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The Indonesian Minister of Industry, Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, was one of the speakers at the Opening Ceremony of the inaFashion Smesco Online Expo 2021, Wednesday (21/4).On that occasion, Minister of Industry Agus revealed that the textile and apparel industry is one of the priority industrial sectors in the Making Indonesia 4.0 program.

"So, (the textile and apparel industry) is important to be developed," he said.

He noted, in 2020, the performance of the textile and apparel industry was able to reach USD10.62 billion. "Meanwhile, its contribution to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the non-oil and gas processing industry was 6.76 percent," he explained.

Referring to all the potential and advantages possessed by the textile and apparel industry sector, said the minister of industry, on this occasion he again invites all relevant stakeholders together with the Indonesian people to contribute to the success of organizing the inaFashion Smesco Online Expo 2021. Among them are by buying various local fashion products that are offered.

According to him, this method is effective in improving the performance of the textile and apparel industry this year. So that the competitiveness of the Indonesian textile and apparel industry is increasingly steadfast in the global arena following the high confidence of the domestic market.

"Advancing the national fashion industry (is) by always promoting and using domestic fashion products," he stressed.

The Ministry of Industry (Kemenperin) continues to encourage the optimization of the use of industrial technology to boost the competitiveness of the national manufacturing sector. Through these steps, it is hoped that the country's manufacturing industry will continue to contribute positively to economic growth.

"In order to continue to make changes, it is necessary to apply and take advantage of the latest technology," said the Head of the Industrial Services Policy and Standardization Agency (BSKJI) of the Ministry of Industry, Doddy Rahadi.

The use of innovation and technology to increase competitiveness is also encouraged by the Ministry of Industry in the textile and textile products (TPT) industry. Facing the Covid-19 pandemic, the textile industry is developing textile materials with special functions for medical use. This is done because consumer demand during the pandemic for textile products that have anti-bacterial and anti-viral functions continues to increase.

Related to this, one of the Ministry of Industry's work units in the field of standardization and industrial services, namely the Bandung Center for Textiles (BBT), developed a melt spinning laboratory facility. This facility can be used by the national textile industry which is developing raw materials for yarn with special functions, including for medical purposes. "The development of materials will have an impact on increasing the competitiveness of the national textile and textile products industry," he said.

He added that melt spinning technology is able to design yarn with a special function that is directly implanted in the fiber. With the fiber engineering process using melt spinning technology, functional textile products can be produced that have a higher durability compared to the results of chemical refinement of textiles.

"We are preparing melt spinning to support the industry. We invite the industry to take advantage of this technology and equipment. One of the advantages is being able to find the best material as desired," he said.

Head of BBT Bandung Wibowo, Dwi Hartoto, admitted that he is ready to contribute in conducting a study on the standardization of functional textile products as well as serving the industry in testing the quality of the products produced. Regarding testing services in the medical textile product segment, BBT Bandung in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) established a medical mask testing laboratory facility.

Tests that can be carried out in the laboratory include bacteria filtration efficiency (BFE), particle filtration efficiency (PFE), breathing resistance, synthetic blood penetration tests or splash resistance, differential pressure, and flammability tests.

"This facility is prepared in order to answer the challenge of creating quality and adequate textile products, such as during a pandemic like this," he said.

He added that the mask testing laboratory at BBT Bandung refers to the parameters recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and has been identically adopted by the National Standardization Body to become the Indonesian National Standard (SNI), namely SNI EN 149: 2001 + A1: 2009 (mask standard N95) and SNI EN 14683: 2019 + AC: 2019 (medical mask standard). Then, there is also SNI 8488: 2018 (medical mask standard) and SNI 8914: 2020 which is a cloth mask standard.

"Through the mask testing facility at BBT Bandung, the government prepares the masks produced in the country in accordance with SNI and standards set by WHO," Dwi concluded.