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Indonesia and Saudi Arabia strengthen digital economic cooperation

Photo Credit: Ministry of Communications and Information

The Governments of Indonesia and Saudi Arabia have reached a new milestone in their more than six decades of bilateral relations and strategic partnership.

According to a recent press release, both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will strengthen their digital economic cooperation.

Indonesia was represented by Minister of Communications and Information Rudiantara while Saudi Arabia was represented by Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Alswaha.

There is a big potential for this cooperation, particularly in relation to Umrah.

Indonesia’s Minister of Communications and Information explained that the Umrah market is a prospective for both Saudi Arabia and Indonesia as all Muslims perform Umrah services.

Digital Umrah Enterprise

The collaboration with Saudi Arabia will entail development of the Digital Umrah Enterprise, which will serve as a joint solution that will address the main concerns of the Umrah chain.

Two Indonesian unicorns will represent the Indonesian industry and will take part in this endeavour.

The Digital Umrah Enterprise development will reportedly focus on three aspects, which will be streamlined by implementing technology and building partnerships with other parties.

These three aspects are pre-departure or preparation from Indonesia; arrival in Saudi Arabia; and after Umrah has finished.

This initiative can be an alternative choice for travel agencies, which provides and guarantees security and convenience.

Users need not worry because the system allows transparency and monitoring can be done online.

Integration is the key especially since future plans are looking into FinTech for funding and logistics for the delivery of goods.

The Digital Umrah Enterprise will make it easier for Indonesian pilgrims who are interested in making Umrah trips.

The services would include accommodation arrangements, facility selection and visa applications.

Boosting the digital economy

This partnership on digital economy is crucial in supporting Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and Indonesia’s goal of becoming the largest digital economy in the ASEAN.

There are scheduled technical discussions that will be carried out following the signing of the MoU.

One of which, will be focusing on empowering the Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and their supporting ecosystems through expert exchanges and training.

King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology

After signing the MOU, Indonesia’s Minister for Communications and Information reportedly visited the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in Riyadh.

The Minister witnessed firsthand the research and technology development carried out by KACST. While there, he saw the following:

  1. The Saudi Genome Lab
  2. The Nano Solar Cells Lab
  3. Research in the fields of aeronautics, manufacturing and a number of other innovations related with Industry 4.0

Additionally, the visit represented a first in history since this is the first time that the KACST received guests from Indonesia.

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