The Indonesian textile industry is an exportoriented labour-intensive sector and believed that the value of national textile and textile product (TPT) exports will grow rapidly in the next two years. Ministry of industry Airlangga Hartanto said that the Indonesia textile exports is projected to touch $15 bn by 2019 and likely to employ 3.11 mn people. By then, the sector’s annual production capacity will rise to 1,638 tonne. The industry Ministry predicted that textile and textile products exports will grow around 11 per cent annually. The sector is estimated to contribute $12.09 bn to the economy in 2017 and $13.5 bn in 2018. By 2017 end, this sector can absorb up to 2.73 mn workers, and increase that to 2.95 mn in 2018.

Hartanto at the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) Conference held in Nusa Dua, Bali, recently urged industry players to utilise digital technology, such as 3D printing and automation, to turn competitive and efficient. Hartarto is optimistic the national textile industry can compete globally because, this sector has been integrated from upstream to downstream and its products are known to have good quality in the international market. To achieve the target, new investment and expansion in every sector of textile industry is needed. The government is focused on creating a conducive investment climate by issuing policies that could facilitate industry players in trying in Indonesia, for example, facilitating the provision of fiscal incentives in the form of tax allowance and tax holiday.

To expand their export market the government is also working to establish cooperation agreements with the United States and the European Union. The import duty of Indonesian textile products is still subject to 5 to 20 per cent in the US, while Vietnam’s exports to America and Europe are zero per cent. According to ITMF General Director Christian Schindler, Indonesian textile industry has the potential to accelerate the stable growth observed in the last few years with a better and more investor-friendly business climate.