Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Cooperatives and Small, Medium Enterprises (SMEs) explored collaboration with the Dutch incubator institution, World Startup, to support the development of a start-up ecosystem in the fields of aquaculture, agriculture, and manufacturing.

"We want to learn from the Netherlands to promote innovative SMEs through the role of Business and Technology Incubators," Cooperatives and SMEs Minister Teten Masduki noted in an official statement from his office on Wednesday.

Masduki, who visited the World Startup in The Hague, Netherlands, stated that Indonesia's wealth of natural resources could be a source of new economic growth to help it in becoming a developed country.

“With its abundant natural wealth, the Indonesian government consistently encourages downstream programs. Natural resources are no longer sold raw," he highlighted.

According to the minister, the Indonesian government has implemented export restrictions on Indonesian natural resource products through downstreaming. Digitalization exploration from upstream to downstream should be carried out in order to open new business opportunities in the downstream program.

One example is the use of Internet of Things (IoT) in the development of domestic superior commodities, the minister remarked.

“The digital economy for SMEs is not merely on the e-commerce or creating digital literacy training. It must start from the financial technology to goods and services procurement platform. The government must encourage SMEs' digitalization," he emphasized.

Masduki noted that his side has conducted a startup incubator program by partnering with 20 business incubator institutions spread across Indonesia.

In 2024, the ministry will also explore collaboration with World Startup to optimize the business incubation program, Masduki remarked.

On the same occasion, CEO of the World Startup, Gerrit Jan Van 't Veen, remarked that his company has succeeded in building a sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem for approximately 10 years.

"We build an inspiring environment for aspiring entrepreneurs and their partners to grow as entrepreneurs and accelerate the global transition towards a sustainable and just society through entrepreneurship programs," he stated.

Veen expressed his readiness to collaborate and exchange ideas to help develop entrepreneurship in Indonesia.

"We can exchange ideas with the Indonesian government, especially the Cooperatives and SMEs Ministry, regarding the entrepreneurial development that we have established so far," he stated.

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Translator: Kuntum Khaira R, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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