President encourages online businesses to become competitive

Serpong, Banten (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has called on the countrys online businesses to compete with their foreign counterparts.
"It is obviously clear that we are committed to supporting all start-ups with regard to their research and other activities. We are encouraging them to compete with businesses in other countries," he stated after opening the Indonesia E-Commerce Summit and Expo at the Indonesia Convention and Exhibition in Serpong, Banten, West Java, on Wednesday.
The president expressed optimism that online business players in the country would compete since the ecosystem had already started to form as was evident by the presence of underwriters and payment systems.
"The ecosystem has started to form. Some leading companies wish to enter e-commerce, while others are offering finance and payment gateways. The payment gateway is also already available," he said.
President Jokowi pointed out that in view of this, the governments current role should be to primarily promote the business, so that more people will know about digital economy and be ready to face it.
"It means educating the people through schools from elementary to senior high as well as universities, so that all people will really be prepared when digital economy gains full momentum," he affirmed.
The president reiterated the governments commitment to supporting the economic system using the funds from the national budget for its development and infrastructure.
"If it is possible to utilize funds from the national budget, then why not use them. Let us stop the habit of delaying matters. If it can be achieved this year, let us do it this year. However, we need to consult with the finance ministry to see whether the funds are really available," he emphasized.
In his opening speech, President Jokowi stated that foreign online businesses had already entered the country, so domestic players must be aware of them.
"I heard Alibaba has already entered the Indonesian market. This must be taken as a warning for all of us, and foreign parties have already gauged the vast potential in our country," he stated.
President Jokowi urged the minister of information and communication to prepare the budget for conducting research and developing infrastructure to strengthen digital economy and e-commerce in the country, so Indonesia will not be left far behind other countries.
"I heard Thailand has made available Rp7 trillion. We will also do it. If other countries have progressed, and we have the conviction to move forward, then I can ensure that we will not be left behind," he added.(*)