The growth of imported goods from China is much higher

The free trade agreement between the ASEAN countries and China has enabled China to increase its domination in the ASEAN market.

Last month, when free trade was in effect, Chinese products were invading the country. More and more boats carrying China-made products harbor at Tanjung Priok, Jakarta. In January, there was an estimated 30 boats harbored at the Indonesia’s biggest port. The number doubled than last year when there were only 18 boats stopped at Tanjung Priok.

Even before the agreement was implemented in early January this year, China’s power in the region has been increasing, especially in Indonesia.

The Central Statistics Agency (BPS)’s record has proven that Chinese products are running rampant in Indonesia. The number of Indonesia’s imports from China has kept soaring.

Japan, who had been the biggest exporter to Indonesia for years, is being slowly beaten out by China. In 2007, Japan’s domination started to fade.

Despite an increase, the growth of imported goods from China is much higher. Last year, when the global financial crisis occurred, the amount of imports from Japan sharply decreased from US$ 14.86 billion to US$ 9.8 billion. Meanwhile, imports from China went down from US$ 14.95 billion to US$ 13.49 billion, which was relatively lower than Japan’s setback.

This year, a lot of people predicted Indonesia’s imports from China will keep going up. This is probably a sign telling that China will control the global market and even knock Japan off the number one position, as written by journalist Martin Jacques in the book “When China Rules the World”. In Indonesia, his words have been proven.

Indonesia’s Import Data from China and Japan (in US$ million)

Year    Japan    China
2005    6,892    4,551
2006    5,588    5,502
2007    6,472    7,957
2008    14,864    14,947
2009    9,819    13,496

China is indeed incredible. The nation’s economy grows an average 10 percent per year. Even during last year’s global crisis, China’s growth declined 8.7 percent and 10.7 percent in the last quarter last year in comparison to 2008.

China made a smart decision by resisting economic growth through the preparation of 4 trillion Yuan of stimulus (US$ 586 billion) in order to keep the economic stability and the level of consumption while the US and other countries were dealing with the recession.

In 2007, China overstepped Germany as the country with the third biggest economy in the world after the US and Japan. Right now, China is even predicted to beat Japan as the country with the second biggest economy in the world.

China has also surpassed Germany in exports earlier this year. Chinese customs reported on January 10, 2010 that the country’s amount of exports along 2009 had reached more than US$ 1.2 trillion. The number was higher than Germany’s amount of exports of US$ 1.7 trillion, German foreign trade organization BGA reports.

With high revenues from the trade, China is now also the biggest foreign exchange holder in the world with more than US$ 2 billion of funds.

– Heri Susanto. Translated by: Nataya Ermanti