This is a summary report of the ADBI-GraSPP-University of Indonesia online event “Enhancing MSMEs’ Innovation and Competitiveness: the Role of Finance and Digital Technology” on February 23 and 24, 2022.
GraSPP hosted this event jointly with the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) and Institute for Economic and Social Research, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia (LPEM FEB UI) as policy dialogue under the Indonesia-Japan Policy Research Forum for Asia with the support of the Toshiba International Foundation (TIFO).
First day’s opening session with the keynote speakers and host organization representatives
Keynote address by Mr. Johnny G Plate, Minister of Communication and Information, Republic of Indonesia
Keynote address by Dr. Suahasil Nazara, Vice Minister of Finance, Republic of Indonesia
Session 1 with Dr. Karthik Varada, Project Researcher, MbSC2030, The University of Tokyo
Session 3 with Mr. Kotaro Yamabe, Director, Music Securities, Inc., Japan, and Visiting Lecturer at The University of Tokyo (in the academic year 2022)
Second day with the keynote address by Dr. Febrio Nathan Kacaribu, Head of Fiscal Policy Agency, Ministry of Finance, Republic of Indonesia
Summary and wrap-up joined by Striratna Nityahayu and Martina Marsili, second-year students at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Public Policy (GraSPP)
Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are struggling to survive the significant adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. MSMEs suffered most severely while they are the backbone of the economy by absorbing a substantial share of the labor force and contributing to economic growth. The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us of the importance of MSMEs’ resilience, inclusiveness, and sustainability.
Long-standing challenges facing MSMEs include technological literacy and lack of financial resources. Adopting digital technology requires the ability to use, manage, understand, and assess technology and access needed financing. Digital technology, once adopted successfully, is expected to enhance MSMEs’ innovation and competitiveness, which would also ensure their resilience, inclusiveness, and sustainability.
The Forum organizes a two-day virtual workshop comprising interactive presentations and group discussions by bringing together senior policymakers from Asian countries responsible for designing and implementing MSME policies. The objective is to strengthen the capacity of officials to design and implement policies to enhance MSMEs’ innovation and competitiveness. Workshop participants will also include various stakeholders and such resource persons as experts from multilateral institutions, the private sector, and academia. This workshop is expected to help promote sharing knowledge and experiences between stakeholders from Asia and Japan.
Dr. Riznaldi Akbar, Senior Capacity Building and Training Economist of ADBI, Dr. Riatu Mariatul Qibthiyyah, Director of Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia, and Prof. Toshiro Nishizawa of the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Public Policy made summary remarks on behalf of the organizing committee as follows.
Dr. Riznaldi Akbar, Senior Capacity Building and Training Economist, emphasized the importance of government support and structural reforms. In particular, these reforms should promote private participation, enabling further MSMEs’ digitalization. He noted how learning from best practices and sharing success stories with the enterprises could motivate them to become early adaptors.
Dr. Riatu Mariatul Qibthiyyah highlighted the importance of cooperation of all stakeholders in enhancing MSMEs’ innovation and competitiveness through finance and digital technologies. By aiming for the same goal of enhancing financial inclusion and literacy, MSMEs can be supported by entities with different yet complementary functions.
Prof. Toshiro Nishizawa underlined how a one-fits-all approach is unlikely to prove successful. Indeed, the success stories presented during the webinar show that any effective digital technology solution for MSMEs should be tailored to their needs to be successful. Also, as the digital divide between urban and rural areas persists, governments should ensure the quality and availability of digital infrastructure by working closely with the private sector. He appreciated the organizing committee members and staff for their joint dedication and to the speakers and discussants for contributing to the discussion.
About the Forum
The Indonesia-Japan Policy Research Forum for Asia is a collaboration between the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), Institute for Economic and Social Research, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia (LPEM FEB UI), and the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Public Policy (GraSPP) with the support of the Toshiba International Foundation (TIFO), a public interest incorporated foundation. The Forum’s original format was a bilateral intellectual exchange between LPEM and its counterpart in Japan, which started in 2004 with the support of TIFO. Since 2017, the Forum has become tripartite by allying with ADBI.
February 18 and 19, 2021 online | “Infrastructure, Technology, and Finance for Sustainable and Inclusive Development in Asia beyond the Pandemic”
November 7-8, 2019 in Jakarta | “Indonesia-Japan Policy Research Forum for Asia: Financial and Technological Literacy for Sustainable and Inclusive Development in Asia”
November 7-8, 2018 in Jakarta | “Indonesia-Japan Policy Research Forum: The Role of FinTech in Inclusive Growth in ASEAN Economies”
November 8-9, 2017 in Jakarta | “Innovative Approaches to SME and Entrepreneurial Financing for Enhanced Competitiveness”
November 23, 2016, in Jakarta | “Emerging Researchers Forum between Indonesia and Japan—Partnership Opportunities for Enhancing Human Capital, Innovation and Competitiveness—Financial Inclusion and SME Development”
December 2, 2015, in Jakarta | “Emerging Researchers Forum between Indonesia and Japan—Partnership Opportunities for Enhancing Human Capital, Innovation, and Competitiveness”
November 24, 2014, in Jakarta | “FDI for the Future: Human Capital, Innovation, and Competitiveness”
February 11, 2014, in Jakarta | “Human Capital Investment and Labor Productivity in Indonesia: Facts and Challenges in a Global World”