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Indonesia Helps Saudi Develop Digital Economy Ecosystem

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Arsianews, Jakarta – The Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information and the Digital Transformation Team of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) held the KSA-ID Digital Collaboration Program Workshop.

The activity which ended on Monday (18/2) was aimed at formulating the cooperation initiatives between the two countries which were formulated at the Nexticorn Summit in Bali, November 2018.

Indonesian Minister of Communication and Information Rudiantara stated that the collaboration had been initiated by Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Communication and Information Technology Abdullah Alswaha since July 2018.

“The focus is to build a digital economy ecosystem, exchange knowledge and share digital economic programs that have been successful in both countries,” he said when opening the digital collaboration workshop.

The results of the talks have been formulated in a memorandum of understanding between the two countries. The scope of the MoU covers five things, namely (1) empowerment of entrepreneurs, (2) development of joint centers for digital innovation, (3) activation of accelerators, incubators, and venture capital investors in digital technology, (4) collaboration in research and development, and ( 5) information exchange about information technology policies, techniques and regulations.

Rudiantara said the collaboration between the two countries had also been reported to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman at the G20 Summit meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December last year. “The Crown Prince welcomed this initiative. In the future, it is hoped that cooperation between the two countries can run more intensely, “said Rudiantara.

According to the Director General of Information Applications Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, the initiatives discussed in the workshop’s lime session are:

  1. Sharpening the investment model of the two countries to execute selected initiatives, this session was facilitated by the team of corporate finance and restructuring, Ernst & Young Indonesia.
  2. Sharpening the coverage of the experience in digital platform, facilitated by the strategy and product development team of Traveloka.
  3. Developing digital solutions to empower SMEs related to Umrah activities, also facilitated by a team from Tokopedia.
  4. Develop a 1,000 digital innovations program model in Saudi Arabia with reference to Indonesia’s experience in the 1,000 Startup Movement, facilitated by PricewaterhouseCoopers Indonesia’s advisory business strategy team.
  5. Introducing the Nexticorn concept to the KSA delegation in order to attract Saudi Arabia’s venture capital investment, facilitated by the advisory board of Next Indonesia Unicorns.

Samuel explained the Saudi Arabian delegation came from the National Digitization Unit, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Information Technology (MICT). NDBU coordinates all digital initiatives in Saudi Arabia.

“There are also Moonshat, an institution that deals with the development of SMEs in Saudi Arabia, and one of the largest venture capital in Saudi Arabia that manages investments of more than US $ 600 billion,” he said.

While from Indonesia, in addition to the Ministry of Communication and Information’s digital economy team, there are teams from the Ministry of Religion, several representatives of venture capital, and eight Most Invest Start ups from the Nexticorn Program portfolio.

Special Staff of the Minister of Communication and Information in the Field of Digital Economy and PMO Lis Sutjiati explained that this workshop was designed to produce models, priority action programs, and agreed deadlines for the next collaboration phase.

Chairman of the KSA Delegation Ibrahem Alnasser expressed his appreciation for the Indonesia-KSA Digital Collaboration which took place since last year. Ibrahem, who is the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Director, KSA Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, said that the KSA has approved the concept of a memorandum of understanding between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

“And we are fully committed to realizing the memorandum of understanding in this cooperation,” he said.

Ibrahem stressed that to achieve Digital Vision 2030 KSA, they would collaborate and learn from Indonesia which was considered to have succeeded in building a digital economic ecosystem in a very short time. The proof is that Indonesia already has 4 unicorns in a short time.

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