"Indonesia is on the fourth rank as the largest shoes producer in the world after China, India and Vietnam. Meanwhile, as a shoes consumer we are on the fourth rank with 886 million pairs of footwear," the Director General of Small, Medium and Various Industries at the Industry Ministry, Gati Wibawaningsih, said in a statement received by Antara here, Sunday.
She noted that the number of footwear industries in Indonesia currently reaches 18,687 units, consisting of 18,091 small-scale businesses, 144 medium-scale businesses, and 155 large-scale businesses.
"These footwear businesses have absorbed 795,000 workers," she added.
Gati said in order to develop the national footwear industries, especially the small, medium-scale businesses, the ministry gives opportunity to the younger generation to participate in the Indonesia Footwear Creative Competition (IFCC) 2019.
"IFCC is a 3 in 1 creative footwear competition covering design, photography and video-graphy," Gati said.
The event is initiated by the Indonesian Footwear Industry Development Center (BPIP) under the Directorate General of Small, Medium and Various Industries at the Industry Ministry. The center is located in Sidoarjo, East Java province and has a task to coach the business players to develop the national footwear industry.
According to Gati, the center also provides services to improve human resource capacity in footwear industry sector, increase knowledge and technology, and set up the standardization of footwear products.
At the IFCC 2019 the center collaborates with Petra Christian University in Surabaya, East Java. The cooperation allows Petra students to participate in trainings after completing selection. At least 40 students are allowed to participate in the workshops.
Gati appreciated the East Java provincial administration which has been actively developing creative industry through Millennial Job Center program. "This is an integrated program," she added.
According to her, the younger generation always thinks about designs, brands, visualization of products, and services in their activities whether in bases of commerce, hobbies or communities.
Therefore, through the IFCC, Indonesian Footwear Industry Development Center introduces footwear to the younger generation.
The center also wants to attract them that footwear is a part of mode, fashion, and promising business in the future.
In 2018, IFCC showcased 689 works for design, photography and video-graphy categories. About 70 percent of the participants were school and university students, and the rest were general public.
Earlier, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto explained that the footwear industry was one of the main manufacture sectors as it contributed large for national economy. This can be seen from the growth of skin-made-of-merchandise and footwear products that reached 9.42 percent in 2018, or increased by 2.22 percent compared to that in 2017.
These figure has exceeded the national economic growth at 5.17 percent.
"The national export of footwear also increased by 4.13 percent in 2017 at US$4.91 billion to US$5.11 billion in 2018," the minister noted.
He was optimistic that the national footwear export could increase from US$6.5 billion in 2019 to US$10 billion within the next four years.
According to him, there is a new export market opportunity following the sign of CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) between Indonesia and Australia; and Indonesia and European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
"Along with textile and clothing industries, footwear is also prepared to face the era of Industry 4.0 in the hope this sector could be globally competitive and the number of export could be reached," Airlangga said.