Full text: The electrical equipment market of the Netherland East Indies

used lies in the hands of the light companies rather than in the hands 
of a neutral body of men. New rules were recenlty drawn up by the 
Bureau of Water Power and Electricity, but when they were submitted 
to the representatives of the various electrical manufacturers interested 
in the Netherland East Indies, a number of protests were made. The 
Government then appointed a commission consisting of members of 
the Government, representatives of the electrical firms selling in the 
Netherland East Indies, representatives of the public-uiility compa- 
nies, of private industries, and of importers. This committee is at 
present revising the existing regulations. One of the members of the 
commission is the factory representative of a well-known American 
electrical company. The new regulations will probably not come into 
force until 1931. 
Owing to the extension of the transmission and distributing systems 
of the public-utility companies, the demand for farm lighting sets has 
declined considerably. At present the United States is supplying less 
than a dozen units a year, whereas formerly from 300 to 400 sets were 
imported annually. Practically all of this business is controlled by 
American manufacturers. 
Exports of flash-light cases and flash-light batteries constitute the 
most important items of the trade of the United States with the Neth- 
erland East Indies in electrical equipment. In 1928 the value of the 
flash lights and batteries imported from the United States amounted 
to $415,704. The consumption of flash-light batteries is estimated to 
be about 2,000,000 unit cells annually. 
Flash lights are popular with the natives and they are to be found 
on sale in almost every retail general store in the territory, even in 
small shops in the Outer Possessions. Numerous attempts have been 
made by European and Japanese manufacturers to capture a share of 
this business from the United States; but despite their higher prices, 
there is a decided preference shown for the American makes. 
The tubular nickled case containing three 1%-inch cells is the most 
popular type of case. Sales of black or fiber finished cases have been 
small. The focusing feature is important, and unless a manufacturer 
can offer a Jine embracing this feature he has little chance of doing a 
large volume of business in the Netherland East Indies. 
Flash lights are distributed in the Netherland East Indies by im- 
port houses that carry stock. The stock feature is important but 
not a necessity, as manufacturers’ agents are also in a position to 
obtain distribution on an indent basis. Flash-light batteries are 
also carried in stock, but not in the same proportion as the cases, 
since the shelf life of batteries in the Netherland East Indies is 
estimated to be about three months. 
American flash-light manufacturers who are unrepresented in the 
Netherland East Indies have an excellent opportunity to enter this 
market provided their prices are competitive, as many importers are 
desirous of obtaining connections for such a line.

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