Jack Ma, left, the co-founder and executive chairman of Alibaba, and Communication and Information Technology Minister Rudiantara leaving after a meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Saturday. (Antara Photo/Fauzan)

Gov't Welcomes Alibaba Chief's Plan to Open Entrepreneurship Institute in Indonesia

BY :SARAH YUNIARNI

OCTOBER 13, 2018

Nusa Dua. The government is looking forward to a plan by Jack Ma, executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, to open an institute in Indonesia to develop talent in the country's digital economy.

"Indonesia's digital economy would need 11 million skilled workers by 2030," Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto said after a meeting between Ma and top government officials on the sidelines of 2018 International Monetary Fund-World Annual Meetings in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Saturday.

Communication and Information Technology Minister Rudiantara said the Jack Ma Institute of Entrepreneurs, as it will be known, will complement the ministry's short-course scholarship in partnership with local universities to train 20,000 entrepreneurs and young talent in information technology next year.

The country's skills shortage is so severe that its largest unicorn startup, Go-Jek Indonesia, had to recruit engineers from India to support its sprawling operations.

Ma, who has served on the government's digital economy advisory board since last year, did not indicate when the school would be established, but said he aims to train 1,000 tech leaders annually over the next decade.

"We're giving a lot of opportunities for young Indonesian people to learn," Ma told reporters after the meeting.

He added that it was important for Indonesia to invest in human capital because "only when people improve; when people's minds change; when people's skills improve, then we can enter the digital period."

Indonesia is a key market for Alibaba, whose cloud-computing arm Alibaba Cloud launched a data center in the country in March.

Ma said his company would continue to invest "not only in e-commerce, but also cloud computing, logistics and ... infrastructure" in Indonesia, while also helping local businesses to grow.

McKinsey estimated in a report released on Aug. 30, that the value of Indonesia's e-commerce market may surge to at least $55 billion by 2022 from $8 billion in 2017.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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