THE Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto has emphasized the importance of digital transformation to bolster the development of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs).

“MSME digitalization would bring benefits, to help product marketing during the pandemic, facilitate transaction and financial recording using digital payment platform, and increase access to the market as well as business development training,” Hartarto said in a statement recently.

In this fast development of digital economy, he said digital transformation is a must for MSMEs to improve their efficiency and business development.

In a bid to upgrade the MSMEs and encourage digital technology adoption among them, the government has taken various initiatives and policies, one of them was the Proud of Made In Indonesia Product (BBI) program.

“The program is aimed to encourage the MSMEs to sell their products through digital media or e-commerce,” he noted.

The government has also encouraged the MSMEs in Indonesia, which 96 percent of them are still considered as informal business, to become formal ones by registering to obtain the Business Identification Number (NIB), the minister added.

With their status as formal businesses, the MSMEs could get easier access to various financing facilities, mentorship, and access to market supply chain.

“Currently, the government is compiling Single Data Base of MSMEs involving stakeholders, including local governments. This data base would be crucial because it would become the basis for the government’s policy making,” Hartarto said.

During the pandemic, the government has allocated fund for the MSME recovery through the National Economic Recovery Program. It provided various financing supports such as micro loans (KUR), micro business productive assistance (BPUM), non-KUR interest rate subsidy, and working capital credit guarantee.

In 2022, the government has allocated IDR455.62 trillion of funds for COVID-19 handling and national economic recovery (PC-PEN) program, parts of the funds have been used to support the MSMEs.

“MSMEs are part of strong basic foundations for the nation’s economy that can survive during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of MSMEs in Indonesia has reached some 60 millions that have 60.51% contribution to the GDP, and absorbed 96.9 percent of the national workforce,” Hartarto stressed. [antaranews/photo special]