“Support, cooperation, and collaboration in building national, effective, and technology-based MSMEs and industries ahead of Industry 4.0 era necessitate being enhanced. By involving experts and business professionals, I believe that we all have the same spirit of aiding and developing MSMEs during this pandemic and digital era,” he said at an online event organized for the Leader, Executive & Entrepreneur Program of the Industry & Business Institute of Management (IBIMA) here on Wednesday.
According to the Cooperative and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Ministry, the total number of MSMEs in Indonesia has reached 64.2 million, with their contribution to the national GDP (gross domestic product) pegged at 61.07 percent, or Rp8,573.89 trillion.
MSMEs absorb 97 percent of the national workforce and account for 60.4 percent of the total investment. However, a great number of MSMEs in Indonesia still face several challenges, Hartarto said.
To help MSMEs meet the challenges, the government has launched some support programs for them, he added. They include the provision of incentives under the national economic recovery (PEN) program, the microcredit program (KUR), the Proud of Indonesian Product Movement (Gernas BBI), MSME marketing digitalization program, entrepreneur reinforcement of pre-employment card alumni through the microcredit program, and a long-term strategy to improve MSMEs through the omnibus law, he expounded.
The lessons learned from the current pandemic include boosting the goods consumption pattern, which has shifted from offline to online platforms, as indicated by internet traffic of 15-20 percent, the minister said.
“This can be a momentum to accelerate the digital transformation and (tap) the potential of Indonesia’s digital economy that is still wide open, with its fourth-biggest population in the world as well as internet penetration reaching 196.7 million people,” Hartarto pointed out.
This would be in line with President Joko Widodo’s direction to transform 2021 into a year full of opportunities, a year of national and global economic recoveries, he said.
“I appreciate IBIMA that has organized such an activity because this also supports the government’s programs in facilitating MSMEs to grow and develop in this country,” he remarked.
Furthermore, the retail sector has seen an increase in sales during the first quarter of 2021, he said. Some sub-groups of spending that rose during the first quarter of 2021 were supermarkets, restaurants, medical and household goods, and fashion.
Based on the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), Indonesia’s manufacturing sector also showed an accelerated growth by April 2021, with the index breaking its highest record to reach 54.6 from 53.2 the previous month.
“The improvement in demand, either in industry or sub-group of retail spending, is expected to forge the spirit of the industry players and MSMEs to become more productive,” Hartarto said.
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