Wed, 23 Feb 2000

Shoe exports to reach $2 billion

SURABAYA (JP): The Association of Indonesian Shoe Producers (Aprisindo) expect shoe exports to increase to US$2 billion this year from $1.7 billion in 1999.

The association's chairman Tjandra M. Gozali said here on Tuesday that orders from overseas buyers improved in the last two months and he is optimistic the trend will continue.

"We are optimistic the shoe industry will recover and regain its 1996 export level that reached $2.2 billion," he said.

Indonesia's shoe exports dropped to $1.7 billion in 1998 as many overseas buyers cut their orders due to political uncertainty in the country.

He said that about 80 percent of the 1998 exports comprised brand name shoes, including Nike, Reebok, Fila and Adidas.

Since the economic crisis hit the country, member companies of Aprisindo have shrunk to 91 members, compared to 178 members in 1996. Many of the active members were heavily indebted to local banks.

Tjandra said the association was going to exert effort in speeding the debt restructuring process of the shoe companies with their creditors so they could achieve lending to adequately finance production.

Since the late 1980s, Indonesia has primarily exported shoes to the United States, Canada, Panama, Mexico, Europe, Japan and Australia. (nur/udi)