Indonesian Batik's Allure for Global Markets
SEAToday.com, Jakarta - The Indonesian batik industry has contributed to the country's foreign exchange. The main markets for national batik exports include the United States, Japan, and Europe. According to data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) in 2022, the export value of Indonesian batik reached US$ 25.31 million or around Idr392.74 billion with a volume of 987.71 thousand kilograms.
This export value increased by 4.84% compared to the previous year. However, compared to 2018, the export value has decreased by 42.7%.
In 2018-2023, the United States (US) has always been loyal to the top position for buying Indonesian batik. The value reached US$ 18.79 million in 2022. The figure increased by 2.88% compared to the value in 2021. Meanwhile, the volume of Indonesian batik exports to the US reached 638.5 thousand kilograms in 2022. However, this figure was recorded to have decreased by 15.73% compared to the previous year.
The latest data for the period of January-August 2023, the value of batik exports to the US reached US$ 10.03 million with a volume of 347.32 thousand kilograms.
Malaysia is in second place with an export value in 2022 reaching US$ 673.24 thousand with an export volume of 36.12 thousand kilograms. However, in 2023, it seems that Malaysia's position was shifted by Germany with a value of US$ 507.21 thousand with a volume of 12.85 thousand kilograms.
Singapore and China occupy the next position in 2023 with an export value of US$ 284.85 thousand and US$ 260.6 thousand respectively.
Currently, 4 batik design patterns have received intellectual property protection or are included in the Batik Geographical Indication. They are Batik Tulis Nitik Yogyakarta, Batik Besurek Bengkulu, Sarong Batik Pekalongan, and Batik Tulis Complongan Indramayu. This year, Agus said, there will be two additional Batik Geographical Indications, including Batik Sogan Solo and Batik Tuban.
Based on BPS data compiled by the Data and Information Centre of the Ministry of Industry, until 2021, there were 208 large and medium-scale batik industries. Meanwhile, the MSME-scale batik industry reached 2951 units.
Unfortunately, the local batik industry is being threatened by a new policy regarding the import of batik textiles. The reason is that the Minister of Trade Regulation No. 36 of 2023 on Import policies and Regulations excludes 'imported batik products for government institutions' from the ban and restrictions.
The Ministry of Trade stated that the latest regulation regarding the import of batik cloth and batik motifs aims to regulate the flow of batik imports. According to the latest regulation, imported batik cloth and batik motifs are categorized as non-free imports so they must obtain import approval from the Ministry of Trade and undergo verification or technical tracing of imported goods abroad, which is confirmed by a surveyor's report document.
To obtain import approval, both producer importers and general importers must fulfill several conditions, including having a business identification number that applies as an import identification number and receiving recommendations from the Ministry of Industry.
At the same time, the traditional batik crafters complain that the number of requests continues to decline. Traditional hand-written batik artisans are only left in the older generation with few successors. Without empowerment and regulations that support the development of batik, batik artisans who uphold high philosophical and artistic values will be eroded.
With rising international demand for Indonesian batik quality, should we Indonesians import batik fabrics? What do you think, SEATizens? (ALIF/DKD)