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The Minister of Industry (Menperin) directed small and medium footwear industry players (IKM) to open and work on new export market opportunities to Middle Eastern, South Asian and African countries. This was also confirmed by the Director of the Textile, Leather and Footwear Industry, Adie Rochmanto Pandiangan. According to him, this is one of the options to maintain the current domestic industry. Even though, according to Adi, the export option to these countries could not replace the position of previous export destination countries, such as the United States and Europe which were being affected by the Russia-Ukraine war.

"There is [a new export market option], yes, we know how the purchasing power of the people there [Africa and South Asia] is, the Middle East is OK," said Adie on Thursday (19/1/2023).

Based on this directive, the Directorate General of Small, Medium and Multifarious Industries (IKMA) through the Indonesian Footwear Industry Empowerment Center (BPIPI) continues to collaborate with IKM footwear business partners.

In this regard, BPIPI has been proactive in facilitating export-oriented footwear IKM players to open and work on new export market opportunities to Middle Eastern, South Asian and African countries.

The Directorate General of IKMA sees that, despite the problem of declining demand, the export performance of national footwear products in the third quarter of 2022 also shows bright prospects. The export value of the national footwear industry in that period amounted to US$5.949 billion, an increase compared to the same period in the previous year (year on year/yoy) reaching US$4.388 billion.

"During the January-September 2022 period, the export volume of the leather industry, leather goods and footwear reached 337.48 thousand tonnes, up 34.28% compared to January-September 2021 (yoy), with the footwear industry's trade balance surplus of USD 5. 191 billion," Director General of IKMA Ministry of Industry, Reni Yanita in an official statement, quoted on Monday (23/1/2023).

BPIPI also consistently encourages footwear IKMs to improve product quality, pay attention to the value of product packaging, and obtain SNI Marking Product Certificates (SPPT) for leather safety shoes products, as well as campaigning for "test awareness" for footwear IKMs to prioritize product quality for consumer convenience.

“Currently product quality is important for product selection by consumers. Products with high quality can easily win the competition,” added Reni. Not only that, IKM is also facilitated by facilitating the management of Ease of Import for Export Destination (KITE) and Commodity Balance for IKM.

"The priority for licensing integration starts with the management of NIB, including the National Industrial Information System (SIINas), which is made easier and faster, especially cross-sectoral permits through industrial assistance," said Reni.

Previously, the industrial sector was being overshadowed by sluggish demand from export destination countries such as the United States and countries in Europe, which were affected by the Russia-Ukraine war. The impact of this lack of orders has resulted in a number of footwear industry employees being laid off in recent months.