Pandjaitan noted in a statement here on Friday that startups in the digital sector will become a driver for the global economy in future.
"There is huge potential in the digital economy sector. Indonesia has 171 million internet users and 130 million smartphone users that would be promising for the digital economy. There are thousands or also millions of Indonesian creative products that can be managed as digital products," Pandjaitan stated at the Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Startup and Business Summit 2019 held in Manado, North Sulawesi.
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Citing data of the Hurun Research Institute, Pandjaitan stated that Indonesia has been one of the top 10 countries where the world's unicorns are based.
"Indonesia still lags behind China that has 106 unicorns; the United States, 203; India, 21; and the United Kingdom, 13 unicorns. Indonesia has four unicorns, including Gojek, Tokopedia, and Bukalapak, and I am optimistic that the figure would increase," he remarked.
The forum is expected to pave the path for cooperation among AIS to develop startups.
The AIS Startup and Business Summit 2019 was attended by participants from 23 nations: Bahrain, Fiji, Comoros, Papua New Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Madagascar, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Island, Palau, the Philippines, Samoa, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Saint Kitss and Navis, Timor Leste, Tonga, and Cabo Verde.
During the event, delegations visited Bunaken Island to experience its underwater panorama.
The AIS Forum members six archipelagic nations and 41 island states. The forum was initiated by Indonesia's Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment Affairs and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
This forum will create a unique grouping of nations, taking part in a collective forum addressing challenges of ocean resource usage for sustainable economic growth, climate change resiliency, ocean pollution, emergency management, and the enhancement of sustainable fisheries.
The AIS Forum 2019 discussed several issues concerning archipelagic states and its potential, and four strategic issues of ocean waste reduction, protection of sea ecosystem, efforts to boost economy in tourist destination areas, and protection of children in tourism.
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