Surabaya, East Java (ANTARA News) - Indonesia`s textile and garment exports in the first quarter of 2007 rose 17.5 percent from the same period in 2006 apparently due to restrictions the US imposed on import of similar goods from China, an industry spokesman said.
The US was the largest market for Indonesian textiles and garments with exports to that country econtributing US3.1 billion (around 4 percent) to overall textile and garment exports in the first three months of 2007, Benny Sutrisno, chairman of the Indonesian Textile Producers Association (API), said here on Thursday.
Indonesia is so far exporting textiles and garments to 197 countries.
He said domestic sales of textiles and garments in the first quarter of 2007 grew by around 5 percent from the same period in 2006.
Meanwhile, domestic sales of textiles and garments in the January-March 2006 period rose by 7 percent from the same period in 2005, he said.
He said the low figure in sales of textiles and garments was a consequence of the people`s low purchasing power and a glut of imported products, particularly from China, in the domestic market.
Chinese textiles and garments currently meet 37 percent of demand in the domestic market.
Nearly 60 percent of Indonesian textiles and garments is exported while the remaining 40 percent is to meet domestic needs.
The government has set aside Rp255 billion in funds to restructure aging textile machines.
If the restructuring program ran well, the country`s textile and garment production would increase by 9 percent, he said.
"We hope that we will have restructured all the aging textile machines by the end of this year so our textile and garment production will increase by 9 percent," he said.(*)