The local batik industry should evolve into the fashion industry rather than just a textile industry if it is to remain viable in the future, Malaysian newspaper the Sun reported yesterday.The chairman of the national consultancy committee on batik, Datuk Nadzmi Salleh, said most batik producers at present are satisfied with just churning out products with traditional designs."When it changes into a fashion industry, they must keep up with the latest trends, and the ever-changing designs and motifs will help to increase the sale of batik," he told reporters.Nadzmi, who is also chairman of the former Mara Holdings, now known as Nadicorp Holdings, said batik has good potential to grow, compared with other handicrafts, as it has a ready market. "The only thing now is to improve it, especially the design, quality, packaging, research and development and marketing," he added.He and officers from Batik Malaysia Bhd, which is part of Nadicorp Group, have conducted several studies on the industry and the working papers will be submitted to Entrepeneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz for the government to take the necessary action. One of the recommendations is for the government to extend help to established batik producers to improve the industry, Nadzmi said.He said large scale promotions, including fashion shows and promotions overseas, are also a must to highlight achievements of the industry. "However, batik producers at present are small companies and they are unable to do the promotions because of the high cost involved," he added.