Bali Exports Rise 30%

DENPASAR ~ Exports from Bali increased 30 percent in the first two months of the year compared to the same period a year ago, according to the Indonesian Association of Handicraft Exporters and Producers.

Leading the most exported items was furniture, association chief Gede Arjawa said.

“Furniture … is very popular and is mostly exported to Pacific islands and Europe,” he said.

However, high transportation costs were a problem for exporters, he said, causing Bali to fall behind Vietnam and China in volume sent abroad.

Arjawa said a direct shipment from Bali to Singapore would cost less if it did not have to go through Surabaya, and pointed to Benoa Harbor in southeast Bali as a possible solution.

“If this route were rearranged, we would not be spending so much money on delivery. We want Benoa Harbor to be utilized; we think it has all the necessary facilities,” he said.

“We must keep our investors informed about Benoa’s potential. Currently, there are 3,000 containers available for export. In 2004, there were only 1,500 containers available per month,” said Arjawa.

From January to February this year, exports from Bali totaled $33.1 million, against $25.6 million for the first two months of 2006, according to government figures.

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