SME Ministry Leans on Jakarta for Initiatives to Empower Small Businesses

BY :DETI MEGA PURNAMASARI

JANUARY 17, 2015

Jakarta. Jakarta will host a series of pilot projects aimed at empowering small and medium enterprises, as part of a wider government effort to support a sector that contributes to more than half of Indonesia’s gross domestic product.

“The programs will likely be long term projects, because helping [SMEs] grow is not something which can be done in one or two days,” Djarot Syaiful Hidayat, Jakarta’s deputy governor, said at City Hall on Friday.

He added the city had signed an agreement with the ministry for cooperatives and SMEs that could see the programs to develop small businesses in Jakarta start within months.

Anak Agung Gde Ngurah Puspayoga, the SME minister, said the decision to kick off the pilot programs in Jakarta was made based on the city’s strong commitment toward small businesses.

He said one of his first orders of business would be to update the ministry’s database of SMEs, which employ four-fifths of the Indonesian work force, before devising suitable programs for SME empowerment in Jakarta.

“The ministry hasn’t kept a good record [of SMEs] over the years,” Puspayoga said.

“We have a list of 40 million SMEs across Indonesia, but not all are still active. We will contact them all. If they don’t respond that means they are no longer operational and will be taken off our list.”

The administration of Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, and his predecessor, Joko Widodo, have consistently championed the empowerment of small businesses that find themselves being crowded out of the capital by big retailers and other businesses.

Last week, city officials said they would compel operators of minimarts throughout the capital to sell items produced by local SMEs. Saefullah, the city secretary, said Basuki would soon issue an instruction on the matter to all 2,254 minimarts operating within the city limits.

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