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Handicraft Sales Down 50%

Bombings, Fuel Costs and Intense Competition Abroad are Blamed for Bali's Lackluster Sales of Furniture and Handicrafts.

(10/23/2005) Recent dramatic increases in the cost of fuel and the October 1, 2005, bomb attack in Bali have apparently had a devastating effect of Bali's furniture and handicraft sector.

According to the Chairman of the Bali branch of the Indonesian Furniture and Handicraft Association (ASMINDO), Dewa Astama, the increase in the cost of fuel can be blamed for a 20% reduction in sales and a further 30% drop as the result of the recent bombings.

Quoted in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, Atama lamented a global downturn in handicraft demand and intense competition from overseas markets, such as China and Vietnam, as the root causes of poor sales.

Astama also said the Balinese exporters were burdened by double transportation costs. The island's manufacturers must first import basic wood materials from Java only to once again pay the cost of sending the finished back to Java for export abroad.

In order to increase sales in the furniture and handicraft sectors ASMINDO's members are increasingly participating in overseas and national trade shows in order to obtain wider markets.