Jakarta, Indinesia (BBN)-Indonesian state-owned train manufacturer PT Industri Kereta Api (INKA) in Madiun, East Java, has begun its first passenger train exports by shipping 15 passenger cars to Bangladesh.
The shipment of the Shovon-type passenger cars is the first batch of the total shipment of 150 passenger cars ordered by Bangladesh Railways, reports The Jakartapost.
INKA must completely fulfil the US$ 73-million order by August this year.
Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said the export order was one of the government’s strategies to survive amid a decline in demand for commodity exports from Indonesia’s traditional export destinations.
“We have to start improving this situation by, among others things, diversifying our export products. We have to boost our manufactured and processed product exports and no longer depend on commodity products,” he said during the shipping ceremony for the 15 passenger cars at the Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya, East Java, on Thursday.
The minister said the export of the trains to Bangladesh was INKA’s first train export order.
He further said Bangladesh was not one of Indonesia’s traditional export destination.
“Indonesia’s trade promotional activities in the future must have new strategies. They should no longer depend only on traditional export destination countries but also non-traditional market countries, such as Bangladesh, Egypt, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand,” said Bambang.
INKA defeated a Chinese train manufacturing company in the tender process for the procurement of trains for Bangladesh after it obtained a Rp 300 billion (US$22.82 million) export credit financing facility from Bank Exim.
The extending of the export credit financing was part of the government’s moves to back up the domestic manufacturing industry.
“With this national interest account [NIA] scheme, INKA will be more confident in facing the international competition. Currently, we are carrying out some preparations to win a tender process for the procurement of an additional 264 passenger train cars for Bangladesh Railways, which will be conducted in April,” INKA president director Agus H.Purnomo said after the shipment of the first batch of the INKA-manufactured passenger trains to Bangladesh.

Agus said INKA needed financial support from the government to be able to compete against China.
He said Chinese companies had always been supported by various incentives from their government each time they won export tenders.
Agus further said INKA was striving to reach other non-traditional markets such as Egypt, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Trade Minister Thomas J Lembong said the government was striving to penetrate non-traditional markets to assist Indonesian exports.
“We will be continuously striving to penetrate non-traditional markets such as India, Eastern Europe, Pakistan, Russia and then African countries,” he said.
Bambang gave a sign that the government would fully support the new marketing strategy by, among others things, providing a buyers credit scheme for countries wishing to buy Indonesian products.
“Each time we offer products to those countries, Bank Exim will accompany us. If it is possible, they can buy products from us and Bank Exim will provide them with a financing facilities,” said Bambang.