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Encouraging MSME Creativity Through Digitalization to Increase Economic Growth

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By: Kurniawan Mulyanto )*

In the increasingly developing digital era, the use of information and communication technology (ICT) has become an unavoidable necessity. This also has an impact on the economic sector which has increasingly wide open opportunities for development through digitalization.

The government continues to strive to increase the country’s economic growth through various programs and policies implemented. One of the main focuses is the empowerment of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as the backbone of the Indonesian economy. Digitalization is one solution that is considered to encourage the creativity of MSMEs and contribute to increasing economic growth.

Minister of Cooperatives and SMEs, Teten Masduki, said that Indonesia needs to produce more business people and create MSMEs or a new economy through a digitalization-based incubation approach to produce new, competitive products. Indonesia has the potential to become a developed country with a minimum per capita income of 13,000 US dollars. If there is no change, it is impossible to achieve income towards 2045.

Digitalization refers to the process of changing from a manual system to a digital system carried out by an organization or institution. In this case, digitalization will have a positive impact on MSMEs, especially in terms of marketing and product sales. With digitalization, MSMEs can utilize various digital platforms such as social media, marketplaces and websites to promote and sell their products. This will help MSMEs to reach a wider market, even international markets.

Apart from that, digitalization can also simplify the transaction and payment process for customers. The use of digital payment systems such as e-wallets or mobile banking has become a trend in today’s society. With digitalization, MSMEs can provide various payment options that are more practical and efficient for their customers, thereby increasing customer satisfaction and increasing sales.

Not only that, digitalization can also expand MSMEs’ access to the resources needed to develop their business. Through digital platforms, MSMEs can access information, training and connections that can help them to improve the quality and quantity of the products they produce. This will also help MSMEs to increase their competitiveness in an increasingly competitive market.

Minister of Trade, Zulkifli Hasan, said that MSMEs and people’s market traders must continue to adapt to current developments by entering the digital market through electronic commerce platforms. Currently, MSMEs have become the backbone for national economic growth. Adapting to current digitalization developments is a science.

Currently, various efforts have been made to encourage digitalization among MSMEs. One of them is through the government program, namely the Indonesian Digital Economy Movement (GEDI). This program aims to help MSMEs develop their digital capacity and capabilities. Apart from that, the government has also held various training and workshops related to digitalization for MSMEs.

The government has issued various policies that support digital-based economic growth. In the National Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMN) 2020-2024, digitalization is made one of the priorities to increase Indonesia’s economic competitiveness. The government also encourages business actors to develop skills and knowledge in using digital technology through training and education programs.

Not only that, digitalization also encourages the birth of new innovations that can enrich the variety of products and services offered. With innovation that continues to develop, it is hoped that it can increase the competitiveness of Indonesian businesses in the global market. Apart from that, through digitalization, business actors can also expand cooperation with business actors abroad, so that they can increase Indonesian exports and reduce dependence on certain commodities.

Even though there are still many challenges that must be faced, the government is confident that Indonesia can become one of the digital economic powers in Southeast Asia. With a strong commitment from the government and support from all stakeholders , the target of encouraging digital-based economic growth in 2024 can be achieved.

To achieve the vision of digital-based economic growth, collaboration between government, the private sector and society is crucial. The importance of reliable and affordable digital infrastructure cannot be ignored. The government needs to continue to invest in developing information and communications technology infrastructure, including increasing internet access throughout Indonesia.

Regulations that support and provide legal certainty for digital business actors need to continue to be refined. Regulatory alignment will create a conducive business environment and encourage investment in the digital sector. Increasing digital literacy among society is also an important focus to ensure that all levels of society can take full advantage of digital economic developments.

Therefore, the development of a startup ecosystem and innovation needs to continue to be encouraged. Financial support, accessibility to resources, and facilitation for innovators and entrepreneurs will determine the success of this ecosystem. Through these steps, it is hoped that Indonesia can achieve a leading position in the digital economy, create new jobs and improve the welfare of society as a whole.

)* The author is a researcher at Citra Media Consulting

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