Indonesia relies on textile industry for competition in AEC

Indonesia relies on textile industry for competition in AEC

(ANTARA/Rosa Panggabean)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Industry minister MS Hidayat said the government relies on textile industry for the international competition especially in the ASEAN Economic Community to be set up in 2015.

"Textile industry is the government`s bet for the international competition especially in the AEC," he said after opening a national meeting of the Indonesian Textile Association (API) here on Thursday.

He said total population in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reaches around 600 million and 240 million of them are Indonesians.

Indonesia would only become a market if it failed to compete, he said and "therefore textile industries must be competitive so that they could export to other countries."

Hidayat meanwhile said that he had already discussed with textile industrialists in the country with regard to the need of a road map for the industry`s future development.

"Indeed we are weak in machinery because we still have to import components up to machines. This is what has made us weak," he said.

In view of the situation he said the government has decided to give a tax holiday for investors wishing to invest in textile machinery in the country and several countries have already expressed their interest.

"One of them is China. They have asked us to come to a forum of investment in that country in the near future to explain what we need," he said.

Hidayat said there are at present around 2,900 textile factories in Indonesia and 500 of them need to rejuvenate their machines.

API general chairman Ade Sudrajat meanwhile said he welcomed the minister`s request for a road map.

"We will see countries that we can approach to increase exports and how Indonesia could produce machines by itself in the future," he said.

He said to produce machines component industries must first be set up supported by engine industries and especially light industrial sectors.

Indonesia has been one of textile and textile products suppliers and is able to meet 1.8 percent of the world`s demand exporting up to US$12.46 million which is 10.7 percent of the country`s total non-oil and gas exports.

reporting by Vicky Febrianto