June 21, 2020, 08.03 PM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s Minister of State-Owned Enterprises Erick Thohir believes that the coronavirus pandemic will change lifestyles and pave the way for a more widespread adoption of digital technology.

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on global economies and has required societies to adopt new ways of living.

Erick Thohir highlighted that the pandemic will especially affect how business is normally conducted.

Read also: Indonesia’s Economy to Grow 0.1 Percent This Year, Says Economist

His assessment is based on a survey that was conducted by an international organization.

“From the survey of 500 of the biggest companies, 75 percent of the CEOs are certain that the coronavirus pandemic will force everyone to go digital,” said Erick Thohir during the ‘Ngopi Yuk’ event on June 18.

As such, Indonesians will have to adapt to this new habit in order to remain competitive amid the backdrop of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

“We have to be more adaptive, all of us. Even when we find a vaccine, we’ll need to adjust to a new lifestyle,” said Erick Thohir.

Read also: Kalbe Farma Set to Test Covid-19 Vaccine

The coronavirus pandemic should be used as a momentum for Indonesians to push for change particularly in the country’s approach to managing supply chains.

By doing so, Erick Thohir assesses that in the event of another pandemic, Indonesia would be less reliant on other countries.

“The challenge for us is to improve our supply chain and logistics and our digital access, but our strength is in our market. We cannot continue giving away our market to others. In the future, global travel and the global economy must all be bilateral,” said Erick Thohir.

Supporting SMEs through the digital economy

Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Wishnutama is also taking advantage of technology and the digital economy to assist the country’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

During the coronavirus pandemic, SMEs have been severely hit as various regions imposed lockdown and the national economy shut down.

Read also: Coronavirus Pandemic Seen Pushing Up to 5 Million Indonesian Workers Out of Jobs

The tourism ministry launched its #BeliKreatifLokal (#BuyLocalCreativeProducts) campaign as part of a partnership with Blue Bird, Bukalapak, Tokopedia, Shopee, Grab, and KontrakHukum.

The ministry is also working with Gojek and Blibli.

By working alongside a bluechip client list, Indonesia’s tourism ministry is pushing to position Indonesian SMEs’ products online. It is also part of an effort to expand Indonesian SMEs’ product sales channels.

“During the pandemic, the role of digitalization for creative economy entities is very important thus it is with the hope that the program can support the growth of Indonesian SMEs and support the country’s economy,” said Wishnutama. 

(Writer: Akhdi Martin Pratama | Editor: Yoga Sukmana) 

Source: https://money.kompas.com/read/2020/06/18/191000326/erick-thohir--covid-19-akan-memaksa-kita-go-digital

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