Radhiyya Indra, Jakarta – Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno clarified that the government did not finance the local brands who claimed to participate in Paris Fashion Week 2022.
"Not a single rupiah from the government through the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has financed the visits of these brands to Paris," emphasized Sandiaga in a virtual weekly press briefing on Monday, as quoted by kompas.com.
A week ago, a number of brands from Indonesia surprised many on social media for seemingly participating in the prestigious Paris Fashion Week (PFW) 2022 fashion show.
In addition to fashion brands, they include cosmetics and food brands, such as Ayam Geprek Bensu, an ayam geprek (smashed fried chicken) franchise owned by celebrity Ruben Onsu.
But as questions arose regarding their relevance, the show turned out to be a different and separate thing from the renowned PFW, despite the brands owners and many celebrities initially claiming otherwise.
Social media users also critiqued the move as a waste of government money, given the support of the National Creative Economy Movement (Gekrafs) for the event.
After denying the claim that it funded the move, Sandiaga regardless said it was the government's duty to support local brands to strive internationally.
"Our task is to foster and continue to encourage the brands that are the nation's best talents, not only to go national with a proud 'made in Indonesia' movement, but also to go international," he said.
Sandiaga said his ministry only provided enough assistance for them to contact the Indonesian Embassy in Paris.
"We facilitated them in terms of providing encouragement, providing inspiration, facilitating communication with the Indonesian Embassy, ??visa processing, and so on," said Sandiaga.
The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has previously provided support for local brands participating in international events, such as when a number of local brands appeared in Times Square, New York months ago. The move also drew similar questions given their relevance.
"We must be able to bring our products internationally and we must also create jobs since each brand creates 50 to 70 jobs. So we will side with the MSMEs," said Sandiaga, hoping that Indonesian fashion and creative economy industries continue to thrive.