Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto, center, and West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil, right, launch the West Java Digital Market at the Pakuan building in Bandung on Friday. (Photo courtesy of the West Java provincial government)

Trade Ministry, West Java Provincial Gov't Launch Digital Market

BY :DIANA MARISKA

MAY 08, 2020

Jakarta. The Trade Ministry and the West Java provincial government have launched a new digital market to try to revive economic activities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said the West Java Digital Market was designed to help sellers from traditional markets whose businesses have been decimated by large-scale social restrictions imposed to limit the spread of Covid-19.

"We've been forced to [adopt this model]. We'll continue to educate the customers [and sellers] about the new system. So far, in Bandung, more than ten traditional markets have declared they're ready to join the digital market," Ridwan said at the launch on Friday.

The digital marketplace will be managed through an app provided for free by the West Java government. Customers will be able to use the app to buy goods directly from the sellers.

Ridwan said the digital marketplace would be part of the "new normal" once the pandemic is over.

Trade Ministry Agus Suparmanto said he is fully behind the concept of the digital market in West Java, arguing it's the right strategy to ensure continuity in the economy.

"This will help both sellers and customers. The app's shop-from-home option is perfect for this pandemic," Agus said.

Agus said he would soon visit State Logistics Agency (Bulog) warehouses in West Java to make sure the province has enough supply of food.

Governor Ridwan Kamil said the digital market would also encourage traditional market sellers who tend to be resistant to change to adopt new technologies.

"Digital commerce is already the new normal among the middle and upper classes. Traditional markets have to play catch up," Ridwan said.

"We will train and help sellers who are not yet tech-savvy. The end goal is to expand our digital economy," Ridwan said.

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