Jayanty Nada Shofa, Pelalawan – With the inauguration of the country's largest viscose rayon facility managed by Asia Pacific Rayon (APR) in Riau, Indonesia is one step closer in the "Making Industry 4.0" roadmap, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Friday.
In 2018, the government launched the roadmap to make Indonesia as one of the world's 10 biggest economies by 2030. The key strategies include the strengthening of the national textile and textile product (TPT) industry. For the roadmap to come to fruition, active involvement by the industry players is required.
"Our garment industry should be greater than Vietnam. We already have our own raw materials here, such as viscose rayon, to support the industry," Jokowi said during the facility's inauguration ceremony in Pelalawan, Riau.
The ceremony included the signing of a plaque by the president and the symbolic sealing of an export container with 10,190 tons of viscose rayon fiber to be shipped to Turkey, one of APR's key export markets, and another 12,000 tons to be shipped to Central Java.
In addition to Turkey, APR's products are exported to 14 countries including the world's key textile centers such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Brazil, and various parts of Europe. These exports generate a total of foreign exchange revenue exceeding Rp 1.77 trillion ($128 million) annually. APR has also reduced the country's dependence on imported raw materials such as cotton by about Rp 2.01 trillion ($151 million) per year.
"By optimizing the availability and use of raw materials originating from Indonesia, we can boost the performance of our textile sector. This is just one of several steps we are taking to continue to improve the performance and competitiveness of the labor-intensive industry," Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang said in the same occasion.
Another core sector of the government's roadmap is empowering small and medium enterprises.
In regards to this, APR director Basrie Kamba said the company's presence can boost employment and opportunities for SMEs both in the upstream and downstream sectors of the TPT industry.
Also present at the ceremony were Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto, Riau Governor Syamsuar, Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) founder and chairman Sukanto Tanoto, as well as RGE director Anderson Tanoto.
Well-integrated production of viscose rayon
With a total investment of Rp 15 trillion, the new facility is located at the same production complex as its holding group, Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (April) Group, in Riau. This allows integrated operations where April's renewable plantation pulp supply feeds directly to APR for viscose rayon production. As of now, the annual production can reach up to 240,000 tons.
Aside from the mandatory timber verification and legality (SLVK) by the government, April Group has received the international sustainable forest management certification or the PEFC.
APR is also Indonesia's first responsible viscose rayon manufacturer according to the Swiss-based certification organization OEKO-TEX. In addition, they have launched the 'Everything Indonesia' campaign to promote the local fashion industry and sustainable sourcing of raw materials that are all produced in Indonesia.