Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said Indonesia should not rest on its laurels as a major market and consumer in the technology sector but must also be able to reap the benefits of technology to encourage digital economic growth.
"Let me remind you. We must not be content with being a market or mere spectators," Jokowi said at the Microsoft Digital Economy Summit//DevCon/ in Jakarta on Thursday.
Indonesia is the fastest-growing and largest digital economy in Asia. In 2015, Indonesia's digital economy was worth $8 billion, and by 2019 it had gone up in value to $40 billion. In 2025, the value is predicted to reach $133 billion.
Internet market penetration in 2019 rose to 65 percent from 55 percent in the previous year. In 2018, there were 171 million internet users in Indonesia. With a total population of 267 million, Indonesia still has vast digital market potential.
"We are the number five [most active startup ecosystem] in the world after the US, India, the UK and Canada," Jokowi said.
Startup companies have been most responsible in driving digital economy growth in Indonesia. The country currently has 2,193 startups, which include four unicorns and one decacorn.
"We have to exploit this potential," Jokowi said.
The president hoped the development of the digital economy would also increase the prospect of Indonesia's micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
"Our digital economy must encourage domestic production and improve sales of local products," he said.
The digital economy is also expected to make a significant contribution to social welfare by opening up new jobs.
The government has made a concerted effort to advance the digital economy, including by facilitating funding and cooperation with various parties.
"We must work hard to turn ourselves into producers to bring a positive impact on society," Jokowi said.
The digital economy is also expected to reduce Indonesia's trade and current account deficits.
Microsoft's Digital Economy Summit//DevCon/ was a conference for developers in Indonesia to celebrate the company's 25th year in the country.
The event was attended by the president, Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim and Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella.