Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Ministry has reached an agreement with South Korea on developing an information and communication technology (ICT) ecosystem for building the capacity of SMEs.

"We have established cooperation with South Korea, including the one in the technology field that involves (collaboration) in startup enterprises development," Cooperatives and SMEs Minister Teten Masduki informed during the 2023 Indonesia Korea ICT Business & Content Partnership event in Jakarta on Tuesday.

He said that with 2,600 startups, Indonesia occupies fifth place in the world in terms of countries with the most startup companies.

The high number of startups in Indonesia will be leveraged in the cooperation with South Korea to bring Indonesian startups and SMEs to the global level.

In his speech, the minister also lauded the commitment of the South Korean government, particularly its Science, Information, Communication, and Technology Ministry, to exploring cooperation opportunities in the field of SME digitalization.

A number of bilateral cooperation potentials will also be tapped by both countries, including the holding of business matching programs as well as consultation activities with Korean experts, research institutions, and SMEs.

The cooperation schemes are aimed at establishing innovation networks and encouraging technology development, especially in prioritized industries in both countries, such as electric vehicles, smart electronic devices, biotechnology, and food processing.

Furthermore, the two countries will also hold seminars on efforts to enhance SME capability, competitiveness, and innovation through digitalization and the optimization of technology.

In addition, joint workshops will be organized with the aim of formulating a framework that can improve business accountability and consumer confidence.

"(The various forms of cooperation) will be put in practice with a special focus on promoting the use of electronic commerce, online consumer protection, and cybersecurity by involving business actors and other stakeholders," Minister Masduki said.

The minister also highlighted the need to support Indonesia's digital ecosystem through the creation of a business incubator by providing technical assistance, research and development, infrastructure, and forging cooperation between Indonesian and Korean SMEs.

"I would like to underline the importance of creating a suitable digital ecosystem for our SMEs. With digitalization, we can empower individuals and communities in the hopes of advancing our SMEs on the global scale," he pointed out.

On the same occasion, the 2nd Vice Minister at the Ministry of Science and ICT of the Republic of Korea, Park Yun Kyu, said that several parties made all-out efforts for preparing the 2023 Indonesia Korea ICT Business & Contents Partnership event.

He also expressed the hope that the event will have a positive impact on Korean ICT and content companies.

"Indonesia, as Korea's main partner country and business partner, has been working in cooperation with Korea in various fields, such as economy, culture, and many more. This year (is) a highly meaningful year as it marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Indonesia," he remarked.

He also noted that the South Korean companies participating in the event are those running businesses in the sectors of "smart city," information protection, and content.

The companies are all considered South Korea's leading companies in terms of digital innovation based on the best technology and services they provide, he stressed.

The companies, he added, are attending the event with the aim of finding a way to achieve joint progress by establishing cooperation with Indonesian companies in the digital field.

"I hope that the cooperation forged today will open new cooperation and business opportunities for the two countries in the ICT and content fields, and also intensify both countries' cooperation. Furthermore, we are also committed to investing in the ICT field in Indonesia," he added.

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Translator: Kuntum Khaira, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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