An Indonesian footwear chief on Wednesday revealed his fears that the recent slide in export orders will continue in 2003 due to labour disputes and security fears following the recent Bali terrorist attack.

Indonesian Footwear Association (Aprisindo) chairman Anton Supit said he expects footwear exports to plunge more than 20 per cent next year to less than $1 billion versus this year's estimate of $1.3bn.

"In 2003, this labour-incentive industry is going to be locked up in its gloomiest year ever. We'll be grateful if export value should reach $1 billion," Anton told The Jakarta Post.

He cited security and labour issues for triggering fears shoe manufacturers could not meet product delivery on time leading to the buyers to seek alternative suppliers in other countries like China and Vietnam.

Other reasons for the slump include rising production costs caused by recent hikes in electricity tariffs, fuel prices and wages which have been hitting the competitiveness of local footwear producers.

Around 40 per cent of Indonesia's footwear exports go to the US and 33 per cent to Europe, with the remainder exported to Africa, the Middle East and South America.