Jakarta, InfoPublik – Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto said the national Food and Beverages (F&B) industry ought to expand its export market as an effort to boost growth.

According to him, the industry needed to create more product innovations for both domestic and international markets. The most important thing, however, was the sustainability of raw material supply.

“Government has relaxed business licenses for the industry, including for the Small and Medium Enterprises,” he said at the Indonesian Food and Beverages Association (GAPMMI) halal-bihalal (post-Ramadhan gathering).

In order to prepare qualified human capital for the industry, the ministry committed to carry out its programs namely Indonesia National Working Competency Standard (SKKNI) formulation, education and training institution development, and industrial vocational education development.

“We appreciate F&B industry actors who have supported competency-based coaching and development program for SMK [vocational high school] which is linked and matched with the industry in East and Central Java provinces,” he said.

This program will be relaunched on Jul. 27 in Cikarang for West Java Province. Minister Airlangga believed that various strategic programs and policies would accelerate F&B industry growth.

This sector, he said, had significant contribution to the national industry development specifically to the non-oil and gas industry’s gross national product at 32.79 percent in the first quarter of 2017.

“This lively market has a fast growth which reaches 8.15 percent in the first quarter of 2017,” he said.

“Besides that, the investment realization in F&B sector in the second quarter of 2016 amounted to Rp12.1 trillion for domestic investment and US$476.32 million for foreign investment.”

The F&B and palm oil export in January-May 2017 reached US$13.28 billion. It indicated that the industry had a significant role to accelerate national economy growth.