Announcements with Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Apple, MTG will Boost Investment Ties, Increase Rural Internet Access and Digital Education for Indonesians
SAN FRANCISCO – A delegation of high-level ministers for the Republic of Indonesia visited the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley on Wednesday to promote stronger commercial and investment ties between Indonesia and the United States. In meetings with corporate leaders from Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Apple and Marvell Technology Group (MTG), the delegation welcomed new investment and partnerships that can harness Indonesia’s significant human capital in one of Asia’s most dynamic economies.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has set an aggressive goal to make Indonesia the largest digital economy in Southeast Asia. While in the Bay Area, the delegation discussed the e-commerce roadmap Indonesia is developing, which will significantly boost a digital economy that was valued at $12 billion (USD) in 2014. With more than 60 million Indonesians projected to join the middle class in the next ten years, Indonesia is a growing market for U.S. companies.
The delegation followed President Joko Widodo’s historic inaugural visit to Washington, D.C. as head-of-state. In a Monday meeting, President Widodo and U.S. President Barack Obama highlighted the shared interests between two of the world’s largest democracies, Indonesia-U.S. cooperation on global affairs, and efforts to strengthen the economic partnership between the two nations.
In a Joint Statement following the meeting, the Presidents committed to continue to develop cooperation in many areas of science, technology and innovation, including the development of the information and technology sector in Indonesia in alignment with Indonesia Digital Economy 2020 vision. The Presidents also affirmed the need for states to protect the Internet as an essential platform for economic growth and development around the world. Following the meeting, President Widodo announced his country’s intent to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).
President Widodo had planned to travel to San Francisco, but returned to Indonesia earlier than planned to coordinate the humanitarian response to haze caused by forest fires in Sumatra and Borneo. Indonesia’s delegation in California was led by Minister for Information and Communication Rudiantara, Minister for Trade Thomas Trikasih Lembong, Chairman of Indonesia’s Investment Board Franky Sibarani, and Head of Indonesia’s Creative Economy Agency Triawan Munaf.
Microsoft: In a meeting at the Computer Museum, Microsoft committed to increasing its investment in digital education in Indonesia. Microsoft announced it is ready to provide Microsoft Office 365 to all registered Indonesian students, worth $4.8 billion (USD), and offer trainings to increase teachers’ IT capacities with $1 million (USD) per year. “We are excited to see the future of our relationship,” said Rich Sauer, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President. Minister Rudiantara delivered remarks in a town-hall meeting attended by 400 members of the IT community in the Bay Area. He discussed how digital technology can help address persistent challenges faced by Indonesian citizens, as well as the country’s growing consumer market for U.S. tech companies. Minister Rudiantara said he is convinced that with the right roadmap policy, “Indonesia will reach $130 billion (USD) in e-commerce transaction in five years.”
Facebook: In a meeting with Facebook officials at the company’s headquarters, Facebook agreed to work together with the Indonesian government in areas critical to Indonesia’s growth, such as the digital economy and the e-commerce hub led by creative entrepreneurs. Facebook and Indonesia agreed to establish new initiatives in online safety, empowering creative entrepreneurs, and empowering village entrepreneurs. These initiatives are part of Facebook’s continued investment in Indonesian connectivity, small business, developers and the 76 million Indonesians who are Facebook users. Recent reports indicate that Indonesia is the world leader in Facebook mobile phone penetration.
Google: In a visit to Google headquarters hosted by Vice President of Developer Relations Jason Titus, Google announced that Project Loon will expand to help provide Internet access to rural and remote areas of Indonesia using high altitude balloons. Titus also demonstrated support for Indonesian start-up initiatives. During the event, Google signed a Memorandum of Understanding with three national cellular phone carriers – Telkomsel, Indosat and XL Axiata – to collaborate on Project Loon.
Plug and Play: The ministers met with CEO of Plug and Play Saeed Amidi, along with startups from Indonesia, other business incubators and accelerators. They discussed the importance of startup incubators and how Indonesia can develop such a system in order to nurture upcoming IT Companies.
Apple: In a visit to Apple headquarters hosted by Apple Senior Vice President of Operations Jeff Williams, Apple announced a new commitment to build an iOS App Development Center in Indonesia. This development center will be the first of its kind in Asia. The Indonesian government and Apple also discussed continued efforts to promote sustainable tin mining in Indonesia. The Indonesian government intends to improve social and environmental conditions for tin miners in Bangka Belitung. Indonesia is the world’s second largest tin producer after China.
Marvell Technology Group: The Indonesian delegation met with Marvell Technology Group, a leading storage, wireless and cloud services company, in a session led by Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder Sehat Sutardja and President and Co-Founder Weili Dai. During the visit, they discussed the progress of digital economy and technology initiatives in Indonesia. Marvell recently opened its office in Jakarta and intends to collaborate with high-tech Indonesian companies and universities, in pursuit of new partnerships and innovation.
Business Meetings: During the visit, the ministers met with venture capitalists to discuss Indonesia’s potential to become the largest digital economy in Southeast Asia and welcome investment in Indonesia’s growing IT industry. The ministers also met with the executives from several creative economy companies including Walt Disney International, Blackberry, Airbnb, Cisco and others to discuss Indonesia’s potential and opportunity in the creative economy.
Indonesia is the largest economy in Southeast Asia. The country is among the most digitally connected, with the third-highest number of Facebook users in the world, the fourth-highest number of Twitter users where people in Jakarta, the capital city, is recognized as the most active Twitter users globally.
Indonesia has the third-highest number of Instagram users, and one third of LinkedIn users are Indonesian. Indonesia’s consumer market for digital technologies continues to grow, and currently counts 308 million hand-phone users (more than total population of Australia, Brazil, and Germany combined) and 88 million internet users (more than double Canada’s population).
On Monday at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, President Widodo joined business leaders from across the U.S. and Indonesia to finalize twelve major transactions and new partnerships totaling $20.25 billion (USD) (news release). In a major foreign policy speech at the Brookings Institution (video) on Tuesday, the President addressed challenges facing emerging markets, and outlined Indonesia’s strategy to achieve sustainable economic growth and assert global leadership in this new environment.