"At present, the quality of exports from East Java is good, and businesspersons continue to be encouraged to increase their capacity, so that it can continue to rise," the governor remarked after the opening of the Indonesia-Japan business dialogue and the launch of "Indonesia Japan Business Network" at the Empire Palace here on Friday night.
Soekarwo stated that currently, with the existing cyber system, it will be easier for "buyers" and "sellers" to conduct their business transactions.
"For inter-provincial trade at present, the value is Rp1,400 trillion, and export value to the ASEAN is around seven billion dollars," he noted.
According to Soekarwo, strategic partners for the East Java product market are Japan, at 10.9 percent; the ASEAN, 21 percent; the United States, 10.22 percent; and China, 15.6 percent.
"This figure is important for East Java industry's partners," the governor remarked.
He believes that the industry in East Java should act so as to gradually reduce the imports of raw materials.
"Engine products have been progressing since the arrival of Japanese companies that assembled their machines for exports," he stated.
However, what needs to be underlined now is the steel industry, where the current demand is 127 kilograms (kg) per capita per year, and only 39 kg per capita can be produced annually.
"This means that for the steel industry, there is a business opportunity of some 80 kilograms per capita per year, so just multiply by how many millions of the population there is and how many million tons," he pointed out.
He explained that in addition to the steel industry, the pharmaceutical industry currently still imports 90 percent of its raw materials.(*)