"We have mapped at least nine challenges and actively coordinated with all stakeholders to seek solutions," Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita noted in a statement here on Saturday.
The nine challenges pertain to issues regarding raw and supporting material, infrastructure, utility, availability of experts, import pressures, plastic waste, a hindrance to small- and medium-scale industries, logistics and data as a basis to strengthen the industry sector.
"We are determined to ensure that the industry would receive the supply of raw and supporting material, including of gas," he remarked.
In June 2020, the government had reduced the price of natural gas for seven industry sectors: fertilizer, petrochemical, oleochemical, steel, ceramic, glass, and rubber gloves.
"As many as 176 companies in the seven sectors have currently enjoyed the facility of gas price reduction, with total volume of 957.3 thousand to 1.18 million BBUTD (Billion British Thermal Unit per Day)," Kartasasmita stated.
In the context of infrastructure and utilities, the government has encouraged the development of industrial estates. The number of industrial estates has increased, from 89 in 2016 to 128 in 2020.
The government has initiated the education program and vocational training with a dual system concept to produce competent experts in the sector.
"We have nine SMK (vocational schools), 10 polytechnic schools, and two community academies, with 18,743 students ready to meet the industry’s demand," the minister remarked.
Speaking in connection with the challenge of import pressures, Kartasasmita highlighted the ministry’s program of 35-percent import substitution in cooperation with the Trade Ministry, among others.
"The collaboration encompasses limited ban for several commodities, entry point arrangements at ports for certain commodities, increase the Most Favored Nation (MNF) tariff, and boost the implementation of trade remedies," the minister expounded.
To encourage SMEs, the ministry has strengthened the digital platform for SMEs operators through various programs of Smart Sentra, Smart Material Center, Smart Packaging Center and Smart SME.
"Furthermore, to address the issue of logistics and data, we will strengthen the SIINas that has currently collected 18,522 accounts of industrial companies, 134 industrial estate accounts, and 11,918 service company accounts," Kartasasmita stated.
Related news: Minister draws attention to challenges facing MSMEs to go global
Related news: UI brings together 100 experts to discuss Industry 4.0 challenges
EDITED BY INE