This is the first in a series of three blogs affiliated with USDA’s Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission, which was led by Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse.
This week, it’s been my privilege to lead an Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission to Indonesia, the United States’ top agricultural market in Southeast Asia.
Eighteen U.S. companies joined me in Jakarta to meet with more than 100 Indonesian buyers, producers and investors. Their intent is to make sales, enter joint ventures and boost trade and investment in Indonesia.
Trade relations between the United States and Indonesia are currently thriving. Over the past 10 years, Indonesia has gone from being the largest recipient of USDA food assistance to becoming the United States’ ninth-largest export market for agricultural, fish and forest products. In fiscal year 2010 alone, the United States exported $2.3 billion worth of agricultural goods to Indonesia, which is a six-fold increase over the course of a decade.
Yesterday, I visited the 11th annual Food and Hotel Indonesia show, which showcases Indonesia’s expanding market for international trade and investment. This year’s show is USDA-endorsed and is the largest to date. It includes more than 1,000 exhibitors from 29 countries and is expected to welcome nearly 20,000 visitors. The United States features a national pavilion at the show along with Brunei Darussalam, Germany, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Turkey.
The U.S. pavilion includes exhibitors representing small-and medium-sized food companies and agricultural trade associations that are displaying a wide variety of U.S. agricultural products including eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, snack foods, wine ice cream and more.
For U.S. exhibitors, participation in this show allows them to meet with regional traders and industry professionals in a market that is growing rapidly for U.S. agricultural goods. U.S. exports from the consumer-oriented agricultural sector to Indonesia, for example, reached an all-time high of $373 million in 2010.
By fostering strong international trade partnerships like the one we have with Indonesia, USDA and America’s farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses continue to support President Obama’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling all U.S. exports by 2014. Exports of U.S. farm goods in fiscal year 2011 (Oct. 1, 2010 – Sept. 30, 2011) are projected to surpass previous records by $20 billion. The agricultural trade balance – a balance of U.S. exports versus foreign imports – is also projected to set a record surplus of $47.5 billion in 2011.
To learn more about the Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission to Indonesia, visit our website.