Still need investment in digital sector: Minister

Still need investment in digital sector: Minister

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, at Ciputra Artpreneur, South Jakarta, on Wednesday (December 7, 2022). (ANTARA/Livia Kristianti/FR)

Developing infrastructure is not easy. However, the development process is now quick
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Investment is still needed to optimize Indonesia’s digital economy potential, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said here on Wednesday.

The investment he referred to is for telecommunications infrastructure strengthening and equalizing access such as the provision of an Internet network from upstream to downstream.

Pandjaitan said he made the statement based on his observation that in terms of the quality of Internet services, Indonesia still lags far behind its neighbors in the Asian-Pacific region.

The minister cited data from the website, which shows that the average Internet speed in Indonesia has been recorded at just 20.13 Mbps in 2022.

The figure is lower than in the Philippines and Malaysia, where the average Internet speed is 46.4 Mbps and 74.84 Mbps, respectively. Moreover, Thailand has an average Internet speed of 171.37 Mbps.

One measure taken to bridge this gap has been the development of telecommunications infrastructure in Indonesia's eastern region.

The measure has been taken to create equal access and distribute investment, which is currently still concentrated in Indonesia's western region.

According to data from the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), in 2022, most of the direct foreign investment in the telecommunications sector flowed into Java Island, especially Jakarta, accounting for 87.9 percent of the total regional realization.

Thus, development in Indonesia's eastern regions, such as Maluku and Papua, is still necessary to further optimize the potential of the national digital economy.

If this can be realized, Pandjaitan said he believes that Indonesia will be able to reach the GDP (gross domestic product) per capita target of US$10 thousand by 2030.

He further said that infrastructure development and investment in the telecommunications and digital sectors are not easy due to the geographic challenges in Indonesia.

However, he expressed optimism that through collaboration with various parties, Indonesia will be able to achieve its digital sector development goal and maximize the potential of its digital economy.

"Developing infrastructure is not easy. However, the development process is now quick," he said.

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