The tradition of creative woodworking is a part of tradition in Indonesia. Woodcarving has been practiced since ancient times.
- Woodcarving and furniture have a rich tradition and are part of the Indonesian culture.
- In 2013, Indonesian furniture exports reached an estimated US$ 1.7 billion which is 1.5 percent of global exports.
- Based on raw materials used in exported products, wooden furniture is still the largest exported commodity.
- Since January 1, 2013, The Indonesian Timber Legality Assurance System (INDO-TLAS)/Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu had been in force to assure the international timber market of the legality of its timber products.
- Global player IKEA from Sweden entered the Indonesian market in 2014.
Nowadays, found woodcarving in Indonesia can easily in the form of statues, handicrafts and furniture. A huge supply of timber and a woodcarving tradition make Indonesia the best place to find creative furniture products.
Handicraft in Java and Bali
Many people, especially in Java and Bali, are known for their woodcarving skills. Java is also one of the main sources of wood. Handicrafts and furniture, together with industries such as textiles and garments, leather and food and beverages, are labor-intensive manufacturing industries. They have been a key source of wage employment, especially in rural areas. The majority of enterprises in these industries are small and medium enterprises (SME).
Based on recent data, the Indonesian handicraft and furniture sector comprises more than 3,500 companies, but the total number of SMEs in this sector is much higher and a lot of them are increasingly owned in part by foreign direct investments. Within the low cost, mass produced furniture sector, local brands dominate, including Olympic Furniture, Ace Hardware, and Informa. In 2014 the entrance of IKEA from Sweden will make a significant impact and is proof that the Indonesian furniture sector has great potential. IKEA will open three stores in Indonesia with a total investment of US$300 million over the next few years. The first store, worth about US$125 million, opened in Alam Sutera in Tangerang, Banten. Others two stores will be opened in September at Gandaria City and Pondok Indah in Jakarta with an unspecified amount of investment.
Wood Furniture in Java
The production of wood furniture is concentrated in Java, where it is concentrated in Central Java, notably Jepara, Klaten, Sukoharjo, Semarang City, Solo and Cirebon. Indonesian furniture is produced from a variety of raw materials, not just wood, but also rattan, sawn, plastic and even iron. According to the Association of Indonesian Furniture and Handicrafts, wood furniture accounts for three-quarters of total Indonesian furniture exports, followed by rattan (20%), metal, bamboo, plastic and other (5%). Together with other wood products, wood furniture accounted for 1.3% to 1.5% of GDP for the period 2004–2009. Annually, the Indonesian wood furniture industry requires 4.5 million m2 of timber. The main timber species for woodcarving are teak, mahogany and sonokeling.
The impact of the economic crisis that hit Europe and the sluggish U.S. market also has impacted the Indonesian furniture market. Because both of these areas were previously a main export destination Indonesia’s furniture and handicrafts.
According to Central Statistics Agency’s data, Indonesia’s handicraft exports reached US$ 669.16 million in 2013. For main Indonesia handicraft export destination accounting for 45 percent (US$ 301 million). And then for United States, followed by Japan (11.42%), England (4, 34percent) and Hong Kong (3.18%). Then in 2013, Indonesia furniture export estimated reached US$ 1.7 billion or 1.5 percent to global export. Based on raw material used in exported products, wooden furniture is still the largest at 59.5 percent. And then followed by metal (8.1 percent), rattan (7.8 percent), plastic (2.3 percent), bamboo (0.5 percent), and 21.3 percent other.
Timber Legality Assurance System (INDO-TLAS)/ Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu (SVLK) is arrange by tracking system in multi-stakeholders to ensure the legality of timber traded in Indonesia. SVLK developed to support the implementation of the applicable government regulations related to trade. All timber from state’s owned forests or private forest shall hold verification of legality. This obligation is to guarantee the origin of the source of raw materials. Similarly, in industry, the timber as raw materials and end-products also has to undergo verification of legality.
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