Indonesia Begins Push into U.S. Market

The Indonesian jewelry industry officially introduced itself to the U.S. jewelry market Monday with a ceremony at the JA New York Summer Show led by the country’s ambassador to the United States.

Ambassador Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat explained that while the United States is Indonesia’s second largest jewelry partner, the U.S. ranks at about 10th in jewelry exports from the Southeast Asian nation. The ambassador said the country is looking to improve those numbers.

“We are coming to boost our presence here [in the U.S. market] and enhance our position as one of largest manufactured silver jewelry suppliers,” the ambassador said. “We look forward to working with you.”

Indonesia is a nation of 18,000 islands and 230 million people, the ambassador explained. It has an abundance of precious metals and gems. Its ancient silver, gem, and jewelry industry has developed over hundreds of years. Today, about one million Indonesians work in it, with a large focus on hand-crafted jewelry.

Indonesia’s jewelry industry is “blessed with (an abundance of) raw materials for precious and semi-precious gems, and with fine craftsmanship,” Parnohadiningrat said.

The ambassador spoke at the show’s Indonesian Pavilion consisting of 16 jewelry making firms, displaying items made of silver, gold, gemstones, and other materials—including stone and wood. The delegation was organized by the National Agency for Export Development, in the Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia.

It is the country’s first significant presence at a U.S. trade show and it is serving as a first step to building a strong presence in the U.S., the ambassador told JCK prior to his formal presentation.

Even without a strong U.S. presence, The Indonesian jewelry industry has been growing at an average rate of 7 percent per year, earning $4.61 billion in 2006, the ambassador said. Its largest trading partners are Middle Eastern countries, Hong Kong, Singapore, and China, he told JCK.

In addition, the ambassador and the country’s trade organizations were there to promote its upcoming TRADEXPO Indonesia, a merchandise and commodity show. It is being held Oct. 21-25 at the Jakarta International Expo, Kemayoran-Jakarta, Indonesia.