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The textile and textile products (TPT) industry began to expand after slumping repeatedly due to the flood of imported products up to the pandemic crisis that did not suppress production performance. Chairman of the Indonesian Textile Association (API) Jemmy Kartiwa Sastraatmaja said the real performance data in 2020 had not yet been released, but in an internal survey of API members in the fourth quarter of 2020, utilization had shown a good increase. Meanwhile before Covid-19 was suppressed, the average utilization of the textile industry was only around 20 percent.

This is because a number of retailers are closed and quiet, as well as the lockdown in a number of countries which has disrupted exports. However, the efforts of the government, especially the Ministry of Industry, which has begun to restructure the import trade have begun to bear fruit.

"At the end of last year, there were more than 15 printing machines and 36 machines that had been contracted and entered in the first quarter of 2021 were added. The addition of these machines was certainly due to full utilization and this did not happen in the 2018 to 2019 period," he said in CORE Indonesia's virtual discussion with the theme of the Post-Pandemic Reindutrialization Agenda.

Jemmy said that efforts to curb the rate of naughty imports were also evident from the results of the textile industry trade balance which was a surplus of US $ 3.5 billion as of October 2020, slightly higher than the same period the previous year at US $ 3 billion.

However, at least there are still four challenges facing the domestic textile industry today.

First, the weakening domestic market demand is due to the market share being seized by imported goods due to the ease of import regulations.

Second, the consumption of domestic products is low because it is dominated by imported products.

Third, the unleveled playing field between Indonesia and competing countries or China, India, Bangladesh and Vietnam.

Fourth, the need to increase investment in the upstream sector of raw material producers to curb imports.

"We have also proposed tightening the granting of import applicants' permits by requiring attachments to electricity bills and BPJS as an effort to minimize fraud and that the recipients of import permits are not entrepreneurs who only own shop houses," he said.