Welcome to the 32nd Trade Expo of Indonesia. This year the show is being held in BSD, a sub district of Jakarta. It is a few hours out of the city centre, but BSD is a modern city on its own which is quite spectacular. The venue is also state of the art and large enough to accommodate the growth this country is expecting.
Overall I was expecting the show to be much larger, but it is going to be some time before the export oriented businesses get back on their feet here, after taking a beating from China over the last 15 years. The furniture sector is promising with more competitive prices now and definitely more innovative designs. But there was hardly enough content to call the market vibrant.
A main feature of the show however is the FMCG section as Indonesia has so many foods and beverages to offer for export. And the large players are already very successful in other first world and developing countries. The marketing directors were accessible and even hosted a couple of forums. This was very useful, and proactive. It is refreshing to walk into an expo and actually meet the business owners and decision makers.
It is noteworthy that the Indonesian Ministry of Trade had a very strong presence and even invited dignitaries from various countries to attend and host seminars. The message is clear, Indonesia is open for business! From West Africa alone I met with strong delegations from Nigeria, Togo, Cameroon, and more.