Market Pacific’s Very Potential
The economic growth of Pacific countries continues to move forward, its market potential is open and potential. First, if you look at South Pacific countries in terms of the population, the number is not huge.
Fiji is just under 1 million, Kiribati smaller at 114,395 (2016), Solomon Island has 599,419 (2016), but if we look at the region, the Pacific market is quite interesting.
Second is the Pacific market can still be considered virgin; no one has touched it except Australia and New Zealand. After going around and seeing all its potential, I think they were ‘fooled’by Australia and New Zealand.
Both of these countries controlled them but actually did not help them. They were given the product and bought it entirely from Australia and New Zealand but they were not assisted with the pricing.
People in Pacific countries are good; Fiji welcomes with the presence of Indonesian businessmen and investors, especially since their main income is tourism.The majority of the population in the South Pacific region has embraced Christianity.
They are very obedient to the teachings of Christianity and in their social lives and their religious tolerance are very good. On Sundays, they do not work and do not want to do business because they have to go to church.
Currently, Fiji is a pacific hub and in the future will be the next Singapore, the next Hong Kong, and the next Dubai and it will take about 15 or 20 years, but Fiji will lead there.
Here I see that if we develop with a country that will be developing then we will equally advance, but on the other hand, if we go to Singapore and Hong Kong then we are still nothing because they have already become something.
But if we go I think that is what we need to see. I invite a lot of my business friends over there; the fare is Rp 15 million for an economy class, while the fare to London to a country that is still nothing, we can help them and we will also be advancing together when they become a developed country.
I think that is what we need to see.I invite a lot of my business friends over there; the fare is Rp 15 million for an economy class, while the fare to London is only about Rp 7 million.
It takes about 15 hours and it can be quite boring on the plane. But if we look at Fiji’s economy, it is quite appealing. The market is big and their prices are too high, meaning that business is marginally good, and there ares o many opportunities where we can get in.
I am engaged in the field of construction and there are just a lot of chances. Once I enter, I show our product,provide the price list, and they are very surprised. Yesterday, I went to Kiribati and asked the price of ceramics per meter and it was about 35 $ or about Rp 350 thousand, while the price in Indonesia is only about Rp 65 thousand.
Therefore, the income is high and the price range is very competitive because it is not possible fort hem to increase the price and take a profit of 10 times, meaning their price is quite expensive, and it is interesting to explore their market.If we enter, we can back them up interms of all business aspects. They will definitely buy from us because they see Indonesia as a huge country, especially now that they have seen and already have the feeling.
I invite entrepreneurs in the Pacific region to see not only Australia and New Zealand but try to see Indonesia’s prospect. Please compare the list of products and prices from Indonesia.
The cost of housing construction in Fiji is equivalent to Rp 8 million per square meter, while in Indonesia it is only Rp 2.8 million per square meter, and it is the same in Kiribati.
In Indonesia, at a price of 8 million per meter, it is already a very luxurious house. Standard luxury homes in Fiji cost around Rp 20 million per meter.
The lack of entrepreneurial interest in grasping the market in the Pacific is due to lack of information. I have entered east to Solomon Island in 2014.
I entered into Fiji when Indonesia gave a $ 5 million aid during a Cyclone disaster in 2016. This is when all our products came into Fiji to repair buildings.
After I went, I analyzed and felt surprised, and I also had a business partner in New Zealand for the Pacific market. I observed that the South Pacific market was attractive and very prospective, unfortunately Indonesian entrepreneurs are less informed.
Indonesian products have entered Fiji, such as Pepsodent and Indomie, but the entry of Indonesian products was through Australia. In the retail food stores and supermarkets, we find Indonesian chocolate and candy products, even in Kiribati, about 60 percent of existing products are Indonesian products.In Nauru, they also buy the same Indonesian products from Australia.
