Sat, 14 Jun 2008
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Textile Industries Association (API) is urging the government to issue a policy to protect domestic textile and textile product industries against illegally imported goods currently flooding the home markets, a spokesman said.

"We propose the issuance of a government regulation allowing foreign-made textiles and textile products to enter the country only through two ports, namely Jakarta`s Tanjung Priok for western Indonesia and Surabaya`s Tanjung Perak for eastern Indonesia," API chairman Benny Soetrisno said here Friday.

Such a restriction was expected to put a damper on illegal imports which in 2007 reached a volume of 862,000 tons, he said.

During the January-March period in 2008, textile and textile product imports totaled 721,000 tons valued at 1.2 billion US dollars while exports stood at 475,000 tons worth 2.6 billion US dollars.

"By discouraging illegal imports, the overall import figure will hopefully drop by as much as 50 percent. I hope thereby no more illegal imports will pass through the official ports. Totally keeping out illegal imports is admittedly not possible because there still are those small oil ports," Soetrisno said.

He said the unrestricted entry of imported textiles and textile products was killing small- and medium-scale textile and garment producers who were 100 percent oriented to the domestic market, and their demise would mean workers` layoffs, non-performing loans and lower income from taxes for the state.

Demand for textiles and textile products in the domestic market rose by 20.43 percent to 1.22 million tons in 2007 but domestic textile and textile industries` sales at home fell 42.98 percent to 260,000 tons, Soetrisno said.

Besides limiting the entry points of imported textiles and textile products, API was also asking the government to increase import duty on textiles and garments from 15 percent to 25 percent, he said.

Meanwhile, the trade ministry`s director for market and distribution maintenance, Gunaryo, said the government had already drawn up programs to protect the domestic textile and textile product market such as measures to reduce the costs to do business, creating special economic zones for textiles and textile products. (*)



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