Good news for those who love beer and live in Jakarta. About one year after Indonesia announced it had banned sales of alcoholic beverages in minimarkets and kiosks - a move conducted to "protect the morals and culture of Indonesian society" - Jakarta Governor Basuki Purnama Tjahja (Ahok) said alcoholic beverages with alcohol content up to five percent (which includes beer) will again be available in the capital city's minimarkets, the small retailers that have mushroomed across the city streets.
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When the government of Indonesia banned the sale of alcoholic beverages in minimarkets and kiosks in early 2015 in an effort to “protect the morals and culture of Indonesian society”, it came as a shock to alcoholic beverage producers. Although alcoholic drinks are still allowed to be sold in the larger supermarkets, restaurants, cafes and hotels, sales of beer plunged as the beverage was banned in the (estimated) 70,000 minimarkets that have become a very popular shopping place in the urban areas of Indonesia.
Indonesian Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel confirmed that the ban on sales of alcohol in minimarkets and kiosks will continue after 16 April 2015. This ban, stipulated by Minister of Trade Regulation No. 06/M-DAG/PER/1/2015 on the Control and Supervision of Procurement, Distribution, and Sale of Alcoholic Beverages (which was signed by the minister on 16 January 2015), prohibits the sale of beverages with an alcohol content ranging between 1 to 5 percent (referred to as type A alcoholic drinks) in minimarkets and kiosks.
Turnover of Indonesian minimarkets has grown sharply. In 2014, the value of sales is expected to jump 13.5 percent to IDR 94 trillion (USD $8.3 billion) compared to this year's projection of IDR 82.9 trillion (USD $7.3 billion). Indonesia's large population (over 240 million) and rapidly urbanizing society gives rise to high demand for nearby shops where people can find their daily needs. In recent years, outlets of minimarkets have been mushrooming in Indonesian cities, particularly on Java. Outside the island of Java, there is still ample room for growth.
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The government of Indonesia is studying the possibility of issuing a presidential regulation that sets new rules regarding convenience stores and minimarkets in all Indonesian provinces. The aim of this regulation would be to protect the traditional retail shops and markets of Indonesia. Indonesia's Trade Ministry is currently studying the issue. Darmin Nasution, Minister of Economic Affairs, said the new regulation would not be aimed at undermining the minimarket sector of Indonesia.
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