Indonesia: Furniture industry struggles to secure raw rattan

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Chairman of Indonesian Furniture and Handicraft Association (HIMKI), Soenoto, has said Indonesian furniture and craft industries are finding it increasingly difficult to secure raw rattan raw material.

He went on to suggest that the smuggling of raw rattan to neighbouring countries which are paying good prices for rattan is part of the explanation for the domestic shortage.

Indonesia is a major producer of rattan accounting for around 80% of the rattan traded globally but domestic industries are becoming staved of raw rattan while in other countries rattan product exports are growing.

The concerns raised by Soenoto come as the government relaxed restrictions on the export of partially processed rattan to benefit both furniture makers and rattan producers.

In related news, Chairman of the Jabodetabek Regional Board of the Association of the Indonesian Furniture and Handicraft Industry (HIMKI), Ade Firman, has pointed to the disadvantaged position of local furniture makers compared to foreign own companies operating in Indonesia.

He says foreign companies have much better access to financing and can invest in the latest technologies but local companies are disadvantaged as they do not have easy access to capital.

According to Firman, the government needs to establish a mechanism to provide capital assistance for domestic companies so that they can employ the latest technologies to be competitive.

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