Preserve batik to save millions of workers: Labor minister

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Labor Minister M Hanif Dakhiri has called on the public to continue the efforts to conserve batik as Indonesias cultural heritage to save the industry that could absorb millions of workers.

"Conserving batik would not only save the cultural heritage but also promote the industry that could absorb millions of workers from the upstream to downstream sectors," Hanif stated here on Monday.

The country commemorated the National Batik Day on Oct 2, following UNESCOs decision to add the traditional dyeing technique to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

According to Hanif, batik craftsmen should be more creative and innovative in a bid to preserve batik and improve its competitiveness in the global market.

"The key is creativity. Batik makers should be innovative to create unique motives that are difficult to be copied. They have to educate people on the types of batik and whether it is hand-made, printed, or a combination of the two," he continued.

The minister has also encouraged the industry to use e-commerce in its marketing, as it has been proven to be easier and more efficient in the era of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

"The AEC would ease goods, services, capital, and investment flow within ASEAN, and this should be benefited by Indonesian batik industry to market its products," Hanif remarked, adding that the industry should continue to develop the business.

"To make it competitive in domestic as well as international market, batik industry should attract consumers with its qualified products and skilled workers," Hanif noted. (*)