Indonesia has vast forest resources and an active wood processing sector, but struggles to make a real contribution to national economic growth.
According to the Executive Board of the Indonesian Furniture and Craft Industry Association (DPP HIMKI), the reason is because the price of raw materials is too high, which undermines competitiveness in the domestic market and international markets.
This issue was discussed at a webinar late last year which was facilitated by the Indonesian Furniture and Craft Industry Association. The webinar was attended by government officials, timber sector experts and business executives from the national timber industry. The point was made that downstream SMEs cannot afford to purchase top quality raw materials so must process low quality wood raw materials.
The problem of raw material supply was raised by Purwadi Soeprihanto, executive director of the Association of Indonesian Forest Concession Holders (APHI), who said the problem of raw material supply is one of the reasons that Indonesia’s furniture export performance is still behind that of Vietnam. He said furniture products from natural wood tend not to be competitive in the global market. Purwadi also said Vietnamese manufacturers are better in terms of design so one way to raise the competitiveness of Indonesian furniture products is to accelerate the development of plantation forests.
The article was first published in the Tropical Timber Market Report.