ID/Damiana N. Simanjuntak
Earnings from sales of locally produced electronic items surged 11 percent in the first four months of 2012 compared to a year earlier, while the promise of even higher growth is fueling a rush by manufacturers to boost their production in Indonesia.
Yeane Keet, the deputy secretary general of the Indonesian Electronics Association (Gabel), said on Sunday that sales of electronic items from January through April amounted to Rp 8.11 trillion ($860 million), compared to Rp 7.3 trillion in the same period last year.
He said television sets accounted for nearly half, or 46 percent, of the total sales amount, followed by refrigerators (22 percent), air conditioners (16 percent) and washing machines (13 percent).
Gabel chairman Ali Soebroto Oentaryo had previously said that although sales of individual appliances dipped slightly in April and May, sales across the year would be higher.
Alam Surjaputra, the Gabel general chairman and director of appliance producer Star Cosmos, predicted sales for 2012 would be 5 percent to 7 percent higher than for last year.
But Yeane said there was potential for even higher growth. “Annual growth can potentially exceed 20 percent. That’s because domestically produced electronic items are still very competitive against imported products,” he said.
Alam confirmed that Star Cosmos was seeking to tap into that growth potential by expanding its production capacity.
“We will definitely keep strengthening our business in the consumer electronics segment,” he said.
Toshiba Consumer Products Indonesia, the local principal of the Japanese appliance manufacturer, also plans to boost its production capacity in the country, particularly for television sets.
“As of July, we expect to increase our production of TV sets to five million units a year,” said Adri Nursalim, a manager at Toshiba’s factory planning department.
Yuzo Tsuchiya, the TCPI president director, said the increased production was also meant to fulfill export demand.
“With this increased capacity, we hope that Toshiba’s factory in Indonesia can be the supply base for the Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] market,” he said.
Sharp Electronics Indonesia is also looking to expand its base in the country, with a planned Rp 1.2 trillion investment for a new factory in Karawang, West Java, to be constructed from next month.
The factory is expected to produce 220,000 refrigerators and 140,000 washing machines a month, two and a half times the production capacity of Sharp’s current factory in Pulo Gadung, East Jakarta.