G20 DEWG Sets World's Digital Economy Course, Minister Says

Jakarta, 15 March 2022 –

For the last two years, digital economic activities have become one of the pillars that support the world and Indonesia's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Communications and Informatics Minister Johnny Gerard Plate said that Indonesia's G20 Presidency is a historic momentum for the country to set the course of global digital economy development.

"[The moment] strengthens the strategic role in navigating the world's digital economic landscape development," he said in Digital Economy Working Group Kickoff Meeting in Central Jakarta, Tuesday, March 15.

According to Minister Johnny, the discussions, which will take place throughout March-September 2022, are also important momentums for Indonesia to guide dialogues between countries on global digital ecosystem governance issues.

"Communications and Informatics Ministry [MCI] who is in charge of DEWG will continue to do streamlining on digital issues across working groups and engagement groups to bring in a greater collaboration and cooperation on digital issues," he explained.

Under the theme "Recover Together, Recover Stronger", Indonesia's G20 Presidency raises three priority agendas, namely inclusive global health architecture, digital-based transformation, and sustainable energy transition.

The digital-based transformation is an agenda discussed by at least 12 working groups and 10 engagement groups under Sherpa Track. The Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) will discuss three priority issues, namely (1) connectivity and post-COVID-19 recovery; (2) digital skills and digital literacy; and (3) cross border data flow and data free flow with trust.

"All of them are the main prerequisite issues in optimizing digital-based transformation, including the digital economy," said Minister Johnny.

Equitable Digital Transformation

According to Minister Johnny, digital economic activity shows a significant growth both in valuation and in people's participation so it encourages equitable digital transformation.

In 2022, there are 4.9 billion internet users in the world, including 204 million in Indonesia. There were 64.2 zettabytes of traffic and data consumption in 2020 and it is predicted to triple by 181 zettabytes in 2025.

"Global Data Consumption is projected to increase with a CAGR of 26.9 percent from 2020 to 2025, " he explained.

Citing data from the Trade Ministry in 2021, he said that in Indonesia, the digital economy continued to grow with Gross Merchandise Value amounting to US$70 billion in 2021 and it is projected to be US$315.5 billion in 2030.

"A massive and rapid growth of data consumption will drive the development of data centers [cloud computing] and the growth of the world's digital economy," he said.

He highlighted that optimizing the digital economy potential through the development of cloud computing and ICT infrastructures can foster a significant and inclusive digital economic growth.

"The Government of Indonesia under President Joko Widodo's directive continues to deploy digital upstream infrastructure development [upstream ICT Infrastructure], including backbone networks for optical fiber, microwave link, high throughput satellite and base transceiver station across the country," he explained.

In addition, the Government encourages the development of downstream digital infrastructure (downstream ICT infrastructure) with cloud computing technology. It is done so that digital infrastructure can be used to support investment.

"The Government continues to encourage the developments of government cloud [national data center] and private cloud [private data center] both by Indonesian national companies and foreign investment," said Minister Johnny.

According to him, upstream and downstream ICT infrastructure development is a direct answer to the progress and growth of digital space utilization.

"[The growth] takes place in the economic, finance, digital commerce, education technology, health technology, and digital government sectors," he said.

Indonesia's Advancement Showcase

Minister Johnny stated G20 DEWG will be a showcase for Indonesia's digital transformation advancement as it will organize various side events which support three priority issues discussed at the negotiating table.

"One of them is the G20 Digital Innovation Network [DIN] which facilitates cooperation between the government and the private digital innovation players on a global scale as a generator for world economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic," he explained.

He said at the Digital Transformation Expo (DTE), MCI will present a multisectoral, inclusive, empowering, and sustainable digital-based transformation journey in Indonesia.

"DTE will convey an important message for the world: that the spirit of Indonesia's digital transformation is not broken in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and it even develops and can be seen from the birth of new unicorn startups during this pandemic, such as J&T Express, OnlinePajak, Xendit, Ajaib, and Kopi Kenangan," he explained.

Minister Johnny said the DTE as a side event will be held in conjunction with the G20 Summit in Bali in November.

He appreciated all parties who had been involved in preparing the DEWG meeting.

Through the DEWG meeting, we will continue to facilitate the achievement of strategic agreements that will be manifested in the series of DEWG activities, he said.

He invited all parties to support and succeed the DEWG agenda in Indonesia's G20 Presidency. "Let's create a resilient recovery of Indonesia and the world by realizing an inclusive, empowering, and sustainable digital transformation. Recover together, recover stronger," he said.

The event was attended by Coordinating Maritime and Investment Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. The participants who presented online were Coordinating Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto; Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi; International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Secretary-General Houlin Zhao; and United Nations Economic and Social Commissions for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) Deputy Secretary-General Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana. Other participants were United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretary General Rebeca Grynspan; Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) 2022 chair and alternate chair; and MCI's principal officers.

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