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The apparel industry is one of the manufacturing sectors that needs to be encouraged to remain productive and competitive. This is because this leading sector is still one of the largest contributors to the growth of the manufacturing industry, which can be seen from the record export value of 8.30 billion US dollars in 2019.

Currently, the apparel industry is experiencing a decline in demand due to the impact of the COVID-19 impact. However, export opportunities are still open, including the high demand for garment products needed to deal with the corona virus outbreak.

Minister of Industry Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita said the garment industry has made a major contribution to efforts to tackle COVID-19.

"Thank you to the garment company that also produces personal protective equipment (PPE) which is the supply of personal protection needed by medical personnel," he said during a visit to PT Daehan Global in Brebes.

The company visited by the Minister of Industry is currently producing PPE in the form of coveralls or protective suites with a capacity of 12 million pieces per month and surgical masks of 6 million pieces per month. According to the Minister of Industry, this production also helps the government in supplying medical personnel protection needs.

In addition, the export market, especially in the United States, can be accessed again. So that the apparel industry can be encouraged to carry out production that provides added value in the country.

"We just got a report about the reopening of the export market, although the quantity has not fully recovered," said the Minister of Industry.

PT Daehan Global is a garment company that operates in four locations, namely Sukabumi, Citeureup, Cibinong, and Brebes. With a total workforce of around 14,000 people, this company has a production capacity of up to 63.3 million pieces.

With the company's export volume reaching 17.76 million pieces valued at 128.7 million US dollars, this garment company is one part of the global garment product supply chain. The Daehan Global Brebes factory itself produces 2.5 million dozen apparels per year.

The Minister of Industry appreciated the efforts of industrial companies that remain committed to production by prioritizing the application of health protocols.

"By continuing to operate, the industrial sector can contribute to the national economy, especially in the current unfavorable conditions," he said.

During the early days of COVID-19, the number of employees working was limited to 50 percent, from a total of 6,336 factory and office employees to 3,498 people. The factory also carries out production activities in only one shift.

The Minister of Industry told PT Daehan Global to continue to maintain and improve the implementation of health protocols in their work environment.

"The goal is that we are all increasingly convinced that the industry can play a role in overcoming COVID-19," he explained.

The Ministry of Industry is currently drafting further guidelines regarding the implementation of industrial activities by prioritizing the application of health protocols, especially after the Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) in various regions have begun to be reduced.

"We will compile guidelines summarized from the circular letters of the Minister of Industry issued during the pandemic and based on the latest decree from the Minister of Health which we see is very comprehensive," he explained.

The Ministry of Industry has also issued regulations in the form of a Circular Letter of the Minister of Industry Number 4 of 2020 concerning Implementation of Factory Operations during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

Companies that are still operating during the PSBB period need to have an Operational Permit and Industrial Activity Mobility (IOMKI) in accordance with Circular Number 7 of 2020 concerning Guidelines for Submitting Applications for Permits to Implement Industrial Activities in the Emergency of COVID-19.

Furthermore, companies that obtain IOMKI are required to report their activities and implementation of health protocols to the Ministry of Industry through the National Industrial Information System (SIINas) every week as regulated in the Circular of the Minister of Industry Number 8 of 2020 concerning Reporting Obligations for Industrial Companies and Regional Companies that have IOMKI.**