The restriction is aimed at protecting domestic producers of products such as certain types of yarns, fabrics and other goods. The reasoning is that products that can be produced domestically should no longer be imported. Textile importers have to gain approval before they can ship in textile goods. With economic growth, and a shift in demand from basic clothing to functional clothing, such as sportswear, the national textile industry is building production capabilities and increasing economies of scale in order to meet the demand in domestic and export markets.
The country’s textile industry has weakened in the past three years due to an influx of imported textiles combined with sluggish consumption by Indonesian consumers. Imports of textile fabrics rose by 74 per cent between 2016 and 2018. Imports of textile products, such as some types of synthetic yarns, doubled in the three years to 2018. Indonesia imports products from China, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, among others. Companies are facing a cash shortage resulting from tough competition with imported products. Another problem Indonesia faces is smuggled used clothing. The country does not allow imports of secondhand garments. The industry hopes textile and garment rules are relaxed to help local businesses boost their exports. Companies that have been so far oriented to local markets are being encouraged to become more export oriented.