Batik export boom sparks demand for more skilled workers

INDONESIA: The popularity of Indonesian batik is going global, as several countries are keen to make also batik their export commodity.

This translates to more intense competition and import clashes for the Indonesian batik industry.

Industry minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita said that Indonesia requires highly skilled and competent human resources to develop innovative batik designs and ensure the country remains globally competitive. However, the number of people possessing the required skill set to create batik patterns is very low, with many of them being old.

He noted that in the meantime, countries such as China, Vietnam, and Malaysia are developing advanced batik printing machines to mimic the design and pattern of Indonesian batik.

The government plans to to regenerate interest in batik-making among the younger generation through educational programs in design and development, and other promotional projects.

Batik exports in 2020 were valued at USD533 million, while the first quarter of this year recorded USD158 million in export sales.

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