President calls for modernization of handicraft industry

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is keen to witness modernization of the handicraft industry, from upstream to downstream, so that the business can experience rapid growth.

"I (call on all elements to bring about) modernization in the handicraft industry, from upstream to downstream, so that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can forge ahead," President Jokowi noted in a speech while opening the National Craft Exhibition 2017 in Jakarta, Wednesday.

The president called for modernizing the handicraft industry, including raw materials, processing, product manufacturing, packaging, and marketing.

According to the president, all these facets of the business should be included in one package.

"I hope the craftsmen and SMEs would build a large group of artisans," he affirmed.

Jokowi believes that business consolidation should be carried out to increase the scale. With regard to marketing, the president also requested craftsmen to use social media to promote their products.

"We can hire a professional photographer to take photographs of products that can be posted on Instagram. We have to be creative," Jokowi emphasized.

At the event, two artisans received national handicraft awards. The awardees are Yogyakarta resident Hiro, who makes clocks from stone, and Gabby Manurung, a Bali resident who is bag craftsman and creates products from wood waste.

Hiro said the cheapest of his clocks is priced at some Rp300 thousand, with the most expensive one being Rp5 million. His products have been marketed domestically and internationally.(*)