This is an opportunity and a challenge for Indonesian entrepreneurs to market their products to countries in the Pacific region. Indonesia’s construction work force is favored in the Pacific region because the way and the outcome of their work are very satisfactory.
In Fiji, skilled labor is no longer available, those who are smart choose to work in New Zealand or Australia. As a result, there are no more laborers.
What I see are those with money to build and projects are numerous. Fiji has an institution like Perumnas named Housing Authority.
I met with the CEO and said that all their lands were already bought, only that house owners cannot begin construction because they do not know who the contractors are, and the materials also are not available.
It means that it is good if there are materials and contractors. After all, the funds for development will come from the bank and the Housing Authority.
Therefore, we do not worry about payments because they will be paid by the bank. Once the contract is signed, the bank directly transfers to our account and no need to worry about payments.
My workforce ranges from managers to workers numbering about 30 people.There is a contractor with 40 workers,there is a contractor with 29 workers,and they are very comfortable with Indonesian workers.
Demand continues to grow. There is a hotel that happens to be my client and they ask for Indonesian workers, especially for maintenance,waiter, and hospitality.
Developing Papua and West Papua in a Holistic Way
I always convey this experience to my friends in the government. Fiji is a small country, and even if Indonesia should provide aid,the value is also small, compared to a huge country where the value is also great in case we want to help.
That is the first one, the second one is Indonesia’s nomination to the UNSC membership. One vote from a small country is equal to a vote from a huge country like the United States.
If we engage in small countries it is easy and not difficult, there will be good relations especially in business because they actually need Indonesia. There lationship between Indonesia and the Pacific countries is already good, but there are still gaps in information and communication.
Information about Indonesia in the South Pacific is still very low, if both parties get enough information, I think it would be better. There are actually two major markets in the South Pacific, namely Papua New Guinea and Fiji. In Papua New Guinea, there are more construction entrepreneurs from Malaysia and China Actually, if Indonesia is able to control the Papua New Guinea and Fiji markets, then we will dominate the Pacific market.
Almost all of the goods are mainly purchased from Fiji because Fiji is the hub of the Pacific. Fiji has cement factories, and if Bosowa builds a factory in Papua, it can enter Solomon and the surrounding countries. Among the Pacific States, only Fiji has cement factories. Cement is also an exciting business. Fiji has two factories,one belonging to Fiji’s state-owned enterprise and one belonging to a Chinese investor.
The supply of cement products in the Pacific market is still low, so if we bring Indonesian investors to build a cement factory there, the market is quite interesting and huge.
Currently, there are a lot of developments being built. In Fiji, the region of Nadi is again building an airport,and also in Suva, the construction of luxury hotels is also starting.I am also signing a contract of cooperation in Fiji to build a 10-storey Commercial Building with a huge market.
It’s just Fiji not to mention other countries.It is enough to dominate Fiji, then we control the Pacific because Fiji is a hub and has a free tax agreement with other countries which are exporting to Fiji.
This year, we are planning to build a construction material factory, and we are currently preparing the land and want to seriously work in the Pacific market.They have a factory but there is not much production.
If the government wants to help Indonesian entrepreneurs in the South Pacific, the government can primarily help entrepreneurs with shipments, perhaps in the form of subsidized shipping costs.
Entrepreneurs will be able to quickly enter and advance if there is government back-up, so the government is needed to further enhance economic cooperation in the Pacific.
Why do we need government assistance, especially in terms of shipping costs? Because all this time our containers from Jakarta are first sent to Singapore,then to Australia and then to Fiji. Or it can take the route Jakarta-Singapore-New Zealand-Kiribati / Solomon. This is the reason why it costs too much and it takes about a month and a half.
If the government can help make a direct shipping policy from Jakarta to Fiji,we can increase the amount of goods.We hope the government will help with this issue. I am very optimistic that if Indonesian entrepreneurs are able to dominate the Pacific market, it will be easy for Indonesia to control and provide good political and economic influence to thePacific countries.