Leading U.S. Technology Firms Meet Virtually with Indonesian Ministries and Institutions to Reaffirm Partnership to Advance the Digital Economy

(Jakarta) – The US-ASEAN Business Council conducted its Indonesia Digital Economy Virtual Meeting Series from July 27 to August 25, 2020. The virtual meeting series demonstrated the commitment of the U.S. technology business industry in supporting the Indonesian government’s efforts to support the digital economy. The virtual meeting series reinforces US-ABC’s ongoing advocacy efforts with the Government of Indonesia to ensure a dynamic, competitive, efficient, and fair digital economy system.

The US-ABC delegation included twenty leading American technology companies lead by US-ABC Chairman, President, and CEO, Alexander C. Feldman, US-ABC Senior Vice President & Regional Managing Director, Ambassador Michael W. Michalak, the Chair of US-ABC’s Indonesia Committee and Chief Executive Officer for Citi Indonesia, Batara Sianturi, and the Chair of US-ABC’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Committee and President for Cisco Systems in ASEAN, Naveen Menon.

“Indonesia’s digital economy is one of the largest in Southeast Asia, valued at USD $40 billion,” said Alexander Feldman. “With COVID-19 disrupting the global economy, the importance of digital alternatives has increased greatly. Through this series, US-ABC committed to support the rapid acceleration of digitization in Indonesia by discussing the potential impact of various policies and regulations that are currently being developed or implemented on the digital economy and how American technology companies can play a critical role in the continued growth Indonesia’s Digital Economy."

“The pace of digitization in Indonesia continues to increase growing the digital economy overall,” said Batara Sianturi. “A favorable digital economy environment can facilitate this growth. Citi is committed to supporting the Indonesian government as it creates the framework for a fair and competitive digital economy ecosystem.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted Indonesia’s strong digital economy,” said Naveen Menon. “Industry engagement with the Indonesian government bodies and agencies is important in ensuring the development of a competitive yet conducive business ecosystem that furthers the growth of the Indonesian digital economy. We appreciate the opportunity to be able to discuss the nuances of regulations surrounding digital economy issues through this virtual meeting series.”

“The success of Indonesia’s digital economy goes hand in hand with its ability to deal with regulatory challenges. The Council and its members are proud to support the Government of Indonesia in streamlining digital economy policy through advocacy engagements such as this virtual meeting series. We look forward to future collaborations with the government of Indonesia on building a resilient and robust digital economy” said Ambassador Michael W. Michalak.

During the virtual meeting series, US-ABC member participants were able to elaborate further on some of their business priorities and COVID-19 company practices. Additionally, the delegation drew attention to implications surrounding data governance, e-commerce and digital trade, digital taxation, local content requirements for ICT-related industries, digital economy innovation, and the Broadcasting Law. Member delegates offered though leadership on these various policy issues and presented initiatives for further collaboration.

Delegates engaged with representatives from various government ministries and institutions essential to the development of Indonesia’s digital economy, including:
1. Chargé d’Affaires for the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia, Heather Variava
2. Dr. Titi Kanti Lestari, Director of Finance, IT and Tourism Statistics of the Indonesia Statistics Agency (BPS)
3. Mr. Ardi Sutedja K., Chairman of Indonesia Cyber Security Forum (ICSF)
4. Mr. Dody Widodo, Director General of Resilience and Development of International Industrial Access, Ministry of Industry
5. Mr. Ikhsan Baidirus, Acting Director of Telecommunications and Director of Post, Ministry of Telecommunication
6. Mr. Kristiono, Chairman of Indonesia Telematics Society (MASTEL)
7. Mr. Suryo Utomo, Director General of Taxation, Ministry of Finance
8. Mr. Ignatius Untung, Chairman of IdEA (Indonesia E-commerce Association)
9. Mr. Anton Setiyawan, Director of Digital Economy Protection, National Cyber and Crypto Agency (BSSN)
10. Mr. Fajar Usman, Deputy Chairman for Investment Cooperation, Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM)
11. Dr. Ir. Ismail M.T., Director General of Resources and Equipment of Post and Information Technology, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (KOMINFO)
12. Mr. Taufiek Bawazier, Director General, of Metal, Machinery, Transportation Equipment, Electronics Industry, Ministry of Industry
13. Mr. Semuel Abrijani Pangarepan, Director General of Application and Informatics, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (KOMINFO)

Companies participating in the virtual meeting series included Amazon Web Services, Apple, Autodesk, AT&T, Baker & McKenzie, Cisco, Citi, Facebook, HP, Mastercard, McLarty Associates, Netflix, Oracle, Philip Morris International, Qualcomm, Salesforce, SAP, Scowcroft Group, UPS, and VMware.

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For over 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.