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Garment sector does self synopsis at seminar

May '09
To cope up with the ongoing global economic slowdown, the Indonesian garment industry needs to make several changes within the industry by improving its competitiveness, said garment experts.

The industry is facing decline in demand due to the slowdown and it is trying to cut its costs through layoffs, relocation of production activities to lower cost countries and also by selling majority shareholding to bigger companies.

The Regional Manager for the USAID Senada competitive program, Ferry Dzukilfi, said this in a seminar on garments sector in West Java and added that, the garment companies should invest in technology and do research to develop their competitiveness and for self improvement.

He further pointed out that, in 2009, Indonesian garment industry's growth was just 0.18 percent. US consumer expenditure had also dwindled by 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2009 as compared to that in 2008, due to economic slowdown.

Kurniasaputra, Director of 'Garment Partnership Indonesia', an association for garment industry stakeholders criticized the industry for lacking innovations and only doing job work for foreign buyers instead of developing products.

While Satia Pratiwi, an industry advisor, informed that, in order to increase the competitiveness most of the garment companies depended on cheap labor, which costs US$ 0.50 an hour in Indonesia, higher than that of Vietnam ($0.38), Pakistan ($0.37), or Cambodia ($0.33).

The Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009 revealed the lack of competitiveness in Indonesia, which ranked Indonesian labor market efficiency at 43rd position out of 143 countries.

In terms of performance the Indonesian Garments Industry lagged much behind its neighboring countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and even Cambodia, which have been ranked 13th, 17th and 33rd respectively.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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