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President Jokowi: IFEX 2021 Becomes Momentum for Furniture and Handicraft Industry Awakening

The Indonesian Furniture and Crafts Industry Association (HIMKI) together with Dyandra Promosindo held the Indonesia International Furniture Expo (IFEX) Virtual Showroom 2021. The month-long exhibition through the https:// ifexindonesia. com/ virtual-showroom page was officially opened by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) virtually, Monday (20/9/2021).

IFEX is the largest furniture and craft exhibition in Indonesia and the region. Through its series, IFEX will present the industry with the largest range of specialty furniture and craft products, combining innovative design and craft skills inspired by Indonesia's natural wealth.

Jokowi in his remarks said that IFEX is a strategic arena for furniture and handicraft producers from upstream to downstream, both for national and global market needs.

"International exhibitions are needed and Indonesia can be the right arena because Indonesia is rich in raw materials, rich in works of art, and has a very large market capacity," said Jokowi.

On the occasion, the President also advised industry players to increase their competitiveness in the global market. "Not only the quality of the product but also the values ​​that are firmly held starting from the production process, which must have a commitment to sustainable development, which is environmentally friendly, low carbon, and inclusive," he explained.

President Jokowi hopes that IFEX 2021 will also be a momentum for the revival of the Indonesian furniture and handicraft industry which refers to the spirit of sustainable development.

The Minister of Industry of the Republic of Indonesia, Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, said that the furniture industry experienced growth during the pandemic. According to the Minister of Industry, online shopping activities also support furniture sales both from within and outside the country during this pandemic.

"Compared to the first quarter of 2020, furniture and handicraft products experienced an increase in export performance by 36.1% to USD 1.696 billion in the first quarter of 2021. And the largest export destination countries for Indonesia are America, Japan, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany," added the Minister of Industry.

The Minister of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia, Muhammad Lutfi, also conveyed the same thing, that Indonesian furniture and handicraft products are mainstay exports whose quality has been recognized and has dominated the global market.

"During the period from January to August 2021, the export value of Indonesian furniture products managed to increase year-on-year by 29% to USD 1.88 billion. And in the same period, the value of handicraft exports also grew to 235 or USD 5.8 billion," he explained.

The Minister of Trade also expressed his hope that through the IFEX Virtual Showroom, he could contribute to the recovery of the economic sector as well as promote Indonesian furniture and handicraft products to the global market.

HIMKI remains optimistic that this industry will continue to experience growth. This can be seen in the data submitted by each relevant ministry, even though in the Covid-19 pandemic situation, the furniture and handicraft industry can still grow well.

With the availability of abundant raw materials for forest products, skilled human resources in large numbers, this industry can be a formidable industry, especially during difficult times.

“Through the IFEX Virtual Showroom, we hope to raise the spirit and optimism of the furniture and handicraft industry players in Indonesia. Considering that IFEX also always displays superior and innovative products," said Abdul Sobur, Chairman of the HIMKI Presidium.

The IFEX Virtual Showroom presented as many as 57 exhibitors, including participants from the Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Trade, Yogyakarta Ministry of Industry and Trade and Sleman Industry and Trade Department.

Visitors can easily access the virtual platform and are facilitated directly to interact with representatives of each participant. Through the IFEX Virtual Showroom, it also provides wider access and reach for domestic consumers and foreign buyers.

For this reason, the organizers have prepared concepts and innovations that are adaptive to current needs, namely through virtual exhibitions. "We are optimistic that we will create more opportunities and have a broad impact on all stakeholders and buyers, both nationally and internationally," concluded Hendra Noor Saleh, President Director of Dyandra Promosindo.

Organizers also hope that the pandemic situation will be well controlled and will gradually recover. So that the implementation of IFEX can run directly in the coming year. With the implementation of the hybrid concept, IFEX will be held on March 11-14, 2022 at JIExpo Kemayoran.

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