Friday, December 02, 2011

Our product is expensive. We demand yours to be equally expensive

Minister of Trade Gita Wiryawan, as quoted by Kompas (2/12) said that foreign products should not enter directly into "the heart of Java", namely Jakarta. Because, here is his reason: our Pontianak mandarin orange has to take a rough and long way to Jakarta leading to its expensive price. So foreign goods should also experience the same difficulty. The policy to do that is to send foreign goods to a quarantine located far from Java.

So, by Gita's logic, if our product is expensive, we should tell foreign products to be equally expensive. His solution is not to fix the root of the problem, i.e the poor infrastructure and logistics across regions in Indonesia, but rather to punish the more efficient albeit foreign products at the cost of domestic consumers' welfare.

Very bad, Minister.

Addendum: On the same newspaper, Chairman of Indonesia's Transportation Community Danang Parikesit offers a better solution: improve the transportation infrastructure. The Deputy Head of Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Trade Natsir Mansyur shares this view, namely to improve on the logistics. Way to go, gentlemen.

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