Assist Indonesia's MSMEs to produce standardised face masks: Indef

Assist Indonesia's MSMEs to produce standardised face masks: Indef

Illustration: Workers preparing masks produced in a factory. (ANTARA PHOTO/Syaiful Arif)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef) Executive Director Tauhid Ahmad drew attention to the need to assist Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in producing face masks to ensure a standardised product.

"(The first point is) mask standardisation. We have no issue with the fabric masks widely produced by MSMEs, yet only specialised factories are currently able to produce non-fabric masks," Ahmad stated here today.

Ahmed further stressed that technical assistance pertaining to health and environmental standards was necessary for MSMEs to procure mask materials and to produce standardised masks that meet the Indonesian National Standard (SNI) criteria.

The executive director noted that the current issue was the widespread distribution of unregistered or low-quality masks that may harm users, for which the authority should take steps to ensure the masks meet the required standards.

The second point highlighted by Ahmad was that the government's support for mask-producing MSMEs was necessary for its marketing phase. The government could support MSMEs by also issuing certification for masks they produced to instill consumer trust in the product's quality.

Related news: Wearing masks can protect elderly: UI School of Medicine dean

Ahmad also deemed it necessary for the government to support MSMEs struggling financially through the provision of business credit facilities.

"Multiple MSMEs could also collaborate, so they could receive technical assistance and access financial support together," Ahmad stated.

The economist of the Institute for Economic and Social Research at the University of Indonesia's Faculty of Economy and Business (FEB UI),Teuku Riefky, also opined that the government should ensure stable production and distribution of masks to remote areas.

"Mask producers currently face a high demand (for their product), so they may potentially achieve a high economic scale and press their unit cost for a more efficient production," Riefky stated. Related news: Make a habit of wearing masks, TNI chief urges citizens