Malang, East Java (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is preparing a scheme to connect micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with industry players to increase their competitiveness.

Speaking at the Integrated Business Center Service (PLUT) for Cooperatives and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (KUMKM) Summit here on Friday, Cooperatives and SMEs Minister Teten Masduki said that MSMEs and the industry sector are not yet connected.

He noted that in Indonesia, there are around 64 million MSMEs that contribute to the national economy. As per records, more than 90 percent of them are engaged in the creative economy sector.

Of the 17 sub-sectors of the creative economy, three main sectors are driven by MSME players, namely the culinary sector (41 percent), fashion (18 percent), and craft products (16 percent), Masduki informed.

"Our MSMEs are independent. They are not connected with industries," he observed.

The fact that the majority of MSME players are independent has had a significant impact, for instance, in terms of difficulty in accessing modern production technology and difficulty in getting access to financing, including market access, he added.

He further said that the government is seeking to encourage the creation of new entrepreneurs so that MSMEs can be connected or linked to industries to create a new economic pie.

The minister noted that Indonesia has promising opportunities in the agriculture and aquaculture sectors. MSME players in those sectors are considered capable of entering the industry sector's supply chains.

"If we develop them (agriculture and aquaculture) with modern production technology, apart from being able to make finished products, we can enter the supply chain for national and even world industries," he said.

The Cooperatives and SMEs Ministry, he added, is preparing a number of production houses with small- and medium-scale modern technology to develop the potential sectors.

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Translator: Vicki Febrianto, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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