Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Trade, Zulkifli Hasan, is targeting several countries on the African continent as markets for Indonesian Muslim clothing as their product quality standards are easier to meet compared to those of Western countries.

Apart from Africa, the Ministry of Trade is also aiming to corner a share of the Muslim fashion market in Central Asia, South Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

"The countries that I mentioned earlier, of course, the money is there," Hasan said during a press conference for the “Jakarta Muslim Fashion Week 2022” at the Ministry of Trade’s building in Jakarta on Wednesday.

"For Africa, we can send shoes for US$10, we can send a scarf, which costs US$2, and the people there buy it. Therefore, we will try to penetrate this new market," he explained.

To seize the markets of Central Asia, South Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, Indonesian products will need to be consistently promoted via exhibitions in the countries in these regions.

According to Minister Hasan, Indonesia must continue to build relationships so that the Indonesian Muslim fashion industry can continue to penetrate markets abroad.

"If you want to penetrate the market, you cannot come once, you have to do it many times. We have to build direct relationships, otherwise, it will not be easy. If we can build sustainable relationships, we can dominate the market," he added.

The minister further said that the Indonesian fashion industry has great potential in the international market. The works of local designers are also deemed capable of competing globally.

"This is indeed a big potential; we have people who have talent, great designers. I am confident that we can penetrate the international market," he added.

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Furthermore, he said that the Ministry of Trade will continue to encourage the Indonesian Muslim fashion industry as part of efforts to make it the world's fashion center in the next few years.

Hasan had earlier called for the holding of the 4th Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting between Indonesia and South Africa, which has been delayed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The fourth JTC meeting was supposed to be held in Indonesia in 2020, however, it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, we push the technical teams of both countries to immediately coordinate and continue the implementation of the JTC meeting," he said.

He made the statement during a bilateral meeting with South African Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel on the sidelines of the G20 Trade, Investment, and Industry Ministerial Meeting (TIIMM), which was held in Nusa Dua, Badung district, Bali province, from September 21–23, 2022.

The TIIMM was organized under the Sherpa Track as a follow-up to the G20 TIIWG, which sought to address trade and investment issues as well as encourage G20 countries to bolster global trade and investments.

The JTC is a bilateral forum for discussing efforts to increase cooperation in the economic and trade sectors between Indonesia and South Africa. Three JTC meetings have been held between the two countries so far, and the last one took place on July 21, 2017, in Pretoria, South Africa.

Indonesian investors are interested in developing their businesses in South Africa, Hasan noted.

"Hence, I ask for the support of the South African government to facilitate Indonesian companies in making investments (in South Africa)," he said.

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Reporter: Maria C, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Suharto
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