said. Estimates of the worth of rattan trade in last year’s fist semester were $57 million.  We will be watching the outcome of these events over the next few years in the hope that they will indeed lead to an increase in economic activity in the areas of Indonesia that most need it.


2016 Rattan Update

Jakarta Globe.  Jakarta. Indonesia's furniture and handicraft exports dropped 16 percent last year to $1.6 billion from $1.9 billion in 2016 as the industry grapples with a shortage of raw materials and the government struggles to persuade companies from relocating overseas in search of lower taxes, an industry association said.

'Rattan, a material vital to Indonesia's furniture and crafts industry, has seen a steady decline in quality in recent years, undermining local furniture producers' ability to keep pace with foreign competitors, Abdul Sobur, the secretary of the Association of Indonesian Furniture and Handicrafts (Amkri) said in a recent interview.

Indonesia is the world's largest rattan producer, with an annual production capacity of 70,000 tons. But Abdul said most of the recent production does not meet quality standards expected by the overseas furniture market.

"The furniture industry in Vietnam is more competitive and growing much more rapidly than ours, so it's no surprise that they are attracting more global companies," Abdul said.

One such company, Maitland-Smith, a furniture producer from the United States, closed its factory in Semarang, Central Java, in 2014 and recently relocated to Vietnam.

Abdul said the association has yet to predict the amount of furniture exports for 2017, though he is optimistic the industry will see an upswing as the global economy begins to stabilize. Amkri expects Indonesian furniture exports to total $5 billion by 2019.

I hope that in the coming years trade can once again start to grow and the people of Indonesia can flourish once more.