nCoV begins its toll on Indonesian economy

12:19 | 09/02/2020 Cooperation

The outbreak of the acute respiratory disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) has started impacting Indonesia’s tourism and export sectors, according to Indonesian officials.

Chinese tourists, some wearing facemasks walk after arriving from Nusa Penida at the fast boat pier on Serangan Island in Denpasar, Bali - Source: AFP

Chairman of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) Hariyadi Sukamdani said palm oil was also among the commodities affected, as the virus outbreak had caused a delay in shipments of the commodity to China, one of Indonesia’s major buyers.

He said with its declining trade with China, Indonesia will be difficult to achieve the economic growth target of 5.3 percent this year.

If the epidemic continues to become complicated, Indonesia is also at risk of losing about 1.7 million Chinese tourists, he noted.

Hariyadi said that Indonesian businesses are now seeking markets other than China market, but this is difficult because the export price to China is more competitive.

Meanwhile, Suhariyanto, head of the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) of Indonesia, said the epidemic will cause a sharp drop in the number of Chinese tourists to Indonesia this year.

Indonesian Minister of Tourism Wishnutama Kusubandio on February 5 said the acute respiratory disease may cause losses of up to 54.8 trillion Rupiah or 4 billion USD to the country’s tourism sector.

Theo VNA