Indonesia: WTA 2010 Protests a success!

Last 27-29 October 2010, the World Tobacco Asia 2010 was held at the Jakarta Convention Centre in Indonesia.  Their website calls this ‘Asia’s Biggest Tobacco Exhibition’  A demonstration by the local advocates was held during the first day of the conference.  Although it was some distance away from the convention site, it was very well organized, and well attended. There were about 900 protesters holding up banners, placards and marching around the trade center.  They did a tremendous job in getting their message across, and in making enough noise for the organizers to notice them. 

The conference organizers make plain their interests in holding this conference in Indonesia.   The website announcement says:



“World Tobacco is pleased to announce the next major tobacco Exhibition and Conference for the Asia Pacific region. Since our merger with Tobacco Journal International we have revised the exhibition programme and this is the first of the announcements.

Destination Indonesia:

  • Indonesia has one of the most dynamic tobacco industries where tobacco consumption is still growing
  • Supported by the Tobacco Institute of Indonesia
  • Place your support in a country where the government is positive and favourable towards the tobacco industry

Indonesia is the fifth largest cigarette market by volume in the world and the home of the kretek. Around 57% of the adult male population of Indonesia smoke and some 5% of the adult female population, which means a smoking population of around 43 million.

Indonesia is also a growth market. The general view is that the Indonesian market increased by some 5% in 2008, compared with the previous year, to some 168bn sticks. This was due to adult population growth and the fact that tax-driven cigarette price increases have been lower than the general inflation level. And, as well as recording consistent year on year growth, the market has been changing.

A high profile conference will run alongside the exhibition, allowing industry experts to address issues in the tobacco industry and for delegates to keep up to date with recent developments.”

Here are some images during the protest, courtesy of the National Commission on Child Protection (NCCP), Indonesia.