Up to 100,000 textile industry jobs could be axed in the next year due to sharp slump in exports, the chairman of the Indonesian Textile Association (API), Benny Soetrisno, claimed on Tuesday.

Mr Soetrisno predicted that the massive lay-offs would be triggered by a 20 per cent slump in textile exports due to lower demand and lower prices. He also warned that government plans to put up electricity and fuel prices in 2002 would also lead to staff cuts as many firms would struggle to keep costs down.

Only last month, Mr Soetrisno's claims that nearly 13,000 textile workers had lost their jobs was dismissed by a government minister who warned people against making "any statement detrimental to the flow of foreign investments into the country".