A sluggish export market has led to nearly 13,000 Indonesian textile workers losing their jobs, an industry official said today.

Three textile companies located in Central Java have closed down their factories, laying off around 12,000 workers. In West Java, around 800 workers have lost their jobs, claimed Indonesian Textile Association (API) chairman Benny Soetrisno.

Some companies have cut production to around 70 per cent of normal capacity, due to falling demand from overseas and an influx of cheap Chinese products.

Mr Soetrismo warned that if the situation did not improve, and no immediate action was taken, more workers could be laid off in the huge textile sector, which provides jobs for a large number of Indonesia's workers.

API executive director Indra Ibrahim said Indonesia's 2001 textile exports are expected to decline by 25 per cent from $8.2 billion last year due to the economic slowdown in the US market.

The US, Europe and Japan account for about 45 per cent of Indonesia's textile exports, with "non-quota countries" such as the Middle East, Latin American and African countries taking the remaining 55 per cent.