Indonesia Plans 'Single Window' for Trade Permits

Dec. 6, 2007
The current average number of days for the clearance of exports and imports was 5.5 days.

Notoriously bureaucratic Indonesia is set to open a so-called "national single window" for importers and exporters to receive trade permits, the trade minister said Nov. 6. "Basically we are trying to create a single window for the submissions and the applications of documents related to export and import procedures," trade minister Mari Pangestu said.

This would be followed by "single synchronized processing of these documents and then a single conclusion to the whole process, when an actual permit to export or import comes out," she said.

The current average number of days for the clearance of exports and imports was 5.5 days, Pangestu said. "If you take one extreme like Singapore, it (takes) only a couple of hours, so our target is obviously to reduce the number of days because we know one of the sources of competitiveness is the fast clearance of customs," she added.

Indonesia has been seeking to streamline its infamous bureaucracy and red tape to help boost investment and economic growth. A pilot is currently underway with the government aiming to introduce the system, to be mandatory across Indonesia, by the end of September next year.

Separately, Indonesia is considering creating an export financing agency in early 2009 to boost the country's export performance, Bank Ekspor Indnonesia (BEI) president Arifin Indra said. "Assuming that the draft bill will be enacted sometime next year, we expect the export financing agency to be operational in early 2009," said Indra, who added that he supported the BEI being converted into the new body.

State-owned BEI is the biggest lender to Indonesian exporters, taking up 36.5% of total export financing in 2006 and 34.2% in 2005. BEI also currently operates like other commercial banks and is under the supervision of the central bank, Bank Indonesia.

Trade minister Pangestu said in October that Southeast Asia's largest economy was aiming for overall export growth of between 11% and 13% over the next two to three years.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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