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Indonesia: Digitising Post-Pandemic MSME Recovery Strategies

The Indonesian government hosted recently the 2022 APEC Workshop to build a post-pandemic MSMEs recovery strategy. This collaborative activity of the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs featured speakers from many nations representing government, the private sector, and allied organisations.

MSMEs in Indonesia have been the backbone of the national economy, contributing 61% of the GDP. This resulted from the actions taken by the government to modernise cooperatives, including modifying the transformation of MSMEs and utilising digital technology and promoting SMEs to join the global supply chain.

The Indonesian government has also taken the necessary steps to support MSMEs in the pandemic era through the Micro Business Productive Assistance programme, special allocations for SMEs in government procurement of goods and services, digitisation of SMEs, allocation of 30% of public space for SMEs to promotion, and support of market access through SMESCO Indonesia.

Based on the outcomes of the workshop’s talks and discussions, the speakers and panellists identified at least three key recommendations that should be addressed when developing policies for SMEs.

The three recommendations include the significance of the government’s role in helping the digitisation of SMEs, data and cyber security, and the preparation of a comprehensive medium- and long-term plan to support the development of SMEs following the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Usman Kansong, who is the Director General of Information and Public Communication at the Ministry of Communication and Informatics cited that the Ministry has taken several steps, such as teaching digital literacy, to keep the digital space free of false and misleading information. He also said that the Ministry taught digital skills, digital ethics, digital culture, and digital safety as part of digital literacy.

The Indonesian government didn’t think twice about taking legal action against people who spread hoaxes in the digital space, especially on social media. As part of democracy in the digital space, this decisive step is seen as important to keep the digital space in a good place.

To protect the digital space, the government would put together a task force with the Ministry of Communications and Informatics, the General Elections Commission (KPU), the Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu), and other community groups.

The task force will do patrols in cyberspace to make sure that negative content that divides people in the real world doesn’t happen. This is because it would hurt the economic and political stability of the country.

Moreover, OpenGov Asia earlier reported that during the 21st anniversary of the Ministry of Communication and Information, Minister Johnny G. Plate said that the country would keep working to improve its digital economy by working together more. He urged the ministries, institutions, central and regional governments, and private sector to work together to solve the problems caused by digital transformation.

Minister Johnny says that the biggest worry right now is cyberattacks that happen in the digital world. He said that being ready must be balanced with being able to stop and stop cyberattacks. The Minister looked at how quickly cyber-attack problems could be solved by improving encryption technology, systems, and good organisational governance. Also, the available people have the skills and knowledge needed for the new era, which is the digital transformation era of today.

Minister Johnny observed that digital activity has been scattered across different industries, ministries and organisations. Consequently, teamwork is necessary for the creation, protection, operation, and maintenance of the digital domain. Including Kominfo, for instance, in the context of or about laws and regulations, the disciplined and consistent application of rules in the digital world.

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