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Balinese craftsmen struggling for survival
Jul '09
The global economic slowdown is taking its toll on the handicraft producers in Bali, due to which the producers here are struggling for their survival in business.

Due the ongoing economic situation, exports to major markets in the US, the Netherlands, Canada and Australia have witnessed a drastic downfall. Business is coming in only from the domestic markets and little or no orders are received from overseas markets.

Handicraft producers, who used to export about 70 percent of their products overseas, are now able to sell only the rest of the 30 percent of the crafts in the domestic market, grieved one of the producers in Bali.

One of the shoe brands, here, produces thousands of shoes and sandals, and sells each pair for Rp 80,000-90,000 (US $8-9) in local market and in overseas market the same commands a price of $10-12.

Exports from Bali to a number of countries have dropped by 13 percent to only $61.42 million in the first three months of 2009, which stood at $70.89 million in 2008 for the same period, reveals data from Bali Statistics Agency.

Manufacturers of wooden items are also facing the same situation. They have had to reduce their production and are restricted to the local market. Majority of handicrafts and garment producers in Bali, at present rely largely on the domestic market.

In case of garments, Bali faces hard competition from the producers of other local areas such as Bandung and West Java, who produce similar quality products at cheaper prices. Higher overhead and labour costs in Bali are making it difficult for the producers here to compete with the producers in other local areas.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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