We are a country with 17 thousand islands, 514 districts and cities, and 34 provinces
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has called on startups to help micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to enable more of them to be connected to digital economy platforms.

While delivering his remarks at the SOEs Startup Day held at the Indonesia Convention Exhibition (ICE) BSD City, Tangerang, Banten, on Monday, the president highlighted the presence of around 65.4 million MSMEs in Indonesia, though pointing out that only 19 million of them had entered digital platforms.

The head of state believes that in line with the efforts to enter digital economy platforms, several problems, such as packaging, production quality, and production capacity, should be handled by MSME actors.

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Nevertheless, efforts to connect MSMEs to digital platforms should continue to be pushed and used as an opportunity by startups.

He noted that the same also applied to the health sector that can become an opportunity for startups.

"We are a country with 17 thousand islands, 514 districts and cities, and 34 provinces. What can we do for our health (sector) to take a leap?" he remarked at the event that was also aired live on the official YouTube channel of the Presidential Secretariat.

"Telemedicine can be connected, long-distance surgeries can be connected with platforms, with applications," he added.

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President Jokowi stressed that foresight to see market needs must be the main aspect for startup business actors before building a startup.

This especially holds significance as it is a factor that dominates 42 percent of failures among startups that are still in the early stage.

On the same occasion, State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir reported that the SOEs Startup Day is held by involving 150 exhibitors, 250 startups in the 12 clusters of SOEs, 22 SOEs that aim to see the potential for business matching, five venture capital partners, and at least five thousand invited visitors.

"There are five business (activities) during the SOEs Startup Day, namely business matching, investor pitching, startup rapid mentoring, conference, and of course, exhibition," Thohir stated.

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Translator: Gilang Galiartha, Raka Adji
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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