Minister of Trade: Government is here to defend MSMEs

Jakarta, The Indonesia Post – Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan said the government is here to protect micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from competition with imported products sold on social commerce platforms.

“As many as 95 percent of Indonesia is MSME entrepreneurs, therefore the government must be present and take sides so that we don’t defend ourselves,” said the minister who is familiarly called Zulhas when visiting Tanah Abang Market, Jakarta, Thursday.

While visiting the Block A area of Tanah Abang Market, he visited a number of shops and received complaints from traders who claimed to have experienced a decrease in turnover and lack of buyers due to competition with imported products from social commerce platforms at much cheaper prices.

Zulhas mentioned unfair competition where imported products can easily enter the Indonesian market without having Indonesian National Standard (SNI) certification, security guarantees, or even halal certification while domestic products are required to meet these requirements.

“That’s called unfair baseball, we don’t mean free trade, but fair trade, that’s why the government is present and we regulate it,” said Zulhas.

The Ministry of Trade has issued Minister of Trade Regulation (Permendag) Number 31 of 2023 which regulates buying and selling activities on social commerce platforms.

After the enactment of Minister of Trade Regulation Number 31 of 2023, said Zulhas, his party will provide notification to social commerce platforms regarding these regulations which must be obeyed.

The government will provide sanctions in the form of warning letters and even blocking by the Ministry of Communication and Information (Kemenkominfo) if there are still social commerce platforms that violate the rules.

“So there are new rules that all parties must follow, of course if they are violated there will be a first warning, a second warning, and in time Kominfo can of course block them,” said Zulhas.

Minister of Trade Regulation Number 31 of 2023 regulates that social commerce platforms will only facilitate the promotion of goods or services and are prohibited from providing payment transactions.

Apart from that, the regulation also sets a minimum price of 100 US dollars per unit for finished goods from overseas which are directly sold by traders to Indonesia via cross-border e-commerce platforms. (mhn/bbs)


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