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Indonesia not to impose higher duties on Chinese textiles: Minister

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The Indonesian government is unlikely to impose higher duties on imports of textile and garment products from China, a minister was reported Saturday as saying.

"The figures on Chinese textile imports that we have from Customs and Excise and the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) show no major increase," Industry Minister Fahmi Idris was quoted Saturday by The Jakarta Post daily as saying.

Previously, arguing that local products were threatened by soaring imports from China, the Indonesian Textile Producers Association (API) had called for the government to impose safeguard measures in the form of higher import duties.

According to API, imports had more than doubled to 45.3 million U.S. dollars in the first nine months of 2005, compared to the 19. 5 million dollars booked in the previous year.

Trade Minister Mari E. Pangestu said earlier that imposing safeguard measures on Chinese products "would not resolve the problems" faced by the country's ailing textile and garment industry.

"It will not be possible to apply safeguards if the data on legal imports shows nothing untoward," said Ansari Bukhari, the Industry Ministry's director general for the textile industry.

Ansari said that the best thing that the government could do would be to conduct preshipment inspections of Chinese textiles and textile products destined for Indonesia.

Such inspections could be carried out by an independent surveyor on selected items, he added.

"It would be better to do this first while we improve the quality of our import statistics and data," Ansari said.



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