Council-led Innovation Forums expand from Manila to Bali, focusing to boost national development and enabling an Innovative Ecosystem for SMEs, in collaboration with Indonesian Government

(Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia) - In a collaborative effort between government and industry to acknowledge the necessity for an efficient innovative ecosystem, the US-ASEAN Business Council and the Government of Indonesia hosted the First Indonesia Innovation Series August 26 in Denpasar, Bali.  The event, in conjunction with the 24th National Technology Awakening day, acknowledged the rapid digital transformation of today’s age and provided forward-looking inclusive strategy to build on this digital transformation. The event is also being held back to back with the Council’s SME workshop on August 27.

“In the age of rapid digital transformation, it is imperative for government and industry to enable an efficient innovation ecosystem,” said Ambassador Michael W. Michalak, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of the US-ASEAN Business Council. “Indonesian SMEs contribute to 61 percent of Indonesia’s Gross Domestic Product. The Council and its members are excited to bring the Innovation Forum to Indonesia, where SMEs are so significant, to encourage an environment conducive to their success.”
Previously, two Council-run Innovation Forums were held in Manila, Philippines. Their success and the positive feedback drove the Council to expand the series to Indonesia. According to the Global Innovation Index, Indonesia has remained 85th globally for the last two years, and there are challenges ahead to address in Indonesia’s innovation ecosystem.

The Innovation Forum was themed, “Empowering Innovation, Creativity and Upskilling Talent for National Growth.” The theme was selected to facilitate engagement between the private sector, government officials, academics and the public to explore areas of cooperation in human resource capacity building.

The day-long Innovation Forum featured keynote speaker from H.E. Thomas Lembong, Chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, innovation showcase presentation from Qualcomm, Visa, Netflix, JUUL Labs, Expedia and Sampoerna/Philip Morris International.

“HomeAway, the vacation rental division of Expedia Group, is proud to launch our Virtual Tours in Bali today”, says Judith Davidson, Regional Director for HomeAway in Asia. “HomeAway is harnessing virtual technology for holiday homes in a way that has never been done before. As a priority destination in Asia, Bali will be the first market outside of U.S to offer Virtual Tours. The digital economy has opened up incredible possibilities for small-medium enterprises and independent property owners in Asia and we are proud to combine the brainpower and scale of HomeAway and Expedia Group to deliver even more value to our customers around the world through tools like Virtual Tours.”

Riko Abdurrahman, Visa Indonesia President Director said, “Visa fully supports this Innovation Forum in Bali, especially in the area of payment technology as it is a crucial part of enabling SMEs. We are encouraged to see that Indonesia’s SME sector is continuously enhancing its reach and scope, and Visa is proud to be facilitating the cross-border and domestic digital payments to boost the growth of SMEs, and in turn, our national development.”

The event was closed with an Innovation Panel Session with speakers from Indonesia Government officials such as Dr. Ir. Jumain Appe, Director General of Innovation, Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education and Eddy Satriya, MA., Deputy Assistant for Telematic and Utilities, Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs. Wilson Andrew, Head of Government Affairs, JUUL Labs and Tias Gatra Annisaa, Manager Regulatory Affairs Reduced Risks Products Sampoerna also join as panelist at the session.

“We believe that innovation and technology in any industry sector is a key factor to the economic health of a nation. We are humbled to be part of the technology community in Indonesia and be a corporate citizen that contributes to the economic growth of the country. JUUL Labs' mission in Indonesia is to improve the lives of the 67 million Indonesian adult smokers by providing an alternative to combustible cigarettes, and one of the key drivers for us to achieve this is through innovation and technology,” said Wilson Andrew, Head of Government Affairs, JUUL Labs, at Panel Session.

“In Indonesia, we are working with stakeholders to achieve a common goal to build lasting value and a better future not just for ourselves but for the people that we engage with through innovation, job creation and capacity building. We are proud of the reputation we have achieved in terms of quality, innovation and excellence that have been the foundation of our success since we were established 106 years ago. This achievement is supported by our leading product portfolio, dedicated employees and the synergy of all stakeholders. Furthermore, with our longstanding program ‘Sampoerna untuk Indonesia,’ we are working towards our objective of being one of the key drivers in the success of Indonesia’s small and medium-sized business community. This aligns with the government’s goal of accelerating economic growth through the empowerment and development of small business in Indonesia,” said Tias Gatra Annisaa, Manager Regulatory Affairs Reduced Risk Products Sampoerna.

The US-ASEAN Business Council hold its inaugural Indonesia Innovation Series in conjunction with the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education’s National Technology Awakening Day (HAKTEKNAS) in the Auditorium of Bali Governor’s Office. During the event, US-ABC member companies showcase their innovative programs/ initiatives that aim to improve national development. From left to right: Ms. Kim Yaeger (Director of Maritime Southeast Asia, US-ASEAN Business Council), Mr. Wilson Andrew (Head of Government Affairs, JUUL Labs), Mr. Eddy Satriya, MA. (Deputy Assistant for ICT and Utilities, Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs), Mr. I Wayan Suarjana, SE, MT (Deputy Governor for General Administration, Bali Province Secretariat), Dr. Ir. Jumain Appe (Director General of Innovation, Ministry of Research and Higher Education), Ambassador Michael W. Michalak (Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director, US-ASEAN Business Council), Ms. Nada Marsudi (Head of Bureau, Cooperation and Public Communication, Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education), Prof. Dr. Ida Bagus Wyasa Putra (Deputy Rector, Udayana University), Ms. Tias Gatra Annisa (Regulatory Affairs, RRP Manager, Philip Morris International), Choo Pin Ang (Senior Director for Government and Corporate Affairs, Expedia Group), Nies Purwati (Director, Government Affairs, Southeast Asia, Qualcomm), Mr. Fritz Winata (Director of Market Development and Business Solutions, Visa), Mr. Landry Haryo Subianto (Chief Country Representative, US-ASEAN Business Council) and Mr. Angga Antagia (Country Representative, US-ASEAN Business Council).

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For 35 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's membership, more than 160 companies, generate over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people globally. Members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years. The Council has offices in: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.