Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, has said that business sector support is crucial for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to level up.

"Noted that the collaboration of government and the private sectors is key to optimizing MSMEs," he added during an event organized by the Sampoerna Retail Community (SRC) for Indonesia in Jakarta on Wednesday.

According to him, business sector support is expected to help MSMEs, especially stalls and grocery stores, which currently total 3.57 million units, to turn into larger and more modern retailers.

Meanwhile, the government has extended support for MSMEs through the Job Creation Act and its derivative regulations, particularly concerning the protection and empowerment of cooperatives, and small, micro, and medium enterprises, Hartarto said.

The government has also continued to encourage the development of MSMEs through several programs, including those related to funding access, digitalization, and MSME partnerships, as well as market access expansion.

"This is in accordance with the community empowerment program and also contributes to the digitalization of MSMEs," said Hartarto.

He also praised SRC's contribution to the digitalization of MSMEs to enable an inclusive financial system and encouraged the use of non-cash payments in SRC-assisted grocery stores.

Hartarto said he hopes that SRC's contribution to the national economy will become a strong motivation for the business sector to cooperate with MSMEs.

Based on data from the Ministry of Cooperatives, there are 65.5 million MSMEs in Indonesia, which account for 99 percent of business units in the country, he noted.

MSMEs also account for 61 percent or Rp9,580 trillion of the national gross domestic product (GDP) and employ 97 percent of the national workforce.

"Traditional grocery stores are a promising MSME business that can develop into more modern, digitalized, wide-impact stores," Hartarto added.

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Translator: Yoanita Hastryka Djohan
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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