"Now, many countries are doing trade protection, from the local market side, they have to be strong in competitiveness if they want to export," he said
To increase exports, Redma mentioned several things that need to be addressed including reducing dependence on imported raw materials.
For the apparel industry, if raw materials come from imports, the time to fulfill export orders will be longer.
Therefore, a policy is needed to harmonize between upstream and downstream industries so that upstream products can be absorbed optimally and downstream industries can produce quickly.
"If buyers need fast, they will not order to Indonesia, but to China," he said.
The same thing was also conveyed by Ernovian G Ismy, Secretary General of the Indonesian Textile Association (API). He said that the growth of textile exports this year was around 6% -8%. This figure is below the growth of 8 years ago which could reach 11%.
He explained, the slowdown in exports that occurred due to cooperation between the upstream industry and the domestic downstream industry that was still high. Therefore, harmonization between upstream and downstream industries is needed.
To be able to increase exports, especially apparel products, APSI hopes the government will immediately complete negotiations on trade agreements, especially with the European Union to increase exports. Because Europe is the second largest market for textile products after China.
Indonesian textile products are difficult to penetrate the European market because import duties are around 11% to 19%. Meanwhile, other textile producing countries such as Vietnam, Bangladesh and Pakistan have been exempted from import duties.
Firman Bakri, Executive Director of the Indonesian Footwear Association (Aprisindo), said that export-oriented industries, including footwear, must be encouraged so that the trade balance is positive.
One of the trade agreements awaited by the footwear industry is the Indonesia-EU Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) because the demand for Indonesian footwear products is high.
If the government can reduce footwear import duties to Europe, exports are expected to increase by 20% -30%.