Pekanbaru, (ANTARA) - Communication and Informatics Minister Budi Arie Setiadi pushed the government and people of Riau Province to boost digital inclusiveness by producing more digital talents to help the region's products compete in broader markets.

"According to the World Bank, Indonesia needs as many as nine million digitally literate talents. Let us strive to produce more digital talents," he stated in Riau on Friday (August 25).

The minister made the statement after signing a memorandum of understanding with the Riau Provincial Government to improve the province's digital inclusiveness.

On the occasion, Minister Setiadi called on the provincial government to put in efforts to produce more digital talents every year and improve their capacity by providing communities with digital talent scholarship programs or digital entrepreneurship academy activities.

As a province that directly shares maritime borders with Singapore, a neighboring developed country, Riau is blessed with enormous potential that should be capitalized, he pointed out.

He expressed optimism that by tapping into the potential of its digital talents and creative economy, Riau could become an engine that advances Indonesia's digital economy sector.

"We can see that mothers in Riau are not easily tempted by the schemes of online loans. Moreover, the number of online gambling players is also relatively low. This trend demonstrates that Riau communities are well (digitally) literate," he noted.

Meanwhile, Governor of Riau, Syamsuar, told the minister that the province is currently home to 631,347 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The provincial government is working in collaboration with Bank Indonesia, the Financial Services Authority (OJK), and various popular brands, with the objective of expanding the market of MSMEs.

"We have been involving MSMEs in the procurement of goods and services within the Riau Provincial Government through Mbizmarket, a digital procurement platform. As of July 2023, the total value of transactions had reached Rp47.1 billion (US$3 million)," he remarked.

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Translator: Bayu A/Annisa F, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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