"The influx of textile imports is on the rise, and it will certainly affect the local textile SMEs. Therefore, the government is urging local textile manufacturers to create superior products to stop the invasion of imported products," said the Director General of SMEs, Ministry of Industry, Euis Saedah, on Tuesday.
According to her, large-scale textile manufacturers should cooperate with SMEs to meet the local demand.
"Besides, cooperation between large-scale manufacturers and SMEs is one way to increase the potential of local SMEs, in generating superior textile products," she explained.
"For instance, providing accessories for manufacturers` products can be taken over by SMEs," she continued.
Saedah argued that if local SMEs find difficulties in selling their products to the international market, they can sell them to the domestic market instead.
"So far, SMEs have not really penetrated the domestic market. In fact, there are people who are interested in purchasing local textile products," she said.
Saedah also noted that some SMEs have begun marketing their textile products to modern retailers, such as Sarinah.
"So, we don`t have to really depend on export markets," she said.
Earlier, the Indonesian Textile Association stated that Indonesia`s textile exports have slowed down in the first quarter of this year, partly due to a decrease in the demand from one of its key buyers, the European Union (EU), despite a positive yearly growth.
"We`ve still recorded a positive growth rate because of orders from the US and Japan," said the Indonesian Textile Association chairman, Ade Sudrajat.
The US and EU have more than 40 percent and 10 percent shares respectively, in the nation`s annual textile exports, while Japan accounts for around a 5 percent share, according to the association`s trade statistics.