Ministry, e-commerce team up to hold online classes for SMEs (The Jakarta Post)

The government is joining hands with e-commerce players and tech firms to provide training for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to boost digital inclusion among small businesses and to improve their skills amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The Communications and Information Ministry announced on Monday a partnership with the Indonesian E-commerce Association (IdEA) to roll out online classes for 2,500 SMEs from Oct. 5 to Dec. 12.

Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate said the program was aimed at SMEs outside of Java, particularly those in the outermost, frontier and the least developed (3T) regions and those located in the country’s five priority tourism destinations, including Borobudur in Central Java, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, and Lake Toba in North Sumatra.

“We’ve seen that the successful cases of SME digitalization mostly occur on Java island. So, we want the same success for SMEs all around the nation,” he said at the program launch. “We also want to see those already on the digital platforms upscaling their businesses.”

He went on to say that around 9.4 million SMEs had gone online to date, closing in on the government’s target of having 10 million SMEs going digital by the end of the year.

Indonesia’s economy relies heavily on small businesses, which account for more than 60 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and employ a majority of the labor force. The small businesses have been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak, as the economy shrank by 5.32 percent year-on-year (yoy) in the second quarter of this year.

A Mandiri Institute study shows that digitalized micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can help Indonesia significantly reduce the GDP impact of the pandemic.

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The Jakarta Post

5 October 2020

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