(Jakarta) – On May 31st, the US-ASEAN Business Council (the Council), in partnership with the Indonesian Ministry of Cooperatives & SMEs, Indonesian Ministry of Communications & Informatics, Central Bank of Indonesia, and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), conducted a webinar for Indonesian small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The event was part of the Council’s SME Webinar Series: Rebuilding the ASEAN Economy, which aims to help ASEAN SMEs recover stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic through digitalization. More than 310 Indonesian SMEs participated in the webinar titled “Advancing Digital Inclusion for Indonesian SMEs.”
The webinar was officially opened by Ambassador Michael Michalak, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of the Council, followed by remarks from Ir. Siti Azizah, MBA., Deputy for Entrepreneurship of the Indonesian Ministry of Cooperatives and SME and Mr. Arsjad Rasjid, Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN).
“This year’s G20 Presidency adds great momentum for Indonesian SMEs to reach their full potential. We believe that digital upskilling is a vital component to maintaining business resilience and becoming more competitive in the digital economy era,” said Amb. Michalak. “At least 17 million Indonesian SMEs have gone digital, and Indonesia is targeting for over 30 million SMEs to be integrated into the digital ecosystem by 2024. There are opportunities for both the public and private sector to help SMEs upskill and reach this goal. It is great to see digitalization as one of the main pillars of Indonesia’s G20 presidency.”
“As of April 2022, at least 19 million of MSMEs are already a part of the digital ecosystem. The number increased by around 11 million since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indonesia’s digital ecosystem is projected to reach IDR4.531 trillion by 2030, emphasizing its potential to achieve the largest growth across Southeast Asia. This indicates the importance of mentoring and developing MSMEs to succeed in the digital economy” said Ir. Siti Azizah, MBA from Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs. “Improvements in the quality, competitiveness, product supply and supply chain, market access, access to capital, innovation and technology, and human resources are needed to ensure viability of MSME development and help them to become more productive, creative, and competitive in global markets. To reach this goal, the Ministry of Cooperatives and SME has set a target to digitize 30 million SMEs and 500,000 digital-based modern cooperatives by 2024 and to onboard 1 million SMEs into the LKPP e-catalogue by 2022.”
Following opening remarks, a keynote address was provided by Dr. Ir. Mohammad Rudy Salahuddin, MEM, Deputy IV for Digital Economy, Workforce, & MSME of the Indonesian Coordinating Ministry of Economy Affairs, on the theme of enhancing the strategic role of Indonesian SMEs throughout Indonesia’s G20 2022 presidency.
“One of the important keys to maintaining momentum in economic recovery is strengthening MSMEs. MSMEs contributes 61% to Indonesia’s GDP, and 97% of the total national workforce. In addition, MSMEs also play a big role in encouraging increased investment and Indonesian exports. Their total collective investment accounts for 60% of the total national investment and contributes to 16% of national non-oil exports. The government remains committed to supporting the improvement of MSME competitiveness through several mentoring and coaching programs. Programs initiated by the Government, and of course Indonesia’s G20 Presidency, are expected to accelerate the improvement of MSME competitiveness on a global scale” said Dr. Ir. Mohammad Rudy Salahuddin, MEM, in his keynote address.
The webinar began with a panel discussion featuring both the government and the private sector regarding Indonesia’s G20 initiatives. The discussion was joined by Dr. Dedy Permadi, Special Staff for Digital & Human Resources of the Indonesian Ministry of Communications & Informatics and Co-Chair of the G20 Digital Economy Working Group, Mrs. Elsya Chani, Director of MSME Development and Consumer Protection Department of the Central Bank of Indonesia, Ms. Shanti Shamdasani, Head of the SME Committee of KADIN, Mrs. Rossa Novitasari, S. E., M. Ec. Dev., Head of SME Investment of the Indonesian Ministry of Cooperatives and SME, Mrs. Dessy Masri, Head of Products and Solutions, Visa, and Mrs. Isya Hanum Kresnadi, Government Affairs and Public Policy Manager, Google. Each speaker highlighted initiatives to support Indonesian SMEs and explore collaboration with the private sector.
The webinar also featured showcases from member companies Google and Visa.
“Google is committed to supporting SMEs in any shape or form. Through our Grow with Google programs we provide free tools and learning materials that make it easy for SME owners to easily learn and implement digital marketing. We hope this will increase their participation in the digital economy and accelerate the Indonesia’s economic recovery.” said Ms. Dora Songco, Product Marketing Manager - Brand Marketing at Google.
Visa shared insights on digital financial inclusion for SMEs through financial literacy, risk management, and tax compliance. “Visa quickly committed to supporting small and micro businesses globally when the pandemic started. Our social impact programs prioritize women-led businesses, and this is evident in what we do in Indonesia where we run financial education and capacity-building initiatives with partners and government stakeholders, reaching hundreds of thousands under the ‘Ibu Berbagi Bijak’, ‘UMKM Bisa!’, and ‘Accelerate’ programs. We believe that upgrading and digitalizing small and micro businesses’ capabilities are keys to stronger economic growth” said Riko Abdurrahman, President Director of PT Visa Worldwide Indonesia.
This is the 8th in-country training event that the Council has conducted since 2014 focusing on Indonesian SMEs. Currently, nearly 21,000 small businesses have benefitted from Council’s SME programs across the region.
In 2016, the Council launched the online ASEAN SME Academy (the Academy) which provides access for SMEs to free courses and resources from the Council’s member companies. The Academy is co-administered by the Philippines Department Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippines Trade Training Centre (PTTC) on behalf of the Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME). On April 8, 2022 the SME Academy 2.0 was launched, introducing new features including courses available in local languages (Bahasa Indonesia, Thai, and Vietnamese), new attractive visual design features, and top-quality resources including specific modules for COVID-19 recovery. The ASEAN SME Academy 2.0 also offers SMEs self-certification opportunities, provides access to the SME Community and Academy Facilitators and integrates a seamless interface across both desktop and mobile platforms. Please visit www.asean-sme-academy.org to register and enroll today.