Jakarta January 12th.

More news has come out of the Industry Minister in Jakarta today on the move to ban the export of the raw material rattan. Gita Wiryawan, the Indonesian Trade Minister reiterated that he was not against the export of rattan on the whole but that his intention is to get the domestic industries to add value to there rattan goods prior to the export, Antara news agency reported.

Gita Wiryawan was speaking to the press in an attempt to clarify the announcement of the ban on rattan exports made on Monday Jan 9th. The Minister said "This policy is not just to ban the activity but to increase the value of our rattan exports," adding that the whole government was behind the new policy.

He went on to say that they will take further measures which aim to support the new policy which will include measures to expand the rattan industry outside of Java and the rejuvenation of land in order to grow more rattan. There will also be provisions put in place to retrain the workforce to enable them to compete on a quality control level.

There is a lot of work to do as the new areas targeted for this rattan manufacture will need infrastructure improvements such as road building and improved electricity. That said this new initiative should be welcomed from these communities as economic growth is very much the driver in removing these areas from poverty.

There will be some resistance from Java as it is the largest and most powerful island in Indonesia. It is also the richest and with this wealth comes political power. It is a credit to the Indonesian government that they are making attempts to redistribute not only the wealth but more importantly the means of production. In this case the means of production will include the infrastructure, the skilled workforce as well as the cultivation of the rattan itself.