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The Ministry of Industry (Kemenperin) provides machinery and equipment assistance to 50 small and medium weaving industries (IKM) in East Nusa Tenggara to increase added value and competitiveness.

For this reason, the Ministry of Industry through the Directorate General of Small, Medium and Multifarious Industries (IKMA) synergizes with the NTT Provincial Industry and Trade Office and the NTT Province Regional National Crafts Council (Dekranasda).

"We are optimistic that this machine and equipment facilitation activity can have a positive impact on efforts to develop weaving IKM in NTT so that they are highly competitive so they can move the wheels of the economy of the surrounding community in NTT to spur national economic growth," said Plt. Director General of IKMA, Ministry of Industry, Reni Yanita.

He conveyed the equipment given to the weaving IKM craftsmen in NTT, including a set of gedogan looms consisting of a loom, tie rods, thread winders and hani looms. The recipients of this facilitation are 50 weaving IKM actors from 10 districts in NTT, with each district sending five craftsmen.

"The IKM weaving craftsmen come from the regencies of Rote Ndao, Sabu Raijua, North Central Timor, Alor, Kupang, Malacca, Lembata, Belu, South Central Timor, and Flores," he said in a written statement.

Reni explained that the weaving IKM, which is part of the textile and apparel industry sector, has an important role in building the national economy as an absorber of labor and a foreign exchange earner.

“We realize that weaving is one of the commodities that can drive the economy of the people in NTT. Various motifs from each Regency and City are potentials that must be maximized, as one of the supports for the NTT Province as an area that has considerable tourism potential, "he explained.

Although the textile industry experienced a 4.54 percent growth contraction in the second quarter of 2021 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which made domestic demand less favorable. However, the textile and apparel industry is still one of the mainstay sectors of the national economy.

"The textile and clothing industry sector contributed to the GDP of the non-oil and gas processing industry in 2020 by 6.76 percent," said Reni.

In addition, cumulatively, the export value of the textile and apparel industry throughout 2020 reached 10.62 billion dollars. Meanwhile, in the January-June 2021 period, exports of the textile and apparel industry reached 5.86 billion dollars.

Reni added, the Ministry of Industry is determined to continue to improve the performance of the industrial sector, including IKM players, amid the pressures of the COVID-1 pandemic. Various programs have been prepared, including improving the competence of human resources, developing product quality, standardization, facilitation of machinery and equipment, as well as promotions and exhibitions at home and abroad.

"The Ministry of Industry also facilitates IKM players through the e-Smart IKM program, with the aim of increasing market access through digitalization to the global marketplace, as well as getting digital business development assistance from experts," he added.

In addition, the Ministry of Industry actively encourages the Indonesian people to love and use the work of the nation's children, especially local industrial products through the Proudly Made Indonesia National Movement (BBI).

"We also invite the whole community to support the sustainability of the IKM business by buying IKM products," said Reni.

Similar to batik, woven cloth is also a cultural heritage of Indonesia. The younger generation needs to be encouraged to love and be proud of Indonesian woven products so that they can help preserve and promote it.

"Currently, woven fabrics are not only used as quality fashion products, but also various interesting crafts such as bags, wallets, home decorations, and various other products that have a high selling value," said Reni.