Indonesian business representatives discuss the harmonisation of standards
Indonesia is an important trade partner for Europe and Germany in particular. According to data published by the European Commission, the bilateral trade in goods between the EU and Indonesia reached a total of €20.6 billion in 2020. In view of this, Indonesian companies benefit from exporting their products to Europe. By importing equipment and technologies from Europe, Indonesian businesses can improve their production processes and increase their productivity. When companies comply with international standards, it makes it easier for them to import and export. An overall harmonised quality infrastructure (QI) helps businesses to eliminate unnecessary costs and risks. Furthermore, it can build up product competitiveness and consumer satisfaction.
To foster the dialogue on QI, GPQI and KADIN held a business exchange on the topic “Import-Export with European Countries through Germany by Harmonisation of Standards” on 24 February 2022. The virtual event was co-organised by KADIN’s Business Service Desk unit. More than 100 stakeholders from the Indonesian industry attended – seeking to discuss the challenges and the opportunities they face in international trade.
International standards facilitate German-Indonesian trade
As an introduction, the Work Plan of the German-Indonesian Dialogue on Quality Infrastructure was presented. It was signed in August 2021 by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz – BMWK) and the Indonesian Ministry of Industry (MoI). The presentation gave an overview of GPQI’s activities in Indonesia, particularly the activities that include the industry.
Johannes Braun, Project Director of GPQI, gave opening remarks on the role of international standards for trade and the importance of international dialogues on quality infrastructure. Bernardino M. Vega from KADIN agreed with Braun’s remarks on the importance of political and technical dialogues on quality infrastructure. He additionally acknowledged that well-defined standards are key to technological innovation and enhancing business operations.
Harmonised standards save time and cost
Mufti Hamka from the Permanent Committee for Multilateral and Free Trade Agreement of KADIN hosted the following discussions. In a panel discussion, the speakers agreed that the harmonisation of local and international standards is an important aspect to reduce technical barriers to trade. It can also improve product quality and safety.
Selvi Xu from the Indonesian Association of Motorcycle and Automotive Parts Industry (GIAMM) emphasised that harmonised standards help avoid double testing or inspection for imported and exported products. As the Executive in Charge for International Operations of Astra Otoparts, she underlined that the existing standardisation process takes too much time. It therefore delays the market entry of the products. Xu highlighted the importance of the Work Plan. She invited all business representatives to support the implementation of the proposed activities.
Small and medium-sized businesses need support in complying with international standards
According to Sharmilla Yahya, Head of the Permanent Committee at KADIN, compliance with international standards remains a challenge. This is especially difficult for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Yahya advocated for an easier and faster process of standardisation. Furthermore, she underlined the important role of large and medium-sized businesses to help SMEs to comply with international standards. This would eventually reduce their interdependency in the cross-border supply chains.
The implementation of international standards allows businesses to enter the global market. GPQI supports Indonesian businesses in this process. Through a harmonised quality infrastructure, they can increase their productivity and competitiveness.