Indonesian trade chiefs on Friday called on the government to raise garment import duties in a bid to help domestic clothing makers sell more of their products locally.

The plea by trade and industry minister Rini Soewandi comes amid fears the devastating bomb attack in Bali will scare off overseas buyers, making the domestic market even more important to the industry’s survival.

Rini said she wants garment import duties hiked to 40 per cent from the existing 15 to 25 per cent and called on the police and customs chiefs to crackdown on garment smuggling which is rife.

"We have to eliminate smuggling practices because it would make unfair trade," she said. "Because smuggled products would not have to pay taxes including import duty, while domestic product must pay various taxes."

Indonesian textile exports fell to $7.6 billion from $8.2bn in 2000 and they are expected to fall even further this year amid increased competition and soft demand.