G20 Summit: President Jokowi Calls for Women, MSMEs Empowerment
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has urged the G20 to continue promoting the empowerment of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and women through concrete actions given their essential role for the advancement of a country.
According to the President, MSMEs are fundamental drivers of the economy and have been proven to be resilient in facing COVID-19 pandemic.
In Indonesia, he added, there are 65 million MSMEs that contribute 61 percent to the national economy in which 64 percent of them are owned by women.
Therefore, empowering MSMEs in Indonesia is pretty much empowering women, he added.
“First, improve financial inclusion of MSMEs and women. Financial inclusion is Indonesia’s top priority. Our financial inclusion has reached 81 percent and is expected to meet the target of 90 percent by 2024,” President Jokowi said in his speech in G20 Summit’s side event, Rome, Italy, Saturday (30/10).
In this regard, the President added, Indonesia will continue to provide affordable financing and improve access to finance for the MSMEs.
Indonesia has also disbursed US$17.8 billion of smallholder business credit (KUR) to 2.4 million businesswomen and US$1.1 billion in assistance program for micro business in which 63.5 percent of the beneficiaries are businesswomen.
In addition, Indonesia has also developed a new financing scheme for women micro and ultra-micro businesses, namely ‘Fostering the Economy of the Prosperous Family’ (known as Mekaar program).
“In English, mekar means to grow or to blossom, reflecting the spirit of women’s economic contribution to grow,” he said.
The Head of State also mentioned that there is only 0.1 percent of non-performing loan from the total of 10.4 million debtors in Indonesia, indicating proven capability of businesswomen to manage their money.
“Second, support economic transformation of the MSMEs. Digitalization is the key enabler and e-commerce is one of economic drivers in the pandemic projected to reach US$24.8 billion this year. During the pandemic, 8.4 million Indonesian MSMEs including 54 percent of MSMEs owned by women have gone digital,” he stated.
The President went on to say that the G20 must give concrete support for MSMEs digitalization through the development of digital infrastructure, enhancement of cooperation on technology, expansion of the coverage of inclusive digital connectivity, and improvement of digital literacy of small businesses.
“Those strategic policies will further strengthen MSMEs transformation. In Indonesia, we will continue to take measures to support the MSMEs including through partnership of state-owned enterprises and MSMEs, ease of doing business, business incubation, strengthening the organization of cooperatives and the like,” he said.
The strategic measures have successfully boosted Indonesia’s economic growth to 7.07 percent in the second quarter of 2021 and export value at 37.7 percent. As a result, poverty and unemployment rates have also gradually declined.
“The improving situation of the pandemic handling in Indonesia marked by positivity rate of under 1 percent, first vaccination rate of 53.62 percent, and full vaccination rate of 31.50 percent, is expected to speed up economic recovery. It is our task to ensure that the recovery will be made together and continuously. Recover together, recover stronger,” he remarked. (PRESIDENTIAL SECRETARIAT/UN) (RAS/EP)