Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo accentuated the importance of empowering MSMEs and taking requisite steps to handle climate change in order to foster inclusive economic recovery and sustainable growth.

During the Dialogue with Economic Leaders event during the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Summit held virtually from the State Palace in Jakarta on Thursday, President Jokowi highlighted that MSMEs contributed 52 percent to the Asia-Pacific GDP and absorbed 50 percent of the region's workforce.

"In Indonesia, 64 percent of the MSMEs are initiated by women. This means empowering MSMEs in Indonesia is equal to empowering Indonesian women," the president stated.

The president highlighted the importance of MSMEs in fostering an inclusive economic recovery, as they provided a safety net for low-income residents and contributed significantly to absorb the nation's workforce.

The provision of a US$4-billion loan and subsidy funds for 17.8 million Indonesian MSMEs affected by the COVID-19 pandemic reflects the Indonesian government's commitment to supporting MSMEs, the president remarked.

The Indonesian government also supports digital transformation for MSMEs, as the country recorded 8.4 million MSMEs, with around 54 percent of them operated by women, who had joined the digital ecosystem during the pandemic, he pointed out.

"Digitization of MSMEs in the Asia-Pacific region would be accelerated by the development of digital infrastructure, inclusive expansion of digital connectivity, and promotion of digital literacy for MSMEs," President Jokowi stated.

Related news: MSMEs are vital pillar for nation's economic revival: President
Related news: Italian PM lauds Jokowi's program on empowering MSMEs

The president declared that Indonesia's next focus was to apply climate change-handling policies within the sustainable development framework.

Jokowi opined that efforts to handle the impacts of climate change must be made, with consideration to the national economic and social development to achieve sustainable development goals.

The provision of funding and facility for transition to environment-friendly technology is also crucial in the climate change effect control policies in developing countries, the president added.

"Conservation of forests and marine resources and transition to renewable energy must improve the lives of low-income residents as well, and the transition to a low-carbon economy must be done through the application of fair and collaborative measures," President Jokowi emphasized.

The head of state also reiterated Indonesia's commitment to prioritizing investment to sustainable development and green industry, as development of the green industry zone and battery and electric car industries have been designated as national priority projects.

"We invite corporations from the APEC region to synergize and utilize green business opportunities provided by Indonesia," President Jokowi remarked.

During the event, President Jokowi was accompanied by Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi, Deputy Foreign Minister Mahendra Siregar, Foreign Ministry's Director General for Asia Pacific and Africa Affairs Abdul Kadir Jailani, and Indonesia ABAC Chairperson Anindya Bakrie.
Related news: Jokowi presses for extraordinary moves to tackle climate change
Related news: Jokowi calls on APEC to open secure mobility in region EDITED BY INE

Translator: Indra Arief P, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Suharto
Copyright © ANTARA 2021