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APSyFI: The national textile industry is headed for a trade deficit, 2018 exports grow 1% and imports grow 14% (yoy).--IKATSI: The growth of the national textile industry is still hampered by floods of imports, Indonesia needs a clothing security law.

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Glorious of PPE Imports, National TPT Industry is Difficult PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maizer   
Friday, 15 May 2020

The chaotic handling of COVID-19 came to the fore again after the Ministry of Health (Kemenkes) claimed that the national TPT industry was unable to meet PPE needs. Chairperson of the Indonesian Textile Expert Association (IKATSI) Suharno Rusdi said the import mafia was acting up again, penetrating the lobby to import imported goods so that the national TPT industry was biting its fingers again.


Rusdi explained that garment capacity and convection SMIs which reached 2.5 million tons per year or around 600 million pieces per month were very able to meet the needs of PPE, especially Hazmat and Gown which were estimated to reach only 10 million pieces per month. "Even for raw materials from fabrics, yarns to fibers, we can also meet them from within the country, with an average capacity of above 2.5 million tons per year," he added.


The Ministry of Health requires non-woven spunbond raw materials so that imports can enter freely. "Whereas the PPE material made from woven or woven fabric that we developed together with the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) has been tested in the Central Textile Test Center (BBT) and the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) and the results have met the Hazmat and Gown standards from WHO "The price is cheaper, it is used more safely and comfortably," Rusdi explained.


Based on the assessment of textile expertise at IKATSI, for water and blood penetration of woven and non woven materials the ability is the same because it uses the same coating or lamination technology. However, woven material is more resistant to tear, supple and breathable compared to non-woven material so it is safer and more comfortable when worn by health workers. "Woven price is much cheaper, because non-woven spunbond uses Polyprophilene which the price rises almost double because it is also used as a raw material for masks," Rusdi explained.


Rusdi explained that the national non-woven production capacity that can be supplied to PPE is only about 1 million pieces per month, if from woven materials the supply capacity can be more than 375 million pieces of PPE per month. "So don't be surprised if there are a lot of producers for the export of PPE, because the stock is localized a lot," said Rusdi. "And if there are local producers who claim to be able to supply PPE from non-woven more than 1 million per month, it must be examined again, because it certainly interferes with imported APD, it is under the guise of producers who have production permits, distribution permits as well as import permits" he added.


"This condition is in response to the Minister of SOEs about our dependence on imported ALKES, because local producers are always cornered by imported goods so producers are reluctant to produce and choose to close their factories," Rusdi explained. "So strong the penetration of the imported mafia should be a concern of law enforcement, such as the case of 27 textile containers in Batam," he concluded.


The Secretary General of the Indonesian Filament and Fiber Yarn Producers Association (APSyFI), Redma Gita Wirawasta confirmed that his party produced PPE, especially Hazmat and Gown, based on BNPB's directives regarding its standards to meet WHO criteria. APSyFI members supply fiber, yarn, to woven fabrics, while members of the Indonesian Textile Association (API) produce fabrics and garments. "So with direction from BNPB, from upstream to downstream we are directly working on making PPE according to WHO standards, because we hear that medical staff in the field lack PPE. Especially in our warehouses, there are a lot of fabric and thread stocks, so the processing is faster, ”explained Redma.


At present some API and APSyFI members are disappointed that the government has not absorbed the PPE products they are working on with the reason to prioritize non-woven spund bond materials that can only be used once and then thrown away. "In fact, in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, PPE production can help the company's financial condition, especially to pay employee salaries, even though this is only about 3% -5% of the total production normally done under normal conditions," said Redma.


Behind this PPE production there are also thousands of workers and dozens of companies involved. "The 10 million pieces of PPE per month are done by 15 thousand people in garment, 10 thousand people for the production of 30 million meters of fabric, and 7 thousand people for the production of 2500 tons of yarn and 5 thousand people for the production of 2500 tons of fiber, so a total of 37 thousand workers in about 20 companies "explained Redma. "If it is filled with imports, how many workers will be involved? how much foreign exchange is wasted? asked Redma.


Executive Secretary of the Indonesian Textile Association (API), Rizal Tanzil said that his side was still hoping that the government could absorb local PPE. Because even though only about 5% of normal production, at least it can absorb local workers who are struggling in this era. "Because the priority for the use of domestic products must be implemented, not just lip service," he said.

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