Under the theme of "Membatik untuk Negeri" (Making Batik for the Country), the exhibition was attended by 44 batik artisans from the Indonesian Batik Foundation (YBI). The exhibition was held to commemorate the 10th year of National Batik Day and the recognition of batik by UNESCO.
The batik industry, which is dominated by small and medium industries, is spread out over 101 centers in Indonesia, at a total of 47 thousand business units and has absorbed a workforce of up to 200 thousand people.
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The development of this industry has become a priority as it was considered to have large leverage in the creation of added value, trade, investment magnitude, impact on other industries and speed of market penetration, according to Wibawaningsih.
"With the world trade value of apparel products reaching US$442 billion, it is a great opportunity for our batik industry to increase its market share, considering the fact that batik sheet cloth is one of the raw materials needed for apparel products," she added.
In addition, the era of industrial revolution 4.0 has provided various advanced technologies that can make Indonesian batik products more competitive.
"The Indonesian Batik Foundation can approach millennials by digitizing and utilizing social media for the advancement of national batik," Wibawaningsih said.
One of the R&D institutions owned by the Ministry of Industry and the Center for Crafts and Batik, has developed the batik analyzer application to distinguish real and imitation batik.
The application based on Android and iOS uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology that is compatible with Industry 4.0 implementation.
Indonesian batik has a comparative and competitive advantage in the international market, Wibawaningsih said.
"Competition with Malaysia, Singapore, China and those who also produce batik needs to be watched out so as not to shift the position of national batik competitiveness. For that, we need to preserve its cultural value of by strengthening branding and protection of intellectual property rights," she emphasized.
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Batik is an intangible cultural heritage of Indonesia, where UNESCO has confirmed Indonesian batik as a Representative List of The Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on October 2, 2009, Wibawaningsih asserted.
"This recognition has consequences for the government and organizations such as the Indonesian Batik Foundation to continue to significantly preserve and develop batik products," she noted.
Such acknowledgment is believed to encourage the spirit of the national batik industry and artisans including the government to continue to develop it, so that batik can be increasingly known in the world.
"In May 2019, Batik Diplomacy took place at the UN headquarters, namely the choice of batik as the dress code at the UN Security Council Session," Wibawaningsih started.
That was a moment of pride for Indonesia because most of the UNSC members present wore batik with a variety of shades, colors and batik materials native to Indonesia.
Besides, batik has attained an increasingly popular and worldwide national identity. It is currently transforming into various forms of fashion, crafts and home decoration that have been able to touch various levels of society both at home and abroad. (INE)
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EDITED BY INE