Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Teten Masduki, expressed the hope that handmade leather products, such as shoes, bags, and jackets, from Garut will reach international quality standards.

On Saturday, he inaugurated the Leather Commodity Joint Production House (RPB) in Garut, West Java.

He said he expects that with the opening of the RPB, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) producing leather shoes, bags, and jackets can compete with leather producers from Virenze, Italy.

"We can imitate the mecca of leather fashion in Italy," he affirmed.

According to him, the production house is expected to become a center for the development of the leather ecosystem in Garut district.

He said he hopes that the quality of production will improve, and the products will become famous abroad, thereby helping local MSME players to upgrade.

"With the RPB, the end products must be of world-quality," he added.

Even though leather handicraft products from Garut have a history of more than 100 years, they still lag behind Italian products, he noted.

This is because Indonesian MSMEs still use low-quality tools so it is difficult for their products to be of the same quality as Italian products, he opined.

"MSMEs' production method is still simple. With the existence of modern production tools in RPB, it is expected that MSME products will be of higher quality," Masduki said.

He said he expects that with the modern tools, local MSME players in Garut can maximize the quality of their leather products and eventually, export them.

He added that the facilities at the RPB must be maintained both by the government and the community.

"We must maintain and continue to modernize tools as the industry continues to evolve, so RPB will not experience aging, but continue to grow," he explained.

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Translator: Ahmad F, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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