Govt protects domestic steel sector

The Ministry of Industry is protecting the local steel sector, maximizing production and absorbing more workers in an effort to restrict the use of imported steel, a senior official said.

“The government has its task cut out. It would maximize production at home and reduce imports, particularly in the steel sector,” I Gusti Putu Suryawirawan, the director general of Metal, Machinery, Transportation Equipment and Electronic Industry, said here on Wednesday.

He added that although it is the era of globalization and imports could flood the country, yet it does not mean unrestricted imports without the government offering any protection to domestic players.

The government is making efforts to carry out periodical supervision and tighten it; adjusting tariffs to make local steel competitive and available at a fair price; and issuing policies to protect local industries.

Foreign goods are usually imported in limited volumes and as per need. Goods that could not be produced at home, such as steel for cars, steel wires for suspended bridges and others, are imported.

“But those steel goods that already exist in Indonesia and could be produced domestically will not be imported. When it comes to steel for cars, Indonesia is expected to have the ability to produce it in the coming two years,” he stated.

He assured that domestic production has already attained international standard, adding that imported steel may not disturb local production.

In the meantime, Dadang Danusiri, the chairman of the Indonesian Steel Industry Association, informed that the country’s annual need for steel reached 90 thousand tons, of which 60 percent is met by local products.

With government protecting the domestic sector strongly, Danusiri is optimistic that imports will continue to decline until these fall to the ideal level of about 20 to 25 percent.

“We appreciate the government’s efforts to protect the local products and reduce the use of imported products. We hope that the government would continue to accord priority to indigenous production and adopt policies that protect the domestic market,” he noted.

Source: Antara News