The government said it would ease procedures to boost exports, with the aim of bolstering the country’s current account, as the trade deficit was recorded at US$ 8.57 billion in 2018, the largest deficit since 1975.

Statistics Indonesia (BPS) recorded that the country had a $11.4 billion trade surplus in 2017.

Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said in Jakarta on Thursday that the government would look to ease survey requirements for exports, depending on the requirements of the destination country.

Such a move was considered a solution for short-term problems faced by exporters, the minister said, adding that the government was also developing medium-term and long-term strategies to enhance exports.

The Trade Ministry’s international trade director general, Oke Nurwan, said the ministry would identify regulations that needed to be revised to accommodate the latest policy. “We will study [export regulations]. If the international trade agreements mandate [submitting survey reports], then we cannot [relax the regulations],” said Oke.

Fourteen trade ministerial regulations regulate the export of several commodities, such as tin and coal, among others, Oke said, while seven of those regulations required exporters to have their goods inspected.

“The point is we want to make improvements in [export] regulations so as to make them business-friendly,” said Oke.

The revision of the trade ministerial regulation will be issued soon, Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said, while adding that easing export documentation requirements would benefit businesses.