The Association of Indonesian Fiber and Filament Yarn Producers (APSyFI) stated that the national textile industry is optimistic that it can return to its pre-pandemic position in 2021.

APSyFI Secretary General Redma Wirawasta said this was due to the clear policy direction of the Ministry of Industry (Kemenperin) and Ministry of Trade (Kemendag), namely reducing imports. In addition, this optimism is also driven by the issuance of garment safeguards which are expected to be issued soon in the first quarter of 2021.

"As soon as garment safeguards [are issued], demand for fabrics is greater. Then, the government reduces imports of fabrics. Local raw materials are prioritized. The growth of the textile industry should increase by more than 5 percent [in 2021]," he said.

The Ministry of Industry predicts that the growth of the textile industry in 2020 will fall by 5.41 percent. Meanwhile, in 2021 the textile industry is estimated to only grow around 0.93 percent.

Although Redma does not agree with the forecast for the realization of 2021, it agrees with the 2020 growth forecast. According to him, this is due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the second quarter of 2020.

The Indonesian Textile Association (API) recorded that the production volume of the textile industry at the start of the pandemic fell 85 percent to 1 million tons. Meanwhile, the manufacturing average utilization fell to 5.05 percent.

As a result, manufacturers had to release 80.01 percent of their workforce or 2.15 million workers in the second week of April 2020. Meanwhile, the number of workers in the textile industry before the pandemic struck was 2.69 million people.

Meanwhile, the national textile industry again absorbed nearly 1.07 million workers as of August 2020. In other words, there are still around 1 million workers who must be absorbed by the national textile industry in 2021.

Redma said the export-oriented textile industry could still survive the pandemic. However, the high contribution of the domestically oriented textile industry makes the decline in industrial growth inevitable.

Meanwhile, Redma recorded that the fiber industry utilization in the fourth quarter of 2020 had recovered to a level of 75 percent. In detail, some of the utilization of the rayon fiber industry has reached the percent level.

Meanwhile, the utilization of the fabric industry has risen to above the level of 70 percent. This figure grew from the realization in the second quarter of 2020 below 60 percent.