"Modernization of cooperative units. They should be upgraded to compete with other business sectors," Masduki remarked after being installed as cooperative, small and medium scale enterprises minister at the Merdeka Palace here on Wednesday.
Masduki, who was earlier the coordinator of Presidential Staff, replaced AAGN Puspayoga in the position for the 2019-2024 term.
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Highlighting the president’s emphasis on the people's economy, in addition to focusing on cooperative units, Masduki plans to direct greater attention to SMEs as the backbone of Indonesia's economy amid the current global slowdown.
"The backbone of our economy now is SMEs. Hence, SMEs must be upgraded, from small- to medium- to large-scale enterprises," he stated.
Masduki affirmed that access to funding was no longer a major issue for SMEs and cooperative units.
"I think it is not difficult to access funding sources. (The president) has also called for the development of human resources in the sector," he stated.
Before joining Jokowi's first-term administration, Masduki was an anti-graft activist and had briefly served as chief of the Presidential Staff prior to being replaced by Moeldoko. Related news: Jokowi defines seven orders for new cabinet ministers to follow
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