As the biggest country in South-East Asia, Indonesia is an emerging market full of untapped potential, especially in the technology and e-commerce industry. Despite still being in its infancy, Indonesia’s tech market has gained plenty of interest from neighbouring countries and investors.
Since the appointment of Joko Widodo (Jokowi) as Indonesia’s 7th president, local and global tech entrepreneurs have had high hopes on the emergence of the industry. Up until now, Indonesia has been struggling with poor infrastructure and its reputation for corruption as challenges, which explains why tech industry in Indonesia has not developed as rapidly as China or South Korea.
Jokowi’s literacy with Internet was one of the key points that strengthen his presidential campaign. Following the success of Barrack Obama’s digital campaign, Jokowi even recruited digital marketing professionals to manage digital marketing initiatives for his campaign, which led to the fastest growing users of any political Facebook page in history. Despite the having a late start, Efek Jokowi’s Facebook page manage to gain two and a half million users and engagement at over 100 per cent within a month.
In the recent talk with DetikInet, Jokowi made promises in creating a more conducive environment for IT development by improving infrastructure and regulation in Indonesia. On the same event, Jokowi accentuated the possibility of Twitter’s investment in Indonesia. With 20 million active users, Twitter was an important channel for Indonesia’s democratic process. For that, Jokowi wishes to utilise Twitter as a channel for political education.
Measures that Jokowi has taken to develop tech industry can be seen from the introduction of 4G LTE Network and the ease of foreign investment for startups in Indonesia. Right after Jokowi’s inauguration, Tokopedia, an Indonesian-based Internet company, received 100 million USD worth of investment from SoftBank (Japan) and Sequoia Capital (USA). Not only it shows that Indonesia actually has the potential and resources required to achieve technological advancement, but it also means that there is an increase of confidence from foreign investor towards Indonesia’s economic and political situation.
There is a high optimism that tech and e-commerce startups ecosystem in Indonesia will be rapidly maturing, especially with the support of approving government who are planning to clarify online regulations.
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