President urges SMEs to tap potential of digital economy

President urges SMEs to tap potential of digital economy

Teten Masduki. (ANTARA)

The president has called on SMEs to utilize the potential of the digital economy ..."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has urged the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector to utilize the potential of the digital economy to penetrate the global market, according to Presidential Chief of Staff Teten Masduki.

"The president has called on SMEs to utilize the potential of the digital economy, which serves a gateway to the global market," Teten affirmed here on Wednesday.

President Jokowi visited California and Silicon Valley, the United States, to attend the ASEAN-US Summit on February 14-18, 2016.

Teten said the government will provide communication infrastructure, such as internet connectivity on all islands in Indonesia. Thus, businesspersons can promote products from each region at the international level.

"We have 17 thousand islands as well as art centers that should be promoted. Several Indonesian artists and fashion designers can also promote their products through the internet," he added.

Additionally, Minister of Communication and Informatics Rudiantara stated that several major economies, such as the United States, China, and India are tapping into the potential of the e-commerce market.

Rudiantara pointed out that the SMEs sector in Indonesia contributed 50 percent to the total GDP.

Meanwhile, the SMEs in the United States contributed 60 percent to the GDP.

Rudiantara said that several regions in Indonesia still lacked internet connectivity, particularly the remote areas.

Jokowis visit to Silicon Valley was aimed at inviting businesspersons engaged in the digital economy sector to invest in Indonesia.

Rudiantara remarked that the president had invited businesspersons to assist in the accelerated development of digital economy in Indonesia.

The minister said the government had opened up investment opportunities in e-commerce for foreign investors.

Rudiantara noted that the foreign investors can have 49 percent ownership of an organization worth Rp100 billion involved in the SMEs sector.

Rudiantara said the government believes the policy can boost the competitiveness of the SMEs sector in Indonesia.

The government will implement the policy to regulate the developers of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter as permanent business entities.

The regulation is aimed at increasing tax income and protecting the consumers.

The minister hoped the target to grow the e-commerce sector to US$130 billion would be achieved in 2020.
(Uu.B019/INE/KR-BSR/B003)

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