Fri, 13 Mar 2009
From: The Jakarta Globe
By Dian Ariffahmi
Despite government efforts to tighten supervision of ports and prevent the smuggling of foreign-made goods, illegal textiles and clothing from China continue to flood into the local market, the Indonesian Textile Association, or API, said.

Speaking on Thursday, Ade Sudrajat, API’s deputy chairman, said that a cursory investigation by the group’s members found that illegally-imported goods - including smuggled fabrics, T-shirts and fake designer clothing - were found at both modern and traditional markets in Jakarta and other areas.

“I don’t know how they entered Indonesia after the government limited import gates to five ports across the provinces,” Ade said.

While Ade could not immediately quantify how much the illegal goods were costing local textile and garment producers, API estimates that smuggled clothing and textiles from China and other countries ate up about 50 percent of the industry’s $16.25 billion market last year.

Ade questioned how it was that illegal products could still enter the country following the government’s move to restrict import gates for a range of products in November of last year. He said that it took little skill to recognize the difference between Chinese and domestically-produced products.

“We have very different designs, different fabric textures, different sizes,” Ade said. “Illegal Chinese textiles are smaller in diameter because they are overruns, not to mention the language on the products’ labels.”

Ade acknowledged that the flow of illegal goods was curbed significantly shortly after the government issued its regulation, but he said the rules were not being followed so closely now.

“ Easy come, easy go’ is the right way to describe the effectiveness of the government’s regulation,” he said.

The difference in price between Indonesian and Chinese textile products is usually about 15 percent, Ade said.

“We can’t compete with them on the pricing side,” he added. “The Chinese industry gets incentives worth up to 17 percent to produce clothing, while Indonesia doesn’t have that. Instead, we have to pay taxes and other fees.”

Asked when the association would submit a report to the Trade Ministry regarding the problem, Ade said API had no plans to approach to the government because the group was not sure officials would take action. “We are tired and frustrated because of this problem.”

Officials from the Trade Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.



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