Indonesia will lobby the United States and Europe into maintaining textile export links with the country after the elimination of quotas in 2005, according to Industry and Trade Minister Rini M S Soewandi.

A trade mission, Soewandi said, would leave for the US this week and meet with government and trade representatives to discuss the removal of trade barriers.

Over the past five years, she said, Indonesia had only been competitive in the export of polyester-based textiles, making up just three of the 44 categories of textile quota products in the United States, Canada and Europe.

She said Indonesian exports had declined to both quota and non-quota countries, including Japan, to which exports dropped 3.5 per cent in the first half of the year.