Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said the government would take firm action against illegal batik imports and suspected dumping of batik which was threatening local industries.
"I would say if we have to compete with batik from China, we should just make better designs but if Chinese products enter Indonesia illegally or by dumping, we will certainly take firm measures (against the Chinese products)," the minister said here on Wednesday.
Pangestu said if foreign-made garments with batik motifs enter Indonesia legally but are sold at lower prices than in their country of origin (China), that was dumping, and then an investigation was in order.
"We must conduct an investigation if the products are sold in Indonesia at lower prices than in China. But if the products entered Indonesia illegally, then we have to deal with smuggling," she said.
Her ministry was currently also following up a request for trade safeguards (applying a quota system to imports or raising import duties) from the Indonesian Textile Industries Association (API).
"There was a request from API which we are following up continuously," she said.
Another effort that needed to be made in the face of the flood of garments with batik motifs in the market in Indonesia, was for local batik industries to create new patterns that were unique, she said.
Earlier, the Industry Ministry had reported that illegally imported textiles with batik motifs worth a total of 290 million US dollars were in the Indonesian market and posing a threat to local batik industries.
The value of the illegal imports was 10 percent of the value of national batik products which stood at 2.9 trillion rupiah.(*)