The Digital Prosperity for Asia Coalition Launches in Jakarta to Support the Growth of the Indonesian Digital Economy

  • Held on 12 April 2023, the launch event included two panel discussions that included DPA member representatives and Indonesian regulators such as KOMINFO, LKPP, and the Ministry of Finance Indonesia.
  • Indonesia’s digital economy is estimated to reach USD130 billion in 2025 and will continue to grow in the coming year.
  • A new DPA-commissioned report on AI policies and frameworks for the Southeast Asian region was launched at the event highlighting priority areas, assess AI guidelines in the region, and aims to help governments build a conducive environment for AI innovation.

The Digital Prosperity for Asia Coalition (DPA) Indonesia chapter was officially launched on 12 April 2023. As the premier APAC-focused alliance build up by APAC businesses to support the democratization of digital technology across all sectors, the coalition aims to work closely with digital SMEs and policymakers in the country to strengthen Indonesia’s digital ecosystem and economy.

Benjamin Wong, Founder and CEO of Kinobi, and Regi Wahyu, Founder and CEO of HARA, represented the DPA to give the keynote addresses. Both speakers highlighted the timeliness of the DPA’s work in Indonesia given the momentum from Indonesia’s 2022 G20 Chairmanship and the 2023 ASEAN Chairmanship. As members of the larger digital SME communities in Asia, they emphasized the ability for the DPA to be an innovative vessel to support the development of digital technology capabilities for SMEs and accelerate their local and global expansion. The DPA members then sat down to moderate two panels with participants from think tanks, government bodies, trade organizations, and prominent private sector companies.

Panel 1: Unlocking Global Expansion for Small-Medium Businesses

During the panel, participants focused on multistakeholder approaches that can support local start-ups and digital SMEs as they grow their operations on a national and regional scale. DPA representatives such as Quickwork and People’s Inc spoke from their experience on the challenges and opportunities that SMEs and start-ups face in establishing their regional presence. Members also highlighted the advantage that the DPA has in creating a voice for SMEs to provide meaningful collaboration opportunities with government stakeholders.

Panel 2: Digital Prosperity Policy Enablers for Digital SMBs in Indonesia

Moderated by Regi from HARA, the second panel discussed key policy instruments that are crucial in supporting digital trade and the digital economy sectors. Key takeaways from the panel include the importance of accessing new and innovative technologies for SMBs to grow their businesses and the need to develop standardized governance frameworks in areas of emerging technologies to make it easier to SMBs to expand globally. Panelists included the Ministry of Finance Indonesia, the ASEAN Secretariat, LKPP, KOMINFO, and the Future of Privacy Forum.

Artificial Intelligence: Policies and Priorities for Southeast Asia

Commissioned by the DPA, Access Partnership launched a report on Artificial Intelligence: Policies and Priorities for Southeast Asia during the event to aid governments across the region as they think ahead and prepare their own AI strategies and approaches. The report accesses current AI guidelines in the region, highlights five key priority areas, and aims to help governments build a conducive environment for AI innovation. These areas include:

  1. Adopting appropriate cloud-first, data flow, and cybersecurity policies to harness the full potential of AI
  2. Develop a robust talent pipeline to close the skills gap
  3. Increase awareness and build capacity amongst SMEs
  4. Implement AI principles to develop ethical AI systems
  5. Adopt a risk-based approach to AI policymaking

2023 is poised to becoming a watershed year for AI with the potential for AI adoption to add an estimated USD1 trillion to Southeast Asian GDP by 2030. As the region positions itself to becoming an AI hub, it is crucial that governments develop strategies that are able to effectively balance between regulation and innovation. The report was developed to provide policy recommendation and suggest approaches for governments think and assess their approaches to AI.

At the end of the event, the DPA presented a policy recommendation document outlining best practices for the coalition’s policy pillars of Digital Trust, Emerging Technologies, Inclusive Procurement for SMEs, and Sustainability. The policy documents were given to Indonesian government officials to highlight the coalition’s support to the country and region in achieving its digital economy goals.

As a growing group of like-minded and home-grown APAC-native digital companies, the DPA hopes that these events will spark more conversations with policymakers and businesses alike to recognize the importance of growing the digital economy for local value creation. The coalition is keen to welcome more partners who are eager to shape the future of the digital economy and pave the way for digital prosperity in Asia.

